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  • Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3

Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3

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Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3

Introduction


Rememeber the last time you used one of those basic, point-and-shoot cameras? It must have been a while if you own a phone with a good camera on it. That's the case for millions of folks and it comes as no surprise – most modern high-end smartphones take quality photos, as our numerous camera tests and comparisons have shown.

Today we bring you another of our camera comparisons, and the star of the show is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It is a phone with plenty of potential as far as photography is concerned – with a 16MP snapper and optical image stabilization, it impressed us greatly when we took it through the review hurdles. Our readers favored it as well in a recent blind camera comparison. Now, however, will it stand its ground in a full-on camera comparison against 6 other heavyweights?

We've chosen to compare the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 against some of its biggest rivals, including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. We've also invited the Sony Xperia Z3 and the LG G3 to the party. In addition, we feel obliged to put Samsung's own Galaxy S5 and last year's Galaxy Note 3 in the ring as well. Here's what all these phones have to offer in terms of specs.

Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3

Colors


As we know from experience, Samsung's recent phones have this general tendency of producing images with a colder color tone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, however, is rather different. Color accuracy in its images is spot-on, with colors being neither warm, nor cold. Also, the sky's shade of blue, which is usually hard for a smartphone camera to represent faithfully, is reproduced very close to its real-life hue. As far as saturation goes, colors are vivid, but not overblown.

Hardly a surprise, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus perform well in this category. Like the case is with the Note 4, colors in their images are lively and eye-pleasing, but never too saturated. We're noticing a slightly warm tone in them – it is more pronounced in some scenes, but barely noticeable in others – but we're okay with that slight imbalance.

Photos from the Galaxy S5 and Note 3 exhibit a slightly cold-ish tone, but this is only noticeable in some of the photos that we took. Color saturation is slightly boosted, giving the images a more lively look.

Similarly, a colder tone is noticeable in the LG G3's images, but it tends to be a bit more pronounced. Whether you'll notice it or not depends on the kind of scene. Either way, it isn't likely to bother you, unless you're very picky about image quality.

The Sony Xperia Z3 has a somewhat different approach to color reproduction. Colors in its photos are neutral to washed out, and we find them lacking in saturation. There's a coldness to them as well.



Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3

141 Comments
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posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:07 24

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2146; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


No Lumias? Oh, right. No professionals allowed. Hats off to Note 4.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:11 19

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Give it a rest already.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 21:39

100. Damo579 (Posts: 242; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Sorry PapaSmurf but they should include a Lumia in these comparisons. If not the 1020 then the 1520.

posted on 02 Nov 2014, 09:50 1

118. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


lol. they're dead. no one buys these. over 70% of the lumia sales comes from the low end, then count the midrange .. what remains for the high end? and your profile picture? wow lol you're so 2005

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 22:00

132. NFSHesham (Posts: 273; Member since: 04 Feb 2014)


Nope they aren't

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:29 4

19. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Well the Note 4 is the overall champ. I don't get how it scored so low in night shots but whatever. I think it can take better night shots than those. Also is it me or did the S5 come back with a vengeance from the last camera comparison?

Now we need the Nexus 6 in this comparison.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 10:18 6

32. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


PA is this serious? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMrybYOm8Sg

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 10:37 2

37. Awalker (Posts: 1566; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


PA can only go by the pictures they took. Who knows what someone else did?

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 10:51 7

48. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Who knows what PA did?

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 11:01

50. bur60 (Posts: 853; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


Reason is crappy superior auto function. I use Google Camera on the Z3 and it takes almost as good as the lumia phones... almost.

Also no app or phone beats Google Camera panorama. I use Camera FV-5 for pro shots (high shutterspeed, metering, bracketing etc) and google camera for regular and pro shots

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 11:30 2

56. bur60 (Posts: 853; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


Sample pictures with Google Camera if anyone is interested

http://imageshack.com/a/img538/6448/F4djqf.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img743/3702/p7TGMe.jpg

Note that I focused on the big building in the center

posted on 19 Oct 2014, 22:44

108. bobox (Posts: 6; Member since: 03 Jun 2014)


To: bur60
you post 2 photos of z3 comact
color tone is purplish and reddish
that is the feature of sony z serial

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 11:04 4

51. Reality_Check (Posts: 277; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Going by that video the Sony Xperia Z3 is way better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But in Phonearena tests the Sony Xperia Z3 performs consistently worse than the competition. Am I missing something here? :S

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 13:46 5

70. sherkhan (Posts: 33; Member since: 02 Oct 2014)


its because PA is using Auto Mode In Xperia Z3...One can easily say it bcz of the aspect ratio of photos took by Z3 i.e. 16:9 bcz Z3 takes pictures in 4:3 in Manual Mode .. Sony Xperia Z3 is a professional camera phone just like 1020 ...just like DSLR's take average quality pics in Auto Mode same is the case with Z3

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 05:41 2

88. proto (Posts: 59; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


No offense, but:
1. but no camera on any phone is professional.
2. if you have to tweak settings in difficult manner to archieve great result... something is wrong.
3. Everyone will use superior auto on Xperia bcs most people will get worse results when they will try their own settings. IT is hard to set things right in different enviroment every time... and it takes time.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 13:48 4

72. sherkhan (Posts: 33; Member since: 02 Oct 2014)


PA is just biased towards Samsung ... Sony Xperia Z3 is capable of capturing DSLR Quality Pictures on Manual Mode... PA Just need to hire some Good Photographers who know how to manually Set the Camera instead of just capturing on Auto Mode

posted on 02 Dec 2014, 15:18 3

135. nopoint (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Dec 2014)


Absolutely correct. As a professional photographer (magazine / journalism, fine art, etc), using the z3 in iauto which downsamples the photo into 8mp is a true injustice to what it can do. The term for what is being done is "binning " which combines pixels together to produce a single pixel. This will obviously decrease image quality. The z3 has a significantly larger sensor than any of the others. It is almost comical to compare this review to that of an actual photography site like dpreview or benchmarking done on DxO.
Please, if you are incapable of evaluating a camera, don't assume that you can evaluate a camera phone.
Thanks,
-Mark

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 07:02 4

89. Lememurilo (Posts: 26; Member since: 13 Oct 2014)


This video is a lie on youtube there are several other videos on the Note 4 humbles Z3, Accept, Note 4 is way better than crap Z3.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 11:37

96. pitzy (Posts: 42; Member since: 15 May 2014)


by the time that video is uploaded the note IV wasn't even released! the uploader used photos in the name of the note IV. is ridiculous how is trying to show that the z3 has a better camera but here it ended in last place..

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 10:43 4

41. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


I thought Note 4's night photos are way nicer. The problem is the metering, easily can be fixed with EV.
PA intended to show how "good" iPhones are with strong source of light in low light. However, iPhone always makes the night photo darker to keep the detail. In other scene it's just ugly.
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=vi&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=vi&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tinhte.vn%2Fthreads%2Fso-sanh-chup-dem-iphone-6-galaxy-note-4-xperia-z3.2374347%2F&edit-text=

posted on 29 Oct 2014, 10:25

113. slimafool513 (Posts: 4; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)


The low light sensitivity in most samsung phones lags and is some times slow to capture pics due to the samsung software that's used in the camera app. So they always score samsung devices lower in low light or night shots.

posted on 24 Oct 2014, 00:43

110. Industriality (Posts: 131; Member since: 08 Sep 2014)


I think they are comparing recent flagships, not old phones. Lumia remains the best I think, but N4 really kicks ass.

posted on 02 Nov 2014, 09:50 1

119. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


what is a lumia? never seen any .. why?

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:13 25

3. tech2 (Posts: 3475; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


PA, logic in color accuracy:

iPhone 6: 'We're noticing a slightly warm tone in them – it is more pronounced in some scenes'

Galaxy S5: 'Photos from the Galaxy S5 and Note 3 exhibit a slightly cold-ish tone, but this is only noticeable in some of the photos that we took'

So iPhone is warmer and GS5 is colder yet somehow Galaxy S5 scores a point less then iphone 6. Also, if you ask any photographer he would take colder tones rather then warmer tones. Therefore, not surprisingly iPhone 6 performs better then GS5 in your overall score.

Those scoring patterns are completely screwed up.

posted on 18 Oct 2014, 23:43

105. marlowe10011 (Posts: 16; Member since: 23 Aug 2014)


You are absolutely correct man i can't understand how their criticisms are.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:13 9

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Note 4 and 6 Plus reign supreme. Lol at Z3 final score and Panorama score.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:16 2

7. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


imagine 6 plus has 16 mp camera..

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 09:25 2

13. KingDingaLing (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


Wish they would've bumped it up a little, but still takes stellar pics.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 12:30 3

64. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


why imagine? when we know it very well that, thats not gonna happen

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 11:22

93. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Good One

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