Camera Shootouts

$100 Phone vs $900 Phone: Camera Shootout

Does paying 9X more mean 9X better photos?

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Here’s something you don’t see us do very often: comparing one of the best smartphone cameras available in the market today with one of the cheapest but not necessarily worst.

The chosen contenders in this shootout are single-camera phones, namely the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. The former sells for around US$ 900 almost anywhere in the world except for the US where it’s much cheaper, and the latter is more or less US$ 100 in Asia and some parts of Europe.

In previous similar comparisons, we used phones that had US$ 200 to US$ 650 price gaps; this time we’re comparing phones with a huge US$ 800 difference. While it’s obvious that Samsung’s flagship has top-of-the-line specs and is one of the most feature-rich phones out there, we are curious to see if its camera is nine times better than Xiaomi’s budget offering, given its steep price tag.

Get your pen and paper ready because this is a blind test. All photos were taken in Auto Mode and were not edited. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks.

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#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

And that’s it! Are you ready to see what phone you picked for each set? Here they are:

#1
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#2
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#3
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#4
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#5
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#6
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#7
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#8
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#9
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#10
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#11
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#12
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#13
A: Redmi 5A
B: Galaxy S9

#14
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#15
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

#16
A: Galaxy S9
B: Redmi 5A

After several other comparisons in the past, we know by now that when it comes to at least daytime scenes, any two smartphone cameras will be comparable, and the same can be said about this shootout. We just didn’t expect it would be a close fight between the Galaxy S9 and Redmi 5A even for indoor and low-light shots like numbers 8 to 12.

There are, of course, little things that a comparison cannot show by just putting two photos side by side. The Galaxy S9 focuses and shoots much faster than the Redmi 5A in all scenarios. It took several tries for the Redmi 5A to produce a good photo while the S9 more often than not would get it right the first time. It’s important to note, however, that the S9 sharpens and makes some photos warmer than in real life, as can be seen in the food and portrait shots.

Overall, the Galaxy S9 is still the better camera, no doubt. But if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that when it comes to still images, you no longer need to spend all of your hard-earned savings for capturing moments you want to remember. The Redmi 5A will give you comparable results as a smartphone camera worth nine times its price tag.

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have in your pocket, and in this case, the one your pocket can afford.

Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S20+ vs OPPO Find X2 Pro: Camera shootout

Which one shoots better for you?

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OPPO just came out with what arguably is their best phone to date — the Find X2 Pro. So we decided to take the phone out for a camera shootout against the Samsung Galaxy S20+ — arguably one of the best phones to come out so far in 2020.

Can the OPPO give Samsung a run for its money? Let’s find out!

Make sure to jot down your answers, as the results of this blind test will be at the end of this article. As usual, photos were labeled, resized, and collaged (this time) for you to load the images faster. No post-processing nor any color adjustments were done in any of the photos. So, let’s begin!

#1

#2

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#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

Results

So, I’m just messing with you guys. It’s not actually a blind test since all photos labeled Photo A were taken using the OPPO Find X2 Pro. Meanwhile, all photos labeled Photo B were taken using the Samsung Galaxy S20+.

If you analyzed the photos, the Find X2 Pro clearly holds out on its own. In certain lighting conditions, the Find X2 Pro produced brighter and more saturated photos during the daytime. At night, it tends to illuminate the scene captured, and process it with a warmer tone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S20+ produced balanced results, although vibrancy and contrast were strengthened in both day and night shots.

The most notable differences are how the Galaxy S20+ has subtle bokeh — making it more believable — and wider scope on its wide-angle mode, while the Find X2 Pro has a softer look whilst retaining details. Both phones were astounding and as always, everything will depend on a user’s preference and how they use their smartphone’s cameras.

How about its selfie camera?

While the Find X2 Pro goes toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S20+ on the rear camera department, its front camera samples look way different. The Find X2 Pro has a greener tint and warmer tone, while the Galaxy S20+ has a better white balance, but adds a pinkish tint.

Both phones upped their contrast and colors, adding an unnecessary beautification when processed despite not using beauty mode. The backlit selfies were captured properly, illuminating Michael Josh‘s face without compromising details. You just have to choose how you’ll post-process your selfies later on if you’re planning to upload it on social media.

Author’s opinion

Personally, both phones captured awesome photos. Even I had a hard time choosing between the two when putting this article together. Smartphones, particularly the best ones, capture outstanding results which makes it difficult for consumers to decide, especially when they’re concerned with the camera performance.

The key is to figure out how you’ll use the cameras. For instance, I’ll use the OPPO Find X2 Pro to capture more of my daily life — which I can readily upload to my social media platforms. The Galaxy S20+ proves handy though for frequent travelers, especially with its wide-angle lens.

Nonetheless, whatever you choose, know that you’re in good hands. Just don’t forget, there’s more to a smartphone than its cameras. Watch our YouTube videos for the Galaxy S20+ and Find X2 Pro to know more about these flagship devices.

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Camera Shootouts

Realme XT vs Samsung Galaxy A71: Camera shootout

64-megapixel camera battle!

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Nowadays, midrange smartphones pack a punch in the camera department. Sporting 64-megapixel cameras, one can’t help but wonder which smartphone takes better photos. Here, we compared the Realme XT (PhP 16,990/ US$ 333) and Samsung Galaxy A71 (PhP 22,990/ US$ 450) with a PhP 6,000/ US$ 118 difference.

Just like all of our camera shootouts, no edits were done except resizing for faster preview and watermark to quickly identify the shot.

Which smartphone do you think will win? Let’s have a 64-megapixel camera battle!

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Analysis

We all know the Realme XT and Samsung Galaxy A71 produce 64-megapixel photos through pixel-binned 16-megapixel shots.

If you analyze the differences, the Realme XT has a red tint, but it produces an accurate color reproduction albeit a little bright and washed out.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is a bit processed. It’s saturated yet lively, comprised of better contrasts and deeper blacks, but comes with a greener tint. Furthermore, its exposure is a hit or miss, and on most occasions, it produces bad highlights.

Since the photos were downsized for faster loading, we’ve compiled the original, high-resolution photos in respective Google Drive links: Realme XT | Samsung Galaxy A71.

Verdict

At the end of the day, both smartphones produce decent 64-megapixel shots, especially for the price it commands. However, it makes us wonder: Do we really need higher megapixels? Maybe we do, but maybe we also don’t.

For now, we can enjoy every smartphone’s attempt to make better images. After all, it’s us who benefit the most. So, which 64-megapixel camera phone shoots better for you? Let us know and share your thoughts with us on our social channels!

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Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 30 Pro vs Y9 Prime (2019): Camera shootout

Do you really need an expensive phone for your photos?

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We all know Huawei phones are recognized for their superior camera quality. In this camera shootout, we decided to test the camera prowess (and differences) between a SG$1300 flagship phone over a SG$340 midrange smartphone.

The Mate 30 Pro reigns in the smartphone camera department. Meanwhile, the Y9 Prime (2019) is one of the affordable midrangers out there. Although the Mate 30 Pro has an extra telephoto lens, we just decided to exclude the zoom mode and use only the ultra-wide and wide lenses when shooting. Other than that, the Mate 30 Pro has a 3D ToF (Time of Flight) camera while the other one has a depth sensor.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

#1 Greenery

#2 Food (AI Mode)

#3 Saturation

#4 Wide-angle (Daylight)

#5 Ultra-wide angle (Daylight)

#6 Ultra-wide angle (Backlight)

#7 Selfie (Auto)

#8 Food (Low-light)

#9 Low-light (Auto)

#10 Low-light (Night Mode)

#11 Dawn (Night Mode)

#12 Night Mode

#13 Night Mode

#14 Fireworks (Auto Mode)

Results

A – Huawei Y9 Prime (2019) 

B – Huawei Mate 30 Pro 

After seeing the side-by-side comparison, we can all tell that the Mate 30 Pro stands out most especially when the photos were taken in a dark environment. But in well-lit situations, the Y9 Prime (2019) was able to deliver quality shots just like the Mate.

One thing I didn’t like on either phones are the selfies, especially when Beauty Mode was turned off.  But I guess that all boils down to personal preferences. Other than that, the Y9 Prime produces less saturated photos but it’s actually more accurate since it’s what I saw in real life. Except for the strawberry photo that looked too desaturated.

This further proves that cheaper smartphones can still deliver decent-looking photos. But in the case of the Mate 30 Pro, you’ll get more camera features (such as telephoto lens) because you paid more.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 30 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

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