If the smartphone cameras are wreaking havoc in the point and shoot camera industry, few take the credit of seriously rocking them out. Among the few, latest hotshots from the house from Samsung and LG keep up the ante. These two flagship phones have made it to almost every “best phones money can buy” list because of their delightfully advanced user experience and their picture taking capability. But they compete on many levels among each other in an interesting, closely bound match when it comes to taking pictures.
We took both of them on a clicking spree to find out which one is actually better. Samsung has a 1/2.6 inch 16MP sensor (1.12 micron pixel size) with optical image stabilization. And so does the LG G4! But when you go out and click, you will know that they are so not same.
In Broad Daylight
Walking around a market laden with Audis and BMWs, a broken scooter isn’t a sight you can easily let go off. Many call it the “urban decay” photography. The amount of light is quite strong in the scene; sensors automatically adjust to light and keep the focus sharp. But you will notice LG G4’s click suffers “burns”.
On contrary, Galaxy S6 Edge fills the back wall will more yellow to prevent it from getting smokey. The Overall contrast is thus found to be much better on it, outlines are sharp and objects appear clearer.
Theoretically, both the cameras make same resolution images – 5312×2988. But things on screen are different from ones on paper.
Practically the LG G4 keeps the photo intact when the photo is zoomed in. Pixels are easily visible on the Galaxy S6 Edge hinting the image has reached its maximum zoom capacity below which it can stay intact, while the LG G4 gets into this situation two zoom stops later.
Both the cameras can create amazing depth of field from their mighty wide lenses. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge cameras lens has an aperture of f/1.9 and that of the LG G4 has an f/1.8. This simply means the G4 has a wider aperture.
Apart from better low light photography, this helps in creating shallow depth of field. The difference is not much as you can see in the sample photos. But the hidden advantage is that the camera captures a wider frame, which plays a crucial role when you need to “put more things” in the same frame.
Up close and noisy
Over processing isn’t always the way to get photos right. In the first point, we saw how clicking in strong light makes images loose details and get hazy, but how Samsung manages to keep them details more pronounced. For this to be done, it fills in more colors in the image when the image is processed. It is done with every image clicked more or less in quantity, to enhance contrast.
Coupled with a multi-point AF system, the LG G4 manages to keep over processing to a minimum. The details appear clear in wider part of the photo and not just the ones focused on in landscape/portrait shots. A close up of the sample images shows the difference in color and sharpness in photo when the ambient light is lenient.
It’s Night, but isn’t dark
Opposite to the first situation, the lights are directly aimed at the camera sensor in this test shot with a dark background. It goes without saying that HDR was needed to get the clear picture of the bus and its surroundings. I was really hoping the S6 Edge’s HDR to adjust to the bright light in the HDR mode. It did to a certain extent but not as finely as the LG G4. Rather in the process it has gathered so much noise.
Both the phones have excellent speed though in stitching the HDR. Normally an HDR takes almost twice the time taken to click a normal photograph as two images are clicked and sticed together to properly distribute light in every corner of the photo. The lag is hardly noticeable on the two beasts, and it’s like a normal click.