With the iPhone 7 last year, Apple gave the camera setup on its iPhones a huge upgrade. The dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus was also very innovative as Apple managed to offer 2x optical zoom on the handset without making it thick like many other Android smartphones out there.
Considering that the 12MP shooter on the iPhone 6s was barely able to keep up with the competition, the improved camera system on the iPhone 7 was a much-needed move. However, Android OEMs are not sitting still either. Samsung’s just released flagship handsets, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, also come with an impressive 12MP shooter.
On paper, the Galaxy S8’s 12MP shooter does not seem like a big upgrade over that of the Galaxy S7. However, it’s still slightly better than the iPhone 7. But then again, iPhones camera have always been less about their hardware and more about their processing and ISP. So, how does the 12MP shooter of Samsung Galaxy S8 compare to the dual 12MP shooter of the iPhone 7 Plus? Let’s find out in our camera comparison.
Before you jump to our comparison below, remember that the Galaxy S8+ and the S8 have the same camera setup. The iPhone 7 Plus, however, features a dual-camera setup with a secondary telephoto lens while the smaller iPhone 7 only comes with a single camera setup.
iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+ Camera Specs Comparison
|Comparison||Samsung Galaxy S8+||iPhone 7 Plus|
|Resolution||12MP||Primary: 12MP, Secondary: 12MP Telephoto lens|
|OIS||Yes||Only primary 12MP shooter has OIS|
|Focus Type||Dual Pixel||Focus Pixels|
|Aperture Size||f/1.7||Primary: f/1.8, Secondary: f/2.8|
|Flash||CRI LED Flash||Quad-LED Flash|
Macro and Day Light
The comparison photos below clearly show that more than their camera specs, it’s how each phone process a scene that makes the most difference.
P.S.: Hover your mouse on the photos to see the phone from which they were taken. All Galaxy S8 photos are on the left, while the ones from the iPhone 7 Plus are on the right.
While the Galaxy S8’s photo has a slightly warm tint, the iPhone 7 Plus for some reason has oversaturated the colors of the flower a bit too much. This does help highlight the flowers when you first look at the photo but it does not represent the scene accurately. This also makes the photo from the Galaxy S8 look a bit dull.
The bokeh effect on the photo taken from the Galaxy S8+ is also much better than that of the iPhone 7 Plus thanks to its slightly larger sensor and aperture.
Here, it’s the Galaxy S8 which has oversaturated the colors of the flowers and leaves which makes the photo from the iPhone 7 Plus look dull. The latter also failed to focus properly and its exposure is not really on point as well. I took two sample shots from both phones and the results were the same. This shows that the Galaxy S8’s Dual Pixel AF technology is superior to that of Apple’s Focus Pixels. The former is almost instant and has never failed to focus properly for me irrespective of the lighting scenario and situation. The focus system on the iPhone 7 Plus is also extremely reliable, but it does falter every once in a while and is not as fast as Galaxy S8.
Look at the difference in the color of the sky in both photos here. The sky is slightly bluish in the photo taken from the Galaxy S8 and the colors of the trees are boosted which makes the photo taken from the iPhone 7 Plus look dull.
Both phones have captured photos with plenty of details, but there is a huge difference in their color reproduction. This scene also allows the iPhone 7 Plus to flex its muscle and use its secondary telephoto lens to capture the subject closely which thereby allows it to capture more details. The Galaxy S8 does not come with a dual camera setup or offers optical zoom, so it is simply not able to compete with the iPhone 7 Plus here.
The Galaxy S8 is better able to expose the darker parts in the above HDR shot, but the photo from the iPhone 7 Plus is the one that looks more natural.
The iPhone 7 Plus is the clear winner in the above scene. Its photo is clearer and accurately represents the scene, while the Galaxy S8’s shot has turned out to be slightly blurry and looks a bit washed out in comparison.
The Galaxy S8’s photo here might look on the cooler side, but that’s the correct representation of the scene. The iPhone 7 Plus photo is a bit too warm. It does have a slight edge in terms of details captured, but it’s only going to be noticeable when one starts pixel peeping.
In extreme low-light conditions, both phones struggle to capture any meaningful details. However, the Galaxy S8 has a habit of making skies brighter in its photos than what they usually are.
Portrait Mode and Optical Zoom
Apart from the 2x optical zoom, the combination of a telephoto and a wide-angle lens on the iPhone 7 Plus also allows Apple to offer Portrait mode. Under this mode, one can click photos with a DSLR-like bokeh effect i.e. the subject is in sharp focus with the background being blurred beautifully.
Since the Galaxy S8 lacks any secondary telephoto lens, it is simply unable to capture such amazing portrait photos. However, remember that Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus only works when there is plenty of light available, and in some cases, the blur in the photo is not as seamless as the one done by a DSLR.
And the 2x optical zoom, which I mentioned above, might not seem like a big deal but its versatility can only be appreciated when you starting using the iPhone 7 Plus as your primary shooter.
Overall, I’d say the 12MP shooter of the Galaxy S8 is better than the iPhone 7 Plus especially when you factor in the focus speed and time and camera experience. The iPhone’s camera app feels old and clunky when compared to that of the Galaxy S8. Additionally, the lack of any way to quickly launch the camera app by double pressing the volume or home button is also frustrating. However, the secondary telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus does allow one to capture photos that would otherwise have not been possible on the Galaxy S8. The telephoto lens is not going to capture usable photos in low-light, but with plenty of light, it can capture more than usable photos.
What do you think about the camera performance of the iPhone 7 Plus in the above comparison? Drop a comment and let us know!
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