If you’ve been following the homepage over the past week, you’ll have seen we published a big blind smartphone camera shootout to find out how the new Sony Xperia Z5 camera compares to the iPhone 6S, Galaxy Note 5 and the LG G4. Like our past blind camera shootout, we didn’t tell you which device took each image and today, we’re revealing the results – which smartphones takes the crown?
The cameras in numbers…
Before we reveal the results, let’s recap the various camera specs of each smartphone:
|Sony Xperia Z5||Galaxy Note 5||LG G4||Apple iPhone 6S|
Sony Xperia Z5:23MP (5520x4140)
Galaxy Note 5:16MP (5312x2988)
LG G4:16MP (5312x2988)
Apple iPhone 6S:12MP (4032x3024)
Sony Xperia Z5:Hybrid AF
Galaxy Note 5:Autofocus
LG G4:Laser Autofocus
Apple iPhone 6S:Phase Detection AF
Sony Xperia Z5:dual LED
Galaxy Note 5:dual LED
LG G4:dual LED
Apple iPhone 6S:dual LED
Sony Xperia Z5:Yes
Galaxy Note 5:Yes
Apple iPhone 6S:partial
Sony Xperia Z5:f/2.0
Galaxy Note 5:f/1.9
Apple iPhone 6S:f/2.2
Sony Xperia Z5:24mm
Galaxy Note 5:28mm
Apple iPhone 6S:29mm
|Camera Sensor Size:|
Sony Xperia Z5:1/2.3"
Galaxy Note 5:1/2.6"
Apple iPhone 6S:1/3"
Sony Xperia Z5:TBC
Galaxy Note 5:1.12µm
Apple iPhone 6S:1.22µm
Sony Xperia Z5:Effective
Galaxy Note 5:OIS
Colour Spectrum Sensor
Apple iPhone 6S:Digital Image
Sony Xperia Z5:5MP
Galaxy Note 5:5MP
Apple iPhone 6S:5MP
Numbers are only one part of the equation and while you could make a decision on which is best just based on the specs, we all know that cameras and images are about more than megapixels, and algorithms and processing play a large part. Clear your mind, settle down and let’s check out which smartphone camera really is the best.
Let’s take a look at each gallery again and discuss which smartphone took the best shot. Before we do that however, it’s time to reveal which device is which:
- Phone A = Sony Xperia Z5
- Phone B = LG G4
- Phone C = Apple iPhone 6S
- Phone D = Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Now, let’s look through the galleries:
The Note 5 wins this test as it handles the sky well, produces a good amount of detail in the sign and has clarity in the tree outline. The LG G4 and the Xperia Z5 come second and third respectively as they both produce good all round images while the iPhone 6S comes fourth as it overcompensates for the white balance in the image.
The Xperia Z5 wins this shootout as it produces a saturated image with deep colours that is closest the image produced by the EOS 70D. Next up is the Galaxy Note 5, which slightly overcompensates for the light but still captures details, while the iPhone 6S comes third and the washed out LG G4 rounds off this gallery.
As pointed out in the comments on the original shootout, the wide angle of the Xperia Z5 lets it down here. When evaluating this gallery, we zoomed into the Apostrophe sign, the detail on the ladies’ hair and the grille at the end of this feature.
The winner is the LG G4, which handles the range of colours better than its rivals. The others are quite close with the Xperia Z5 adding a slight hue to an otherwise good image, the iPhone 6S handling the colours in the scene quite well and the Galaxy Note 5 offering impressive detail even if colours are a little saturated.
Each smartphone handled the scene differently and the winner is the Galaxy Note 5, which comes closest to the EOS 70D image with detail and accurate colours throughout. Next up is the iPhone 6S which offers great colour reproduction in the signs and this is followed by the LG G4. The Xperia Z5 brings up the rear as it over compensates for the light and hence, the signs are almost washed out.
While shots of scenery and subjects are always great, it doesn’t quite cover how each smartphone handles the contours and detail of a human face. This gallery aims to test just this as well as looking at the amount of bokeh in the details on the wall and mirror behind.
This proved to be a test of two halves with the Galaxy Note 5 narrowly beating the LG G4 to the top spot followed by the Xperia Z5 narrowly pushing the iPhone 6S into last place. In particular, the Xperia Z5 would have probably done a lot better had it been in oversampling mode and the iPhone 6S seems to get the white balance all wrong.
The iPhone 6S wins this with the Galaxy Note 5 very close behind as the sky is a little less saturated than on Apple’s flagship. The Xperia Z5 comes third over the LG G4, mainly because the latter produced a darker image and Sony managed to more accurately reproduce the colour of the sky.
The Galaxy Note 5 wins this just for its reproduction of details inside the iconic telephone box while the LG G4 and the iPhone 6S tie for second, as the latter captures the details in the background better and the former is better at reproducing the white balance of the scene. Sony’s Xperia Z5 comes a very close fourth as a seeming lack of stabilisation results in some noise in the image.
The LG G4 captures the scene well and captures good detail of the brickwork on the building while the iPhone 6S is slightly darker but does better at capturing the sky. The Galaxy Note 5 is very similar to the LG G4 as it captures the scene well including details in the brickwork but lacks depth when you zoom into the image even slights. It’s too close to call a winner in this gallery.
Beyond this, the LG G4 comes second for the amount of detail captured and even though it is slightly noisy, the Xperia Z5 comes third with the iPhone 6S last thanks to inaccurate white balance. Interestingly, the Xperia Z5 would probably win this or come very close when used in oversampling mode.
The Galaxy Note 5 and the LG G4 tie for first place here as the overall image is almost identical from each of these devices and the iPhone 6S completely misjudges the white balance resulted in a dark image that fails to capture all the details.
As far as details in the image go, the Xperia Z5 is the best of all four devices as, although the iPhone 6S produces a lighter image, Sony’s best captures more details. The Galaxy Note 5 comes third and the LG G4 comes fourth, although it’s worth noting that the ISO is set quite low on both of these devices (although all handsets were set to auto mode) and they would produce much better images with a higher ISO.
The LG G4 and the Galaxy Note 5 tie for first place here as the former reproduces details better (albeit with a slight hue) while the latter captures the light better but lacks somewhat in the details. Sony’s Xperia Z5 comes a close third and the iPhone 6S rounds off this shootout in a lowly fourth place.
Now to the results – which device wins the shootout? Here’s how the voting stands at the end of this shootout:
It turned out to be quite a close-run race between the iPhone 6S and the Galaxy Note 5 for the title but Apple’s latest just beat Samsung’s latest with 38.2 and 34.1 percent of the 7810 votes respectively. Sony’s Xperia Z5 comes in third with 17.7 percent of votes while the LG G4 brings up the rear with 10 percent of all the votes.
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As mentioned in the original gallery post, all the settings were at their maximum resolution, which proved to be detrimental to the Xperia Z5 (which relies on the 8MP oversampling mode for its best shots). We’ll be retesting these smartphones along with a few others in the big camera shootout in the coming weeks so stay tuned! Let us know what you thought about these results in the comments below guys and head over to the original shootout post for all the galleries.