Photo smackdown: iPhone XS Max versus Samsung's Galaxy Note 9

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 59
    foggyhill said:
    Boomster said:
    You look fake, like a porcelain doll in the front camera iOS pics. Turn off beuaty mode, oh wait... You can't. It's forced "on" with the new phones. Check out all the YouTube videos discussing this camera issue. 
    And you l’on like grainy  green shit with the note.  So that’s surely better ...

    shooting straight into the sun is dumb and no one doing actual photography would do it, even doing HDR cause of the ridiculous stopping down you need to do to get the dark areas lit OK and the resulting grain if iso goes up, the possibility of movement (if exposure longer) or a softening of the image (if many shoots taken and stacked).

    Even with HDR, shooting in non stupid mode is PREFERRED.
    I find most of the photo "tests" in reviews to be kind of BS. I feel like the photos I take with whatever camera I have at the time are generally better than the photos I see in these tests, but then again I make sure to take photos in decent light even if it's low light (and bear in mind, I wind up looking at most of my photos eventually on a 21.5 4K iMac screen so it's not like I'm only looking at them on my phone screen). I would imagine that for the most part, they're taking photos in extreme situations of the type few people really take photos in to see how far the cameras can go.

    I feel like before the iPhone 6 (and probably something comparable on the Android side), the cameras were mediocre enough that it was possible to make substantial enough improvements in phone cameras so that the camera alone was a compelling enough reason to buy a new phone. But starting with the 6, the cameras got good enough for most people. When I look at most of the photos I took with my iPhone 6, they hold up very well next to the ones I took with my 7 Plus or even my X. The difference between my 6 camera and my 5 for me was much greater than the difference between my 6 and my X (which is why I have so few pre-6 photos compared to the photos I've taken with each camera since).
    tmay
  • Reply 22 of 59
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member

    Photo Detail Comparison

    Now let's compare detail without using Portrait or Live focus modes.

    In this shot of a flower, both photos look very detailed, but it seems that the Note 9 either has more contrast or it's more detailed compared to the XS Max. You'll have to decide for yourself which photo you think is better at color reproduction.

    iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9

    Which flower is the correct one? Since any image processing cannot add missing data (but can well discard existing and useful data as in low dynamic range), one can immediately deduce that the prominent pink on the flower leaves cannot be added by iPhone, but simply reproduced by it. Thus the correct color of the flower is the right (iPhone) one. The low dynamic range of the Note 9 introduces an artifical contrast which makes the object appear more "detailed". What is is perceived as "detail" is in fact the the loss of pink tones.
    You’re suggesting that (pink) color enhancement and detail omission (as to “improve” selfies on iPXs) do not exist. Hmmm....
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 23 of 59
    Such test should Be accompanied by real 12 MPx DLSR pic with appropriate lenses. Than we can see better which pic is closer to reality!
    radarthekatavon b7
  • Reply 24 of 59
    Latko said:

    Photo Detail Comparison

    Now let's compare detail without using Portrait or Live focus modes.

    In this shot of a flower, both photos look very detailed, but it seems that the Note 9 either has more contrast or it's more detailed compared to the XS Max. You'll have to decide for yourself which photo you think is better at color reproduction.

    iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9

    Which flower is the correct one? Since any image processing cannot add missing data (but can well discard existing and useful data as in low dynamic range), one can immediately deduce that the prominent pink on the flower leaves cannot be added by iPhone, but simply reproduced by it. Thus the correct color of the flower is the right (iPhone) one. The low dynamic range of the Note 9 introduces an artifical contrast which makes the object appear more "detailed". What is is perceived as "detail" is in fact the the loss of pink tones.
    You’re suggesting that (pink) color enhancement and detail omission (as to “improve” selfies on iPXs) do not exist. Hmmm....
    they're stacking photos when shooting low light, which has a tendency to soften photos, those photos are grainy shit (where zit show off, whoopeedoo) on all smart phones normally. Now frack off.
    edited September 2018 StrangeDays
  • Reply 25 of 59
    frantisek said:
    Such test should Be accompanied by real 12 MPx DLSR pic with appropriate lenses. Than we can see better which pic is closer to reality!
    That's what I always say, but we have to believe whatever they say and trust their that their monitors are properly calibrated too.
  • Reply 26 of 59
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,508moderator
    As much as I love iOS, after seeing these 3 photos of the guy against the sun I really ought to take a look at that Samsung phone. I mean, in those photos his face is much better lit.
    Who takes selfies with the sun right behind?  Ugh. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 27 of 59
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,508moderator
    Soli said:
    As much as I love iOS, after seeing these 3 photos of the guy against the sun I really ought to take a look at that Samsung phone. I mean, in those photos his face is much better lit.
    A lot of the Note 9 photos look better to me. Counting them up it's a little over half the Note 9 photos seem superior.

    If they did a blind test where they list a a couple dozen photos and then have the reader determine which phone took it I feel like the Note 9 would come out ahead.
    Any such test should really include reference photos from a high-end DSLR, so a proper evaluation could be done for each pair of images relative to it.  Otherwise it becomes too subjective, as is the case in this shootout.  One thing I’ve noticed in taking a couple thousand travel pics over the last 8 months with my 8+ is that I can adjust exposure and contrast after the fact, and often do to bring out various aspects of each scene.  Seems to me the Note 9 is applying a bit of adjustment to those aspects automatically, but doing so, of course, compromises detail and for my money should therefore be done manually when desired under the eye of the photographer in order to get the image the way he wants it.  No doubt I could increase exposure on some of those XS Max low-light shots to amp up the brightness of the subject to match the Samsung phone, but I’d rather do that manually when needed, starting with a more accurate color balance and dynamic range, which is what Apple seems to go for by default.  
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 28 of 59
    techrulestechrules Posts: 53unconfirmed, member
    Pixel is the gold standard for cameras.  Weird not comparing the iPhone to it.  Even last year's pixel has the better camera.
  • Reply 29 of 59
    As much as I love iOS, after seeing these 3 photos of the guy against the sun I really ought to take a look at that Samsung phone. I mean, in those photos his face is much better lit.
    Who takes selfies with the sun right behind?  Ugh. 
    People who don't know how to take photos properly....which is probably 99% of everyone who uses a camera. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 30 of 59
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,393member
    bb-15 said:

    Photo Detail Comparison

    Now let's compare detail without using Portrait or Live focus modes.

    In this shot of a flower, both photos look very detailed, but it seems that the Note 9 either has more contrast or it's more detailed compared to the XS Max. You'll have to decide for yourself which photo you think is better at color reproduction.

    iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9

    Which flower is the correct one? Since any image processing cannot add missing data (but can well discard existing and useful data as in low dynamic range), one can immediately deduce that the prominent pink on the flower leaves cannot be added by iPhone, but simply reproduced by it. Thus the correct color of the flower is the right (iPhone) one. The low dynamic range of the Note 9 introduces an artifical contrast which makes the object appear more "detailed". What is is perceived as "detail" is in fact the the loss of pink tones.
    The reader does not know which photo has the correct color because there is no reference image from a pro level camera.
    https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/hydrangea?sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=hydrangea
    IMO, and based on the hundreds of hydrangea's I've seen over the years the Note 9 is much closer to expectations. It's not at all likely to me there would be such a small difference in light and dark areas of the petals as the XS Max image would show. Even the green color of its leaves appears off. 
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 31 of 59

    techrules said:
    Pixel is the gold standard for cameras.  Weird not comparing the iPhone to it.  Even last year's pixel has the better camera.
    Because nobody buys the Pixel?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 32 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,274member
    So, one thing Apple has admitted to is the over smoothing of the face in selfie mode. They also said that they are going to reduce that. So that’s not a problem that isn’t going to be solved.

    apple has always had a difficulty in perceiving what people want in photos. They tend to look at the average person, who wants pictures fixed. So they give “beauty” photos. There are an awful lot of photo beauty apps in the App Store, so they must think that’s the way to go. One reason why the otherwise very good Aperture failed, was because Apple did it there too. They “corrected” the RAW files to bring up shadows, bring highlights down, and did some color correction. It was all too much. By the time they moderated that, most potential users gave up. That was supposed to be a pro app. Adobe got it right with Lightroom.

    fortunately, most of what we see here is software correctable. Use another RAW app, and the results will be better. But as I also said earlier, some of these photos are not comparable between the two cameras. The difference is enough to affect the photo.

    you need to put the phone on a tripod, and not take a picture of oneself. A picture of something more fixed is needed. The cameras also have a slightly different field of view, and that has to be accounted for as well. The subject and background MUST have the same relationship. When they don’t, as we can see in a number of the images, the results will differ simply because of that.

    these cameras are also doing AI. Apple’s does much more, as the chips in the Samsung line-up aren’t nearly as competitive. So one thing we see it]s that many times, the Note is way too contrasts. Terrible, really. But there are times where the Max is too contrasts. Hard to understand that, unless Apple somehow has paid attention to these kinds of images - yet. Again, software correctable.

    ive now seen a lot of very excellent photos from professionals on the net, taken with the Xs and Xs Max. The quality of the photographer matters too. I’m waiting to see the same with Samsung phones.
  • Reply 33 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,274member
    Soli said:
    As much as I love iOS, after seeing these 3 photos of the guy against the sun I really ought to take a look at that Samsung phone. I mean, in those photos his face is much better lit.
    A lot of the Note 9 photos look better to me. Counting them up it's a little over half the Note 9 photos seem superior.

    If they did a blind test where they list a a couple dozen photos and then have the reader determine which phone took it I feel like the Note 9 would come out ahead.
    Any such test should really include reference photos from a high-end DSLR, so a proper evaluation could be done for each pair of images relative to it.  Otherwise it becomes too subjective, as is the case in this shootout.  One thing I’ve noticed in taking a couple thousand travel pics over the last 8 months with my 8+ is that I can adjust exposure and contrast after the fact, and often do to bring out various aspects of each scene.  Seems to me the Note 9 is applying a bit of adjustment to those aspects automatically, but doing so, of course, compromises detail and for my money should therefore be done manually when desired under the eye of the photographer in order to get the image the way he wants it.  No doubt I could increase exposure on some of those XS Max low-light shots to amp up the brightness of the subject to match the Samsung phone, but I’d rather do that manually when needed, starting with a more accurate color balance and dynamic range, which is what Apple seems to go for by default.  
    All cameras have different color rendition. That’s particularly true for jpeg. Each camera manufacture has a “look” for their jpegs, and none are really correct. Even going to the neutral settings results in different color balance contrast, saturation, etc.

    so, there’s no really correct rendition. Each manufacturer gives what they think is the most pleasing result. Unfortunately, some manufacturers (Nikon and Sony, I’m looking at you!) diddle too much with the RAW files as well.

    people, if you prefer a different look, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to take those photos into a decent image editor, and get them the way you want.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 34 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,274member

    techrules said:
    Pixel is the gold standard for cameras.  Weird not comparing the iPhone to it.  Even last year's pixel has the better camera.
    The Pixel cameras have plenty of problems of their own. Large amounts of flare, even after Google did some work to help, is still there. The lens is weirdly distorted at the corners (insufficient correction)
  • Reply 35 of 59
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,274member

    gatorguy said:
    bb-15 said:

    Photo Detail Comparison

    Now let's compare detail without using Portrait or Live focus modes.

    In this shot of a flower, both photos look very detailed, but it seems that the Note 9 either has more contrast or it's more detailed compared to the XS Max. You'll have to decide for yourself which photo you think is better at color reproduction.

    iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9

    Which flower is the correct one? Since any image processing cannot add missing data (but can well discard existing and useful data as in low dynamic range), one can immediately deduce that the prominent pink on the flower leaves cannot be added by iPhone, but simply reproduced by it. Thus the correct color of the flower is the right (iPhone) one. The low dynamic range of the Note 9 introduces an artifical contrast which makes the object appear more "detailed". What is is perceived as "detail" is in fact the the loss of pink tones.
    The reader does not know which photo has the correct color because there is no reference image from a pro level camera.
    https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/hydrangea?sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=hydrangea
    IMO, and based on the hundreds of hydrangea's I've seen over the years the Note 9 is much closer to expectations. It's not at all likely to me there would be such a small difference in light and dark areas of the petals as the XS Max image would show. Even the green color of its leaves appears off. 
    It’s really difficult to tell when it comes to color. A cloud passing overhead will add enough cyan to totally change the color. But the Note is way too contrasty. It’s easier to fix color than excess contrast, because there’s little detail in those blackish areas to bring up, and when you try, you get too much noise, usually resulting in color speckling, which is difficult to get rid of with these small sensors.
  • Reply 36 of 59
    Boomster said:
    You look fake, like a porcelain doll in the front camera iOS pics. Turn off beuaty mode, oh wait... You can't. It's forced "on" with the new phones. Check out all the YouTube videos discussing this camera issue. 
    The S9 completely blew out its highlights, which is certainly worse than any perceived softening of his face.
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 37 of 59
    I would prefer seeing a 3 way comparison between NOTE 9, XS MAX and professional camera.
  • Reply 38 of 59
    tyler82 said:
    I hope you guys are making a good commission on these articles!
    Hater nonsense, and full of shit as they don’t.
  • Reply 39 of 59
    As much as I love iOS, after seeing these 3 photos of the guy against the sun I really ought to take a look at that Samsung phone. I mean, in those photos his face is much better lit.
    Suuure you will.
  • Reply 40 of 59
    melgross said:
    So, one thing Apple has admitted to is the over smoothing of the face in selfie mode. They also said that they are going to reduce that. So that’s not a problem that isn’t going to be solved.
    Where did they admit and commit to that? I saw one rumor story here attributed to an unnamed source that they were only looking into reports. Was there a follow up story?
    macplusplus
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