iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs DSLR blind camera comparison: you choose the best camera

Voting is now closed, and the results are below. 

Basic point-and-shoot cameras are on their way to extinction, and there's no denying that smartphones should take the blame. Smartphone cameras are easy to use, capable of producing great images, and most importantly, they're always available when we need them. But can a smartphone take photos as well as a proper DSLR camera? That's what we're here to find out. 

For our latest blind camera comparison, we've gathered two of the top cameraphones out there, namely the iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. They'll be racing against a Canon EOS 650D, which is an entry-level DSLR with an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 22.3 by 14.9 millimeters. As for the samples you're about to see below, they've been taken using the phones' automatic settings. The DSLR camera was in its fully automatic mode, shooting RAW images which we then converted into JPEG with as little post-processing as possible. 

As usual, all high-resolution images have been downscaled and cropped to an identical size – this makes it impossible to guess a device by the size of its photo. Also, note that the order of the images within scenes is totally random. In other words, the first device in scene 1 may have not ended up in first position in the next scene – another way of spicing things up a bit.

Now feel free to take a good look at all images and cast your votes below! The winning device will be announced in a few days. 

Scene 1

Those of you who have kids surely know what it is to have stuffed animals, toy trucks, and building blocks scattered all over the house. Anyway, here's a shot demonstrating how the three cameras capture colorful scenes – whether they boost saturation or keep its level rather neutral. Daylight was coming through the windows behind the photographer. 

Scene 1: Which photo do you like best?

Canon EOS 650D (Photo A)
iPhone 6 Plus (Photo B)
Galaxy Note 4 (Photo C)

Scene 2

The cloudy weather wasn't helping us much when taking this image, but nevertheless, we managed to get a nice shot from all three cameras. The university's façade is nicely decorated, which lets us explore how well the three cameras deal with fine details. (And yes, that's a statue of a nude lady up there.)

Scene 2: Which photo do you like best?

iPhone 6 Plus (Photo D)
Canon EOS 650D (Photo E)
Galaxy Note 4 (Photo F)

Scene 3

And here's a close-up of... we aren't sure what these are, but we don't think they're safe to eat. Anyway, this scene demonstrates the depth of field effect created by cameras. Intricate details are also present. The photo was taken on an overcast afternoon, hence the lack of color vividness and vibrancy in the images.

Scene 3: Which photo do you like best?

Galaxy Note 4 (Photo G)
Canon EOS 650D (Photo H)
iPhone 6 Plus (Photo I)

Scene 4

Several minutes later, we captured this image in the park. The sun's rays were still barely piercing the dense layer of clouds in the sky. 

Scene 4: Which photo do you like best?

Galaxy Note 4 (Photo J)
iPhone 6 Plus (Photo K)
Canon EOS 650D (Photo L)

Scene 5

Later that afternoon, we came across this scene and thought we'd take a shot. It turns out that the image is great for judging how well details are preserved by each camera. (In case you're wondering, these are the remains of an ancient public baths complex, built by the Roman empire.) 

Scene 5: Which photo do you like best?

Canon EOS 650D (Photo M)
iPhone 6 Plus (Photo N)
Galaxy Note 4 (Photo O)

Scene 6

And lastly, here's a night photo – the kind of scene that's a challenge for any camera. No flash was used, and we relied solely on the cameras' software to pick the right settings. The Note 4 automatically detected a night scene, while the camera's flash was manually disabled.

Scene 6: Which photo do you like best?

Galaxy Note 4 (Photo P)
Canon EOS 650D (Photo Q)
iPhone 6 Plus (Photo R)

Related phones

iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

lol....DSLR is so easy to spot......

7. LessThanDoug

Posts: 54; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Note 4 was even easier to spot.

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

All quite easy to spot IMO 6+ has low details, a more yellow tone and more noisy in low light Note has extra contrast and dimmer in low light Then the DSLR has the most detail least noise in low light

69. FlyingDutch

Posts: 97; Member since: Jan 30, 2015

Note4 is easy to spot unnatural = Sammy

73. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Same can be said for Apple Sammy = extra contrast Apple = extra warm white balance/yellow tone

106. ithehappy

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

Look who's talking! ROFL.

107. ithehappy

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

DSLR should have been used with Automatic JPEG mode, not RAW.

108. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Or get an pro photographer to use RAW And get the photographer to try use Lightroom (or whatever program he/she prefers) to best replicate the scene

111. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I shoot 100% in RAW mode, and have done so for the past 5 years. I'm picky, and spend the time post processing. I started out shooting Raw+jpeg, but stopped because the camera post processing didn't impress me. The only drawback is if I shoot a couple hundred photos, it takes a while to finish them.

82. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

IPhone was easy to spot Low detail and yellow tint =Apple

85. gehena1315

Posts: 54; Member since: Jun 12, 2013

Yet it's destroyed the ip+ in the last blind test. I bet you, yourself voted for the Note 4! Hahaha

28. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I must admit that I have a DSLR but my cell phone camera is ancient and terrible, so I've not been spoiled on a phone that can take a photo like any of these. I don't know what they did in terms of manual control for these shots or were these all done in full auto? Even so, for the large scenes with a DSLR the focus is critical. I have a feeling that people, myself included, are placing too much on the zoomed in shots and details rather than looking at the picture as a whole. For the low light shot one of these had little exposure but probably produced the most realistic result as the other two were clearly over-exposed. I voted for the one with the best details in the zoomed in photo, and seeing the results people also chose the shots with more shutter open time, but was that the most realistic view of the way you see the world through your own eyes? I've a feeling the note 4 may win this, a lot of the voting is based on details in scenes (zoomed in shots) with quite a bit of depth and there's little telling how the photogropher used the DSLR to capture the portion of the image shown for the zooms.

38. ingloryon

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

So easy and you guys preferred on every scenes the processed n4 and 6+ images 6+ winning on scenes 1, 3, 6 n4 winning on scenes 2, 4, 5 that's sad.

116. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014


124. Joblowcheesehead

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

you do mean n4 won all but one right?.....atleast thats what i saw

20. maherk

Posts: 7056; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Actually the iPhone 6+'s was the easiest. Low details=iPhone 6+

27. Kumar123 unregistered

PA should have specifically mentioned which photo is the DSLR photo so that we don't have play the guess game which one is the DSLR ( I know a lot you guys guessed it right which one is which but still i don't think it's the right way to use DSLR photo in this comparison). They should use DSLR as the reference point for the comparison between two phones. Because PA didn't specifically tell us which one is DSLR photo we have no idea about which photo represent the correct/best color. I think next time they should Use the DSLR photo as a reference photo, not as a competitor of the phones camera.

41. ingloryon

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Who told you that DSLR has the best color? If the photographer picks wrong white balance, the photo gets wrong color as well. Also, that's not about who got it right. That's about who got it better. And that's subjective. Pick your favorite and that's it.

96. ady_lad

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

Yes, but that's why you got RAW in a DSLR camera...you can change the white balance and loads of other settings matey...And if you have an SLT you can see on the live view what photo you are going to take with the settings already adjusted.

91. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

No offense, but If you can't almost instantly tell which is the DSLR then you may be due for an opthamalogist appt.

21. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I AGREE.. PA should not include the DSLR on the choices instead they use it as reference to compare with ip6+ and note 4 pic quality...

26. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Or at least let us pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd

42. ingloryon

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Do the comparison after the result and be happy.

36. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Actually, I bet you most people are mistaking the sharpest photos for the dSLR shots. Which is unfortunate, as it seems PA doesn't quite know how to focus a dSLR.

44. ingloryon

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Maybe it's not about where the focus are. The thing is the DSLR has almost no processing. note4 has a very capable camera, but it does not have more detail... it has more digital sharpening.

45. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Actually the DSLR photos seem to be well focused. A DSLR's default sharpening is usually fairly conservative due to the thinking that application of an unsharp mask is usually best handled in post processing. IOW the detail is there, and a little touch-up in Photoshop (or similar tool) will do wonders. On the oitehr end of the spectrum, Sammy seems to be overdoing it in the sharpening department.

88. FlyingDutch

Posts: 97; Member since: Jan 30, 2015

Sammy's usual, overly sharpened images are beyond repair.

53. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The iPhone 6+ will come in last because of details, the DSLR will be the most detailed, leaving the Note 4 nicely in the middle, way ahead of the iPhone 6+.

86. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Pretty much. While the DSLR should be the easy one to pick out, the Note 4's camera was never far behind at all. The only one that was extremely off the other 2 is the iphone's camera

56. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

My comments: A had best details, etc not sure why B is winning out, I bet that is probably the Iphone. F is the best, no contest, same with G and O. J was better overall but K did have better trees. Last set was tough but I went with R, it had the most natural color and lighting, even if it was a bit darker.

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