1v1 blind camera comparison: vote for the better camera

It has been a while since we last did a blind camera comparison. That was back in October, when the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 won the gold, followed closely by the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. Which mysterious device will be the winner this time? Well, that's up to you – our readers – to decide.

This blind camera comparison, however, is a bit different from our previous ones – we've chosen to do a one-on-one shootout instead of stacking half a dozen flagships against each other. Below you'll find five scenes taken with two capable devices' cameras, along with close-ups and high-resolution images, which should make it easier for you to pick a favorite. 

Of course, we're not giving away the identity of the devices used in the comparison, at least not for now. This is to ensure that you vote for what your eyes like better, not for a device you're hot for. And to make it even harder for you to guess what cameras we've used in the shootout, we've adjusted the high-res images to a resolution of about 8 megapixels. Also, don't bother looking for any metadata embedded in the files as you won't find any clues there.   

Now that we've made the rules clear, you may cast your vote at the bottom of this post after taking a look at the photos we've taken. The results will be announced in several days.

Scene 1

This shot was taken indoors, under the predominating artificial lighting conditions of our office. Some natural light was coming from the right through a couple of small windows. Take a closer look at stacks of magazines to examine how the two cameras capture colors and fine details. The black couch and the shadow under the table are good places to look for digital noise and other imperfections.

Scene 2

This photo was captured on a gloomy, rainy afternoon. The conditions were far from perfect for taking photos, but the natural light present was still enough to take some decent shots. Zoom in on the grass to see how well the cameras have preserved fine details. Solid colors are a good place to look for digital noise. 

Scene 3

And here's a macro shot taking a close-up look at a mossy pathway. The image was taken outdoors on the same day and presents plenty of intricate details to examine. 

Scene 4

One more scene shot in a rainy afternoon (sorry, but the weather has been quite gloomy lately). There's a clear difference in the exposure settings that the two cameras have chosen. Fine details can be seen in tree branches and around the building's windows.  

Scene 5

And lastly, here's a photo from inside our office, with an array of ceiling lights providing illumination. There are plenty of areas within the frame that can be inspected for detail quality, and the darker spots are ideal for hunting down digital noise. Again, the cameras have different opinions as to how the scene should be exposed.

Which device's camera did better?

iPad Air 2 (Camera 1)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Camera 2)



1. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Sorry but both seems awful, I vote none

17. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Does anyone else notice that the phone in the thumbnail has HTC logo but it's edited out in the actual article? Wtf lol

18. Chunkyspudface

Posts: 65; Member since: May 31, 2013

Yeah, strange...

45. masuod

Posts: 13; Member since: May 05, 2014

i am 100% sure phone 1 is note 4 snapdragon & phone 2 is note 4 exynos phonearena please put the video comparison.

38. g2a5b0e unregistered

Good catch. +1

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I approve of this idea PA.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Camera 2. I think colors are better in Camera 1 but Camera 2 has sharp images and warm colors than 1.

4. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Last i checked that other test Note 4 wasnt "closely" followed by any. It totally trashed ALL competition.

5. fervid

Posts: 183; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

No winner. 1 has better color and details, but has grain. 2 applies too much blur, color shifts and darkening to remove grain.

6. roozbeh101

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 31, 2012

both are galaxy note 4 ! snapdragon vs exynos ! it is not clear that wether both phones are using sony camera with ois or samsung camer with isocell ! the difference is caused by the way the photos are processed ! camera 1 is exynos while camera 2 is snapdragon!

10. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I agree. I think camera 1 is the isocell sensor due to the brighter exposure and the greenish tint.

7. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

I'm 100% sure that Lumia phones are excluded from this comparison....

33. nathan.carter

Posts: 416; Member since: Aug 11, 2014

because there is only one lumia worth talking about. I'm sure you would get tired of reporting the same device over and over again. THE NOKIA LUMIA 1020!, The Nokia Lumia 1020, the nokia lumia 1020,..........the 1020 from nokia. just saying would get boring after a while.

41. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

1520 is very good too

8. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

this is iphone 6 vs note 4

16. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

+1 bingo !!

9. yahia_malka

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Camera 1

11. Bogdan86

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

i vote Camera 2, good colors, a a lot of details, low noise. i bet that it's either NOTE4 or S5. and the first one i think it is NEXUS 6.

12. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/articles/152344-thumb/pano3.png camera 2 have oversaturation colors also blue instead gray.

14. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Is it so F----NG hard to do a blind camera test where you add smartphones and A F----NG DSLR as a reference point? You really seem to be bunch of noobs there PA as much as I like reading your news.

15. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

camera number 1

19. Daytonadave17

Posts: 54; Member since: Oct 26, 2013

Both suck! Lumia 1520 ;-)

20. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Camera 2 consistently had less noise, so that's my pick...

21. jimjam unregistered

camera 3

22. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Wrong question. Shouldn't be: "WHICH DEVICE'S CAMERA DID BETTER?" It should be: "WHICH JPEG ENGINE PERFORMED WORSE?" Clear answer is: JPEG ENGINE 1.

23. Supraman21

Posts: 467; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

I bet the one on the left is the LG G3. I can spot the muddyness from miles away

24. zig8100

Posts: 243; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

I never understood adjusting the better camera down megapixels. Thats not fair.

36. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

it's not fair for the camera with the lower MP count. it's actually benefitting the hgiher resolution camera because downscaling it means making it sharper and removing the noise.

25. Hamid.Z

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

The color was better for camera one in some shots but as an overall camera I'd have camera two because of better sharpness and overall presentation and composition of the image :)

26. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Camera 2 is ahead better. I guess Camera 2 is Note 4. Camera 1 possible is Sony Xperia Z3 as I find the process algorithm looks like Sony style.

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