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Struggling to chose a new phone based on camera quality

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones & Tablets' started by Jonnybmac, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,808

    Location: Brotton

    After my A70 has just bricked taking a photo in the rain I wish to have a phone that has atleast IP668 rating and better quality camera to take the sting out of having to now buy a new phone :(

    I've been bouncing backwards and forwards towards the S20 ultra. I've had samsungs for around 4 contracts now so I'm kind of used to them. Although the A70 was a budget series it had a pretty good camera though sometimes it struggled with detail for what it costs I couldn't really argue

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    4.
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    5.
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    6.
    [​IMG]

    You can see on the sunrise photo how grainy the detail becomes. The grass seems a bit blurry especially considering how close it is. It is the same for 3 and 4 with the grass and water looking rather low resolution.

    I like the pixel 4, but the lack of a ultra-wide lense would mean photos like in image 5 would be unachievable. The Oneplus 8 seems a reasonable contender but watching videos it just seems to lack in some places. I've also watched video comparisons to the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 with a similar opinion.

    Everything I'm comparing to is a benchmark to the S20 ultra which I guess is what I really want I'm just really put off by some of the camera hardware bugs they have really messed up with I'd really like some recent opinions on the latest fixes since I've read they've been trying desperately to fix this and some are looking to sue over it not performing as they expected.

    Can anyone shed anymore information to help narrow things down somewhat? Up coming devices since I can probably borrow a phone for a month or two if it means I get something a little better.

    I do slight editing in google photos but nothing major and generally upload photos to facebook
     
  2. Squink

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 25, 2007

    Posts: 4,277

    I read too many reports about the flaws in the S20 Ultra for me to completely dismiss them as being experienced by only a tiny minority. I've also read reviews that say the standard S20/S20+ are in some situations just as good as the Ultra. Basically you'd be buying a rough diamond, with absolutely no guarantees the issues would ever be resolved.

    And you can also guarantee that as soon as the Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 are released, you'll spend the following year reading everywhere about how these devices are the top of the pile.

    Personally, I'd wait for the iPhone 12 if you're ready to pay flagship prices and want the best overall camera experience. It's not due for a few months however and I get the impression you're already decided on the S20 Ultra. If that's the case, wait to see what the Note 20 brings to the table in early August. It's likely to have similar hardware to the S20 Ultra, with some of the flaws ironed out.
     
  3. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,808

    Location: Brotton

    Yeah, it's pretty poor of the S20.. I think it's just going to be one of those models that effectively is duff from the get go. I kind of want to like it but my gut instinct is shelling out £1000 for a phone that only partially performs isn't the best option. I don't even really need the S20 performance since I don't game or anything on a phone it would purely be for web browsing and taking photos and my justification is that I could spend as much on a normal camera.

    I'm not a fan on apple, forgot to say. I just hate the way they try to control everything by forcing you to buy into what they tell you rater than allowing you to make your own choices. Granted this offers a pretty closed ecosystem which has advantages but I do prefer android and would settle for 2nd best if it was only marginal.

    I did think about the upcoming note but they are generally a lot more expensive than the S series? I think a grand is expensive so I don't really want to spend anymore than that really which the ultra can be had with current deals.

    I do think I'm going to avoid the ultra though and possibly wait for what the pixel has to offer - hopefully a wide camera; if nothing else competes currently.
     
  4. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 6,756

    Location: Bromsgrove

    Dxomark should help you decide.
     
  5. n30_mkii

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 1,725

    Location: Alfreton,Derbyshire

    Watching thos thread closely as I'm in a similar position and wont be going to an iphone. My gut thought is to stay with my note 8 for this year and hope that the drops next year will be heavily differentiated by their camera quality rather than cpu/memory stats which don't mean as much anymore
     
  6. wesley

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 29, 2003

    Posts: 7,344

    personally i think photos taken from S10+ is best for the Samsung range.

    i own p20 pro, with some photography skillz, can produce some very very good shots especially night shots

    maybe 2nd hand S10+ for you?
     
  7. Bug One

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,291

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    Camera quality was one of the most critical features of my phone choice. I've had a P20 Pro and am now using a P30 Pro. Really can't see any point in spending such a huge amount more on a 2020 flagship. I really don't think an S20 or a P40 is going to improve on the P30 Pro in camera quality. Video perhaps, but that's not my primary concern.

    3 looks especially bad. Looks like an upscaled image from a mega cheap phone sensor.
     
  8. Bug One

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,291

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    In fact, having read DXOMark - your photos look abnormally bad. That phone has a 64mb primary sensor. #3 looks more like what I'd expect out of a 5mb sensor. No way should your photos be looking that bad. Is it set on a really high compression / low resolution mode in the settings?
     
  9. UTmaniac

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2005

    Posts: 5,697

    Location: Southampton

    At the sub £200 budget, my better half is contemplating the Xioami 8T or maybe 9/9s for a 48MP camera.
     
  10. TheOracle

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 30, 2005

    Posts: 12,296

    Those photos are pretty bad to be honest
     
  11. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,808

    Location: Brotton

    Not sure, it's broke now so will never know lol.

    They are taken from google photos so many there has been some compression when uploaded to there maybe? I just assumed it was the best the phone had

    Think I'm going to wait it out with my old phone and see what the pixel 5 spec is. I've just ordered an anker phone bank to get me through the day with my poor battery and will help on big day hikes anyways once I get my new phone
     
  12. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 69,071

    I've noticed the same thing with newer Samsung devices - the specs are decent on paper but you get too much of that chalky/graininess in the image - my Note 1 never had it but almost anything newer than that (my Note 4 included) has it :(

    I'm not sure DXOMark really accurately represents stuff like this - it isn't something wrong (at least not specific to your phone) with the phone itself.

    EDIT: It is literally like an upscaled result from a naff sensor but it isn't consistent throughout the whole image - some bits have proper detail and look you'd expect for a high res camera and other bits don't but not in a way that suggests it is purely down to software processing/compression.

    Supposedly one of the better Samsung cameras on paper but way too often the results are like this (original resolution, no scaling, highest settings in the phone, etc. just cropped):

    [​IMG]

    I don't really understand it because my Note 1 while not as good spec wise takes nice photos - good detail and probably upscales to better results even than the same higher resolution with many newer phones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  13. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,808

    Location: Brotton

    Yeah, the grass on that photo looks pretty smudged. I think a lot of cameras these days rely more on photo processing which can be a flip of the coin on whether it gets it right or not
     
  14. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 69,071

    Yeah "smudged" is a good way of putting it. I've not messed around with stuff like HDR settings to see if it is related to something like that but I've seen it on way too many of the newer devices even when they've reviewed well on the camera and/or have high scores on stuff like DXOMark.
     
  15. Thaifood

    Hitman

    Joined: Aug 8, 2012

    Posts: 571

    P30 Pro new edition?
     
  16. Bug One

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,291

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    No wonder they look bad, Google Photos compresses your photos. You could be using a Panasonic CM1 and it'd still look crap if you let Google strip all the detail out.
     
  17. SixTwoSix

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 14, 2007

    Posts: 11,059

    Location: Rugby

    There is an option within google photos to retain original image quality.
     
  18. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,808

    Location: Brotton

    Yeah It's a reason I generally never deleted off my phone to retain the original but I never backed them up :(

    That feature costs but I think with my next phone I'll probably pay for it
     
  19. SixTwoSix

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 14, 2007

    Posts: 11,059

    Location: Rugby

    True but I use Google for my cloud storage so just store everything as original.

    You can also vpn for reduced rates on Google products, my YT premium is £1.30/month.
     
  20. Squink

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 25, 2007

    Posts: 4,277

    Google compression is really good. I read an article some time ago comparing the originals from a phone and the compressed versions on Google photos. You really had to be looking to find the differences.