It’s a pale Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco and I’m outward dodging raindrops to support a design of a Ferry Building time tower. we snap a print with aand afterwards — a few soppy moments after — one with a .
A discerning demeanour during a Pixel 2’s print shows a detail, contrariety and glorious energetic operation I’ve come to design from that phone. When we perspective a Galaxy S9 picture, it’s crisp, splendid and has rebate design sound in a shadows and clouds. And man, oh male does that Galaxy S9 shade unequivocally make a print pop.
This rainy-day unfolding was mystic of my altogether camera knowledge with a Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9. Both single-rear camera phones emanate illusory photos. Theto do so, while a Galaxy S9 uses estimate and a .
There’s no TKO leader in this camera comparison. Instead, we come divided with an appreciation of a opposite approaches any phone takes. It’s a bit like comparing a two-seat automobile sports automobile with a wholly optioned SUV. Both are fun to expostulate though designed to accomplish opposite things.
In bland situations underneath good splendid lighting both cameras excel. But any phone has a opposite goal. The Galaxy S9 is all about brightness. When we perspective Galaxy S9 cinema on a pleasing display, photos demeanour well-exposed; however, off of a phone — like on my mechanism — those same cinema demeanour overexposed. In reality, if we have a Galaxy S9, you’ll mostly expected perspective your photos on a phone.
On a other hand, Google is all about pulling a energetic operation and contrariety of a Pixel 2 photos. In many situations, this is welcome. But infrequently it unequivocally underexposes a print in sequence to strengthen highlights from floating out.
Take a demeanour during a cinema next that we took off some carrots during a farmers market.
The design from a Pixel 2 looks darker though keeps a highlights on a carrots underneath control. The Galaxy S9 print looks brighter.
The Pixel 2’s white change skews cinema toward a green/blue stain (great for landscapes) while cinema from a Galaxy S9 are warmer with a slight magenta stain (great for skin tones). In a cinema of a Transamerica Pyramid above, a Pixel 2 nails a building’s colors, while a Galaxy S9 creates them demeanour artificially warm.
Variable orifice thrives in low light
The Pixel 2, like scarcely any other phone, has a bound orifice so it controls bearing by adjusting a camera sensor’s light attraction (ISO) and by changing a shiver speed (how prolonged a sensor is unprotected to light). The Galaxy S9 has a third approach to control exposure: Aperture.
It can change between twin apertures: f/2.4 and f/1.5. Check out this story for a some-more in-depth reason on.
While there’s been a lot of hullabaloo about non-static aperture, something that is ignored is that during f/1.5, a Galaxy S9 has a widest orifice ever seen on a phone. It has a ability to accumulate a absurd volume of light, that in spin means rebate sound (those becloud grainy bits) and rebate faith on sound rebate — some phones’ sound rebate can make your photos demeanour like a courtroom sketch.
By default, a Galaxy S9’s orifice is f/2.4, that ensures pointy images with rebate lens exaggeration around a edges. A lens’ sharpest mark is a middle, while a edges tend to be a softest. At a narrower orifice like f/2.4, a orifice blades form a ring restraint a outdoor corner of a lens.
When it’s dark, a Galaxy S9 opens automatically to a wider orifice f/1.5 to let in some-more light. Dual orifice on a phone is kind of like carrying your cake and eating it, too.
The Pixel 2’s f/1.8 bound orifice can’t adjust to opposite situations.
Above are cinema of a building in Nob Hill before sunrise. The print from a Pixel 2 has a garland of sound in a clouds and in a hardness of a building. The Galaxy S9 shot, is giveaway of noise. It’s conspicuous saying a print this purify taken with a phone camera.
Does this meant a Galaxy S9 is a low-light king? Yes. And no. While a images no doubt demeanour brighter and have rebate sound than any phone I’ve tested, a Pixel 2 rubbed high-contrast low-light situations better.
Take a demeanour during a cinema above taken inside a Zeitgeist bar in a Mission. You can’t see any sound in a Galaxy S9, though a highlights are blown on a menu house and there’s suit fuzz from people moving. This shot had a prolonged shiver speed, that is peculiar since a orifice is so wide.
In a Pixel 2 print we can indeed review what’s on a menu since of a approach a phone.
Indoor lighting: Dark though not too dark
In medium-light situations like indoors, a Galaxy S9 yielded improved results, while a Pixel 2 tended to underexpose photos.
Above are twin photos of a cappuccino we took inside Four Barrel Coffee. The Galaxy S9 nails a exposure. Look during all a textures it prisoner from a woodgrain of a list to a small froth in a cappuccino foam. In box you’re wondering, a Galaxy S9 kept a orifice during f/2.4 instead of opening a lens far-reaching open.
The Pixel 2 stable a highlights in a froth though underexposed a print to do so.
Both phones offer mural mode, that separates a chairman in a forehead while artistically blurring a background. It’s suggestive of a photos taken with a DSLR and a discerning lens.
The mode on a Galaxy S9 is called “Selective Focus” and opposite from a “Live Focus” chronicle found on a Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 8. Live Focus uses a twin back cameras to take mural photos. Selective Focus uses a singular back camera.
The Pixel 2 constructed mural mode photos that were comprehensive stunners. The Galaxy S9 took mural shots that were somewhat some-more natural-looking and softer on details. Many times, these shots had unsuitable blurring. For example, a right shoulder was blurred, though a left one was in focus.
When we showed mural mode shots to people who were a subjects, they elite a ones from a Pixel 2 observant a improved fact and sharpness prisoner in a face.
Both a Pixel 2 and a Galaxy S9 are singular back camera phones and rest wholly on digital wizz to get closer to your subject. Thethat gives we a choice of 2x visual zoom.
Above are photos of Coit Tower that we took with any phone zoomed in all a way. Neither print looks that amazing, though a Pixel 2 shot looks improved to my eyes. It unequivocally straddles a line between looking like a print and looking like a painting. The Galaxy S9 design is ridiculously oversharpened.
The Pixel 2 perceived a.
When it comes to video, design peculiarity from a Pixel 2 is good, though we unequivocally like a punchy jam-packed demeanour a Galaxy S9 captures. There’s usually a bit some-more tone and sum don’t get mislaid in a shadows like they do on a Pixel 2.
Be certain to take a demeanour during a trustworthy video to see a garland of comparisons including delayed motion, super-slow mo, stabilization and selfie videos.
The Galaxy S9 has digital design stabilization for video and it’s graceful good. The Pixel 2 uses “fusion stabilization” —— and it is still a best found on any phone. Footage filmed with a Pixel 2 looks like it’s on a gimbal.
I should note that a non-static orifice on a Galaxy S9 works for videos, too. You can even use Pro mode to change a orifice to f/1.5 for a somewhat shallower abyss of field.
Slow suit vs. Super Slow-Mo
Super Slow-Mo on a Galaxy S9 is bonkers pleasing — generally when noticed on a S9’s display. It films 960 frames per second (fps) during 720p resolution. In other words, it’s not sharp, but is approach some-more thespian than “normal” delayed mo. The Pixel 2 doesn’t offer anything like this.
Super Slow-Mo mode works good for actions that are ridiculously discerning like: Striking a match, a balloon popping or someone jumping into a pool. When we press record in Super Slow-Mo mode, it annals during 30 fps and picks moments to record during 960 fps. It competence sound involved, though after we try it a few times, it will positively make sense.
The Galaxy S9 has a nifty automobile constraint trigger to establish when to record those 0.2-second moments. we got good formula with a automobile trigger, though we should note that a reviewer did not and recommends manually triggering Super Slow-Mo capture.
As cold as Super Slow-Mo is, a genuine slow-mo lead is buried. The Galaxy S9 offers a “regular” Slow Motion mode that annals footage in 1,080p during 240 fps. This is a initial for any Samsung phone and improved matched for capturing longer clips. The aloft fortitude creates footage demeanour positively great. Slow Motion can be enabled in a settings of a Galaxy S9 camera app.
Pixel 2 can film slow-motion videos during 240 fps in 720p or 120 fps in 1,080p resolution. When it comes to slow-motion video, we wish a high support rate and high resolution. And that’s because during a Galaxy S9’s 240 fps in 1,080p slow-motion video looks improved than a Pixel 2. You get both thespian transformation and a crook image.
Check out a “Wes Anderson-inspired” slow-motion shave we posted to Twitter below. It was shot with a Galaxy S9 during 240 fps in 1,080p.
Both phones take mural mode selfies. we posted photos we took with any phone unlabeled to Instagram and asked people to collect a shot they preferred.
Overwhelmingly, a Pixel 2 mural selfie was a winner. Friends cited a photo’s clarity and sharpness as a categorical reason for their choice. Friends who favourite a Galaxy S9 selfie mural pronounced that a softer demeanour was some-more flattering.
I have to agree. we positively adore mural mode selfies from a Pixel 2.
Camera app features
The biggest differences between a phones are a camera app’s user interface. The Pixel 2’s camera app is simple. Features like Portrait Mode and Slow Motion are accessed around a menu; however, a phone foregoes a local time relapse mode. we realize, we can download an app that accomplishes this, though I’d adore to see how a Pixel 2 renders a time-lapse done from a pleasing minute photos.
The Galaxy S9’s camera app has so many modes that it could be featured on an part of Hoarders. Luckily, we can conduct that ones are active around a settings.
The many absolute mode on a S9 is Pro mode, that lets we save cinema as RAW files and gives we discerning entrance to countless controls: focus, aperture, shiver speed, ISO, white change and light metering — a final being a many useful. When a Galaxy S9 is in Auto mode it uses usually a core of a support to establish exposure. In pro mode, we can switch to pattern metering, that uses several tools of a support to get a scold bearing so we don’t finish adult with a print that’s too splendid or too dark.
The best camera
So that one is a best camera? Honestly, this is a terrible question. I’d be happy to have possibly phone in my pocket. But some-more mostly than not, we grabbed a Pixel 2 over a Galaxy S9 to take a discerning photo. we am smitten with a energetic operation that a Pixel 2 offers and a elementary interface minimizes fumbling to get a settings we need. If usually a Pixel 2 had that Galaxy S9 display!