Counterclockwise: the evolution of smartphone cameras in the dark

18 February 2018
How much has Apple improved its cameras in recent years? What about Samsung, Sony, Huawei or Google?

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  • Gan
  • rJW
  • 20 Feb 2018

Yes sony photos at 23mp at wide angle looks bad in low light... But these capabilities helps in bright light tremendously. Just use 8mp or superior auto in low light. Sony color accuracy and color depth are the best. Sony gives capability and possibilities, use them sensibly.

    Shadocx, 20 Feb 2018I don't really care about who copy who, I just want a smart... moreI wasn't telling you who copy who, to criticise I was stating the fact that I'm not just a fan boy

      KamAbdi, 19 Feb 2018Yeah.. Yeah... tell me about it...! True what you said abo... moreI don't really care about who copy who, I just want a smartphone with more pros than cons.
      It's true Sony was the 1st to make a smartphone with 4k display and super slow motion but, I don't really need these things.
      If they are taking OLED panels from LG, I really hope it won't have the blue tint problem on viewing angles.

        Shadocx, 19 Feb 2018I'm not a Sony hater, I'm just telling you that no brand is... moreYeah.. Yeah... tell me about it...!
        True what you said about no phone being perfect but, when I say this, Sony is the best amongst other OEMs which makes the smartphones, I'm not fanboying because, Sony makes, designs and engineers ideas and not like the other OEMs who imitates even Apple imitates. Right now, they will take OLEDs from LG, but, in 2019 and 2020, they will produce their OLEDs
        When I say Sony is the best smartphone manufacturer, I calculate it by the one who make ideas not imitate and copy just like others

          KamAbdi, 19 Feb 2018lol your repeating what Sony haters were saying your embarr... moreI'm not a Sony hater, I'm just telling you that no brand is the best in everything, I don't like their camera that's it, plus every one got different opinions so, stop f an bo yin g.
          I have a Sony Xperia Z3 if you want to know and it's still running smooth as f*ck, stereo speakers is great and I'm planning to buy the Sony Xperia XZ Pro if it has an OLED display and if that display is 5.7 inches or bigger, or the OnePlus 6.

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            • alexv
            • HBj
            • 19 Feb 2018

            It's important to highlight that while 2016 saw big improvements in smartphone cameras, 2017 didn't and we have the "dual-cam" to blame. G6 was hardly better than G5, OP5 than OP3/T etc. So I think it's crucial to spot the marketing plays big oems make, like dual cams, ridiculous amounts of (slow) ram, 18:9 screens in comparison with important ones, like screen quality, construction rigidity and System on a chip choice.

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              • Talamak
              • Lfs
              • 19 Feb 2018

              I have Sony Z3 Compact. Does it mean that my camera is better than Sony XZ1?

                Shadocx, 19 Feb 2018Already did 2 hours ago, you're wasting my time. The Sony ... morelol your repeating what Sony haters were saying your embarrassing yourself because in the 12 mp every detail it showed with good colour reproduction even in the low light it was clear but it was little dim. Overall, Sony hater just talking.

                  SpiritWolf, 19 Feb 2018808 actually DID beat several DSLR cameras back then. And i... moreWell, this is a comment from the link you shared...

                  "Anyone who reads this article and thinks that they meant to say the 808 is a better camera than a DSLR is an idiot.. They are just showing how it can keep up in a test that is not meant to be fair.. It's like drag racing a hot rod and an F1 car.. Sure a hot rod with a big enough V8 and supercharger can keep up on the straight away but anyone with a brain knows that F1 cars are meant for much more than that."

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                    • Lex79
                    • gL@
                    • 19 Feb 2018

                    AnonD-481725, 18 Feb 2018Sonys problem actually is that they are not focusing on "Po... moreI would agree, if not for 2 obvious contradictions to your point:

                    1. Sony's own marketing point heavily towards to 'Point and Shoot' abilities. Predictive Capture, Intelligent Scene Recognition & Autofocus Burst features are all aimed at improving that very PAS experience.
                    2. If your suggesting that Sony are instead hoping users will lean more the 'manual' aspect of the camera ui....well your still going to have problems, as the the Xperia manual camera ui is currently one of the most limited and un-intuitive out there.

                    Here's hoping that Sony push the reset button on their approach to mobile photography in 2018. It is the last area of the whole mobile experience in which they really need to do so.

                      Faizal Firdaus, 19 Feb 2018Well, 38MP may sound good, but why that phone and senor die... more808 actually DID beat several DSLR cameras back then. And it died because of sheep going to Android.


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                        • Anonymous
                        • 60E
                        • 19 Feb 2018

                        AnonD-731491, 19 Feb 2018Xperias they always humiliate the competition on camera, Sa... moresony really sucks man.. they can't afford to improve their low light quality

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                          • Matt99
                          • nGX
                          • 19 Feb 2018

                          Nokia 808? Sure it wasn't good in low light but with its flash it was.

                            Dear GSMArena,

                            Whenever you compare the cameras, please upscale or downscale all images to same resolution. Only this will show the practical comparison of the images. I'd suggest to upscale all images to the largest size image available in the competing cameras. If you consider up scaling 12MP to 19MP would degrade image quality and not fair, in my view, comparing 1.4 pixel size with 1.0 pixel size also not fair.

                            Regardless of the senor size or FoV or any other factor, In a still image always an object is zoomed to check the quality, not the theoretical 1:1 ratio or so on.
                            Eg: in a group image, i'd zoom and check my face in 02 different cameras to check which camera has done a better job, I hope others too would do the same. But as per your comparison, If I zoom my full face in S8's image, I'll have to zoom only my nose in XZ1's image and compare both images. It may be the fair pixel to pixel comparison but it's not in practical scenarios.
                            So please make your comparison practical, not theoretical 1:1 or bla bla bla.

                              SpiritWolf, 19 Feb 201812 MPx is NOT more than enough. Try out Nokia 808 and you w... moreWell, 38MP may sound good, but why that phone and senor died?
                              Because typical smartphone users are not professional photographers. If they are professional photographers, They can invest on a DSLR which is same or below the price of current flagships. (Even a low end DSLR would easily beat a top tier smartphone in camera performance)
                              A typical smartphone user will take may stills everyday and store it for months or years. Imagine how much memory will be required to store each 38MP shots? Down-scaling the resolution to 12MP in a 38MP sensor makes no sense since it will not utilized the whole sensor.
                              Therefore, making the pixel size bigger on a larger senor adds more value to typical smartphone users since theoretically it increases the image quality in low light.
                              I'd agree 38MP is appropriate, only if there's a technology to increase the pixel size when down-scaling the resolution below 38MP.

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                                • AnonD-229512
                                • thw
                                • 19 Feb 2018

                                Anonymous, 18 Feb 2018Why didn't you throw in the Nokia 808 to show how much the ... moreLol it's lowlight!! 808 doesnt have history here

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                                  • Anonymous
                                  • JG0
                                  • 19 Feb 2018

                                  Anonymous, 19 Feb 2018Of course if you pixel peep a 12MP will look better than a ... moreAll photos with higher resolution than 12MP should be downscaled to 12MP, because it is the standard. 12MP is the best balance between image quality and file size and low light performance (only if the lower resolution means higher pixel size, unlike the LG G6 and V30, where the resolution was lowered, but the pixel size remained the same or even smaller as on their phones with higher resolution sensor).

                                    AnonD-720661, 18 Feb 2018Some people are asking for xenon flash but I don't think it... moreAt nighttime, my Nokia 808 xenon flash can light up up to 15 meters. It's still nighttime photo but it has power enough to make nice photos in total darkness.

                                      Faizal Firdaus, 18 Feb 2018oh Sony... Will you improve your low light performance at-... more12 MPx is NOT more than enough. Try out Nokia 808 and you will never go below 20 MPx again. Compare Lumia 950XL and any of those 12 MPx camera photos and you see that they simply lack fine detail. And now insert 38 MPx Nokia 808.

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                                        • AnonD-731491
                                        • 3Nu
                                        • 19 Feb 2018

                                        Xperias they always humiliate the competition on camera, Samsung, apple, huawei etc can only pay dxomark and gsmarena to buy rewiews.

                                        Gsmarena said recently that I noticed 8 had better selfie video camera lol

                                        If he lies in this I do not want to think how the press in general manipulates in the other