Though Apple's iPhone has long been known for having one of the best cameras among smartphone devices, the truth is that the company has been using pretty much the same 8MP camera sensor on its last three iPhones.
While Samsung has done all it can to improve camera performance on its smartphones, from dialing up the megapixel count to adding a slew of enhancements features, most of these features have been dubbed as gimmicky and serve no real world purpose.
But with the cameras on the new flagship devices from both companies, Samsung has shown that it can do more. Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus are the best devices that both companies have to offer, and share many similarities. Both are phablets with metallic frames, and offer the best processor in the market.
The 16MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been stripped of most of its extras, and comes with optical image stabalization (OIS). The 8MP camera on Apple's iPhone 6 Plus comes with OIS and phase detection autofocus, to speed up camera focus.
In a shootout, the results were surprising. Software improvements that enhance the performance of the hardware can only do so much and with the latest 16MP on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Korean tech giant is showing that it is capable of matching Apple on the camera software front, while offering better quality hardware to consumers.
While it might seem unfair to compare an 8MP camera and a 16MP one, both theses lenses represent the very best that each company has deemed worthy for their respective flagship devices. The following shots were taken concurrently where possible, or directly one after another.
Both cameras were placed on their default automatic settings, with the flash turned off. The HDR modes on both devices were also turned off.
Photos were also taken from the same position. Due to the wider lens on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, more objects can fit into the frame. In all comparison shots, the photos taken with the Samsung galaxy Note 4 are placed on the left, while shots by the iPhone 6 Plus are placed on the right.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus:
8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash Focal Length: 29mm equivalent
Samsung Galaxy Note 4:
16 MP, 3456 x 4608 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash Focal lenth: 31mm equivalent
This was taken at about noon in New York City. Both shots provide a great image of the building across the road.
Both images have the wrong tone for the sky though. It is not as pale as shown on the Note 4, but it is not as blue looking as on the 6 Plus. On the photo taken by the 6 Plus, the brown building on the left hand side looks more pale, compared to the rich brown on the photo taken by the Note 4. When it comes to the details of the building, and of the ground and all around, the shot taken by the Note 4 is the better one.
In both shots, the colours are almost identical, due to the dim yellow lighting in the room. In the shot taken by the Note 4, details on the lettuce are more obvious. The green of the lettuce is also more vibrant and the texture on the burger bun is also more realistic looking, as opposed to the one on the 6 Plus.
Greater detail can also been seen on the oily reflection on the slice of cheese on the burger taken by the Note 4. Due to the shorter focal length 6 Plus, the fries in the background are in greater focus on the right.