Camera comparison: Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G2, HTC One (M8), iPhone 5s
The results in this category can hardly surprise us. As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S5 wins the panorama round with its outstanding panoramic images. Its panoramas are not only well stitched, but also highly detailed, with a total resolution exceeding 50 megapixels. The iPhone 5s is the only phone that comes close in panorama quality to the Galaxy S5. Apple's smartphone takes detailed and gap-free panoramas, but with a lower resolution of around 20 megapixels.
The HTC One M8 snaps panoramas of about 13 megapixels, and the results are satisfactory. Some stitching errors can be seen here and there, but overall, its panoramas turn out pretty decent. We wish we could say the same about the Z2's panoramas, however. Its images lack detail and contain way too much “accordion” glitching, which makes them unacceptable. And lastly, there's the LG G2. Its panoramas suffer from a serious detail deficiency and just aren't pretty.
All of these five phones have the option to take HDR photos – composite images in which details in darkest an lightest areas are boosted. Some, however, are better than others at this. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of our favorites. Turning its HDR mode on improves details in shaded areas dramatically, although the image looks slightly unnatural with the mode on. The iPhone 5s has much less aggressive HDR algorithms, and the result is an HDR image that's a lot more true to life.
Next in the ranking stands the HTC One (M8). Its HDR photos look not quite realistic, but darker and lighter areas turn out much clearer. Then there's the LG G2. The HDR photos from it have a realistic appearance despite the color inaccuracies that may result from the mode's use.
Trailing behind the pack is the Sony Xperia Z2. Surprisingly, its HDR photos don't look like like such at all. They exhibit a drastic loss in contrast, and we can't see much of an improvement in the way the light and dark zones of the image look.