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Smartphone camera challenge: Which works best?

Category: camera Apple Information Samsung Smartphones

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We’ve all seen those sleek commercials - you know which ones I'm talking about - the ones where these amazing pictures are taken with the smartphone camera with ease. If you're like me, you've already deduced that these pictures are probably staged and shot by professional photographers. So, of course, they look perfect. 

The Challenge

After watching these commercials for months, I wondered “which of these phones really has the best camera?” So I created a five shot comparison study between the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7 cameras. In each shot, I attempted to capture the exact same picture with both cameras. Here’s what I found.

Panoramic photo comparison 

Samsung - Panoramic smartphone camera photo
Samsung Galaxy S7 panoramic photo
iPhone - Panoramic smartphone camera photo
Apple iPhone 6s panoramic photo

Notes: Both the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy S7 have panoramic modes. I’m not sure how often the panoramic camera is utilized by the majority of smartphone owners. However, the iPhone had a mid-line that guides your hand, making sure you stay level throughout the shot.

Perspective photo comparison

Perspective smartphone camera photo
Samsung Galaxy S7 perspective photo on the left, iPhone 6s perspective photo on the right

Notes: In this shot, I wanted the object closest to the lens to be the focus of the picture. The Samsung has a mode called “Selective Focus” which does exactly that. The iPhone does not have this mode, however, you can tap the screen in the place you want to focus on, and it will auto-focus. It’s clear that the Samsung’s Selective Focus is a stronger option for this kind of perspective shooting.

Portrait photo comparison

Side by side portrait photo
Samsung Galaxy S7 portrait photo on the left, iPhone 6s portrait photo on the right

Notes: This shot was an indoor portrait in a well-lit area. Maybe it’s because of the black background, but it is very clear to me that there are some color shifts between the two photos. Each portrait has a specific feel because of the color differences.

Food photo comparison

 smartphone camera food photo

Samsung Galaxy S7 food photo on the left, iPhone 6s food photo on the right

Notes: For this shot, I used the “Food” mode on the Samsung camera which focuses extra light directly over the plate or bowl. Because of this mode in Samsung, I needed to apply a “Chrome” filter to the iPhone picture, to match the final pictures. In my opinion, this bowl of chili looks equally as tasty in each image.

Final Thoughts

Comparing these images side-by-side, it is obvious there are definite strengths and weaknesses with each of the smartphone cameras that I tested out. But in the end, I'd urge you to be the judge. Which camera phone do you like better; the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 6s?

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