Over the past few weeks, we’ve dedicated a lot of attention to the camera technology found in the G4. And for good reason. Not only does it produce some of the best results we’ve seen in the mobile market, but it challenges the Galaxy S6 for the title as best smartphone shooter ever. Now that we’ve reviewed both devices, we thought it prudent to spend more time discussing the cameras found in the G4 and Galaxy S6, and ultimately determine which one is better.
For this comparison, we put each device through a number of tests, including daylight, low light and indoor performance. We also did a thorough test of each phone’s video capabilities, with considerations for 4K quality, OIS performance, and other fun features, such as slow motion. Basically, everything you’d want to know about how the G4’s camera stacks up to the S6 is included in a single video. So strap in, because this is one dog fight that’s going to get nasty.
The Galaxy S6 sports a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, and it’s easily one of the best shooters on the market. In our review, we noted how clean and colorful the images looked, with great exposure and even tones. But it wasn’t just about the images themselves; the S6’s camera software provided a beautiful and functional experience, making the device not only easy to use, but fun.
The G4, on the other hand, sports a 16-megapixel sensor and f/1.8 lens, which allows more light to come into the sensor. The device also sports improved OIS, a new “color spectrum sensor,” and better auto-focus. Additionally, you can shoot RAW if you like to edit in post, providing as close to an entry-level experience as possible.
While most consumers will take a point-and-shoot approach to their images—that is, they’ll just rely on the camera to focus and expose the images for them—both phones actually offer some really robust manual modes, which extends the capabilities of what these cameras can do.
Auto modes are convenient for situations when you need to quickly snap a photo, like at a birthday party or at the park with your kid. But they don’t always hit the right exposure, and they don’t allow you to use the cameras to their full potential. That’s why manual modes are so important to the overall quality and performance. And the G4 offers one of the more robust manual modes we’ve ever seen.
Whereas the S6 allows you to change focus, ISO, exposure, and white balance, it doesn’t give you any control of the shutter speed, which essentially determines how long the sensor is exposed to light. The G4 offers the same functionality, but it also gives users control over shutter speed, from 1/6000th of a second all the way down to a full 30 seconds. Being able to determine shutter speed might not seem like a big deal, but it actually gives you enormous creative control over how your image turns out. A faster shutter speed will freeze action, while a longer one will let you capture more light, or even cool light trails.
We talk more in-depth about each experience in the video above, so check that out if you’re on the fence about which device to get. Bottom line, you’ll get a solid camera no matter which device you go with. But we had to pick a winner. Do you agree/disagree?