Phone Camera Face-Off – Samsung Apple Sony LG

Written by Delta Computers on December 15, 2015

Phone with Camera Feature or Camera with Phone Feature?

These days it’s really hard to tell the difference. Does anyone own a digital camera any-more? With the ever increasing use of social media and photography sharing, editing and production Apps the Phone camera is more important now than ever before. In the last few years we have seen the rise of the Selfie, making the front facing camera all important too. Cameras are so important to the current market and as such, a phone with a bad camera, is just not going to cut it any more. 

Phone manufacturers are now using their Phone’s Camera capabilities as a key selling point, and so we decided to do a bit of a review and check out which phone is producing the goods! We’re throwing a couple of giants up against a couple of the lesser known phones here. Its Samsung Vs Apple Vs Sony Vs LG in a battle for camera supremacy. 

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Delta Does Rent then Buy Plans on ANY Brand New Phone you need! If it’s new, we’ve got it. Our Rent then Buy Plans for phones are typically 18 months with an option to purchase at the end. 
Check it out here! http://www.deltacomputers.net.au/rent-hire-tablets/ 

Our most popular Phones on Rent then Buy are the Brand New Apple iPhone 6S and the Brand New Samsung Galaxy S6. 

We also do Phone Rentals for the following popular models: 
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge +
Sony Xperia Z5
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
LG G4
Google ( Motorola Nexus 6 )

Contender Number 1 – Samsung Galaxy S6

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The Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge + all feature the same camera hardware and software. Therefore we will be assessing these all under the one review. 

With a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor, faster F1.9 lens and the addition of an optical image stabilization system the Galaxy S6 camera is, at least on paper, a clear improvement on the already very well performing module in the S5. Additionally the camera is now always in stand-by mode which means it can be launched very quickly by double-clicking the home button.

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Samsung has also improved the front camera, which now offers a 5MP resolution and 43% larger pixels than its equivalent on the Galaxy S5. It features real-time HDR and multi-frame low light modes. Compared to previous generation Galaxy S phones, the entire user interface has been simplified with fewer menus and pre-installed apps. The camera app has been included in the simplification process and comes with a slimmed-down interface with most essential settings directly accessible from the main screen. A Pro mode is also offered with a range of manual controls including ISO, exposure compensation and white balance. Control over shutter speed is available through third party apps but the S6 does not currently support DNG Raw capture as specified in the latest Android camera API.

With its impressive spec sheet, premium materials and solid look and feel the Galaxy S6 falls firmly into the high-end bracket of the smartphone market. Read our comprehensive review to find out how it performs as a camera. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 16MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • F1.9 lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 4K video
  • 5MP front camera with F1.9 lens and real-time HDR
  • Support for manual shutter speed control in third-party apps

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Contender Number 2 – Apple iPhone 6S

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The Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus feature the same camera hardware and software. Therefore we will be assessing these all under the one review. 

This could be the best yet for Apple. It is a real, measurable improvement. Yes, the camera has been improving with every new edition of the device, but unlike in its earlier generations, the improvements seemed relatively muted and significantly, the megapixel count – a parameter by which many mainstream users (somewhat erroneously) judge the quality of a camera – was left untouched. The megapixel count on the iPhone had progressed thus for the first five years:

iPhone (2007) – 2.0 megapixels
iPhone 3G (2008) – 2.0 megapixels
iPhone 3GS (2009) – 3.2 megapixels
iPhone 4 (2010) – 5.0 megapixels
iPhone 4S (2011) – 8.0 megapixels

And there it froze. From 2011 till the iPhone 6s this year, the iPhones had a megapixel count of eight. Yes, there were improvements in the quality of the camera, the sensors (which had larger pixels) and the flash (Apple introduced the dual tone – or True Tone – flash with the iPhone 5S) were always tweaked upwards, but on the spec sheet, it seemed that just as it refused to get into the cores and GHz battle in the processor division, the Cupertino company would rather fight on experience and results rather than megapixels when it came to cameras. To be fair, it was a strategy that served it well – even as its opponents focused on more megapixels, Apple was able to pull so much out of the 8.0-megapixel camera (which seemed so 2010-11 on paper) that it could run an entire campaign based on the pictures taken by the iPhone 6.

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Under the hood the improvements on the new model are more obvious. In the camera module sensor resolution has been upped to 12MP and there are 50% more phase detection sensors, ‘focus-pixels’ in Apple terms, located across the chip. In video mode the camera is now capable of recording 4K footage and the panorama mode can capture even larger images than before, up to 63MP. The FaceTime front camera comes with an increased 5MP resolution and, like we’ve seen on a variety of devices before, can now use the brightness of the display as a flash-substitute in low light conditions. 

Naturally, the new model also comes with a more powerful chipset and increased memory. The screen is also now pressure-sensitive, a feature Apple calls 3D Touch. In the gallery app for example, it allows you to preview an image by touching the thumbnail lightly, while a hard press opens it up fully. This works in the same way on websites and for other types of content. We’ve put the iPhone 6s Plus through its paces, as always, with a focus on the camera and imaging. Read on to find out how we got on.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 12MP BSI CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase detection
  • F2.2 aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K-video
  • 5MP front camera

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Contender Number 3 – Sony Xperia Z5

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The Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact share many of the Premium model’s specifications, including the camera, and essentially only differ in screen size and resolution. Like its predecessor, the Xperia Z3+, the Xperia Z5 comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen. The Compact model is for those users who prefer a smaller device and features a 4.6-inch 720p display. 

In the camera department, these new Sony models come with the same specification. For the first time since the Xperia Z1 there has been significant change in the camera module and a 23MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor is paired with an F2.0 lens and dual-LED flash. Sony claims the hybrid AF system, which combines contrast and phase detect technologies, makes the Z5 series the fastest focusing camera phones in the business at 0.03 seconds. It also says that low light performance has been improved over the Xperia Z3+.

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Changes have also been made to the camera app. The 23MP full resolution mode is now also available in Superior Auto which previously had been limited to 8MP and 16:9 aspect ratio. Now you can choose between 8MP (16:9), 20MP (16:9) and 23MP (4:3). The Touch Focus feature allows you to touch anywhere on the live view image to focus and capture the image in one go. 

Key Specifications:

  • 23MP 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS BSI CMOS image sensor
  • F2.0
  • 24mm equivalent focal length
  • Hybrid AF
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 5MP front camera, 25mm equivalent focal length 
  • Dedicated shutter button

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Contender Number 4 – LG G4

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The LG G4 follows on last year’s G3, and like its predecessor puts a lot of emphasis on camera specification. The 16MP 1/2.6-inch CMOS sensor is a touch larger than the 1/3-inch sensors in many other phones, and the F1.8 aperture is the fastest among the current crop of high-end mobile devices, even surpassing the Samsung Galaxy S6’s F1.9 variant. The G4’s improved optical image stabilization system works along 3 axis, compared to 2 axis on the G3, and comes with a range of stabilization that has been increased from 1 to 2 degrees.

As before, the contrast detect autofocus is supported by a laser system for increased speed and reliability. In addition, the G4 comes with a new color spectrum sensor that reads RGB color and Infrared in order to recognize objects in a scene and their color. This information is then used to optimize white balance and color processing. At the front an 8MP sensor is combined with an F2.0 aperture.

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In the camera app a manual mode that allows for adjustment of shutter speed, ISO and white balance has been added and, thanks to Android 5.0, the G4 is capable of recording DNG Raw files which can be saved to 32GB of internal memory or a microSD card with a capacity of up to 128GB. On paper the LG G4 looks like any mobile photographer’s dream machine. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 16MP 1/2.6-inch CMOS  sensor
  • F1.8 aperture
  • 3-axis optical image stabilization
  • Laser-assisted AF
  • Color spectrum sensor
  • 4K video
  • 8MP front camera with F2.0 aperture

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So Now for the conclusion. It’s the end of 2015. Phone cameras have come further in the past couple of years than they ever have before. So let’s just take a step back for a second and really think about what we have here. Each one of these phones is brilliant in it’s own right. They all have their specific advantages and disadvantages. Technology is at it’s absolute height at the moment with phones and if we have a look back on each Company’s predecessors, we’ve got to same we have come a LONG way. 

The bottom line is that each one of these Phones has an incredible camera that will be pretty much perfect for use. If you are looking for the best images possible in photography then you might need to look at a DSLR. However, for what they are these phones pack an almighty punch. If we told people 20 years ago that phones would be able to take the quality photos that we’ve presented today in this article, they would be dumbfounded. None of these phone cameras will do you wrong. If you take a look at the BEST photo taken by each device, you can’t say you’d be disappointed with it. 

Phone cameras. What a time to be alive.