In the supermarket: Nokia Lumia 930, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy K Zoom
I do hope you like supermarkets... Today I wanted some constant light, much detail and many colours. So why not bring four smartphone cameras to the supermarket? Light circumstances here are average - not very good as in the bright sunlight I love so much, not too dark which makes it quite hard to capture good shots anyway. I asked Samsung for another trial period with the Galaxy S5 to compare it to both the K Zoom and LG's G3.
I brought the Lumia 930 since it has a comparable sensor size. I've already shown numerous times the Lumia 1020 and 808 PureView are in a league of their own so I left those at home for once. You'll see a selection of the four scenes I captured - resized to 640 x 360 pixels to fit this post - and several crops. It's just too much to share it all in one post, so I'll just share a selection of the most revealing results and leave the other shots for you to compare on Flickr, as you are used to.
This is not about esthetics (as in: I didn't try to find a great scene to compare) but simply about imaging quality. All devices are on auto settings. Personally, I'm looking forward to the differences between the three Android devices - and to compare those to the Nokia Lumia 930, which is building quite a reputation for itself already (together with the Icon, of course). In case you don't know how I work: I make several shots from each scene with every device.
You really need to in general I noticed, differences may be very big for whatever reason. Especially with the Android devices you should make at least two or three shots per scene (they're fast enough anyway) to be sure you'll capture a shot that pleases you most. From each series of shots, I select the best. I resize them and I make comparable crops. Only when I start writing my post, I start comparing. And that's exactly what I'm going to do now, knowing that you're reading this and you're exactly as curious as I am. Here we go :-)
I'll start every scene with the resized 5MP result coming from the Lumia 930. Not just because it's most likely to give you the sharpest result, but also because I won't include it in the crops. Let's start with this one.
Since The Netherlands have a somewhat confusing colonial history, you'll find spiceries like these in just about any supermarket. I chose to crop part of this shot slightly above the center. Below, you'll see the results coming from the LG G3 (10MP), Samsung Galaxy K Zoom (15.1MP) and Galaxy S5 (16MP).
What can I say. The result coming from the Galaxy K Zoom lacks some contrast once again. Its result is a bit "hazy" in comparison. The crop from the LG G3 doesn't come as close since it's coming from "only" 10MP. Galaxy S5 has the largest pixel count with 16MP (in 16:9 even), but (I think) you can clearly see details coming from the Galaxy K Zoom are better, less oversharpened. So although it lacks contrast, I do prefer the result coming from the K Zoom. In case you wonder what the Nokia Lumia 930 captured in 16MP, here it is - maybe a bit "dull" in its colors, other than that a very natural image. Although I do admit I think I prefer the crop coming from the K Zoom this time.
Not to make up for this though, I noticed something else. Bigs, one of the PureViewClub friends I've come to know over the years, always has shared his interest in the corners of the shots. I have to admit I never really cared as much about them - I usually focus in the center of a shot (unless I'd like to achieve some kind of bokeh effect of course). But in this case, I noticed a remarkable difference. It's hard to compare - the far left upper side of the shot is hardly ever the same due to focal length and sensor size etc. But you will be able to notice the difference in quality anyway. From this first scene, I'll give you the difference between the Galaxy K Zoom (first) and the Lumia 930 - 15.1MP vs. 16MP - but it's not about the sensor size this time, it's about the lens.
No more questions, you honour - the Lumia 930 wins this comparison by a mile or more. How is the Galaxy S5 doing in this respect? Different focal length, but you can still see details are in fact better in the left hand top corner... I have to admit this comes as somewhat of a shock to me, and it's something we'll see more in this post I'm afraid... Let's go nuts in the next scene. Again, this is the resized 5MP result from the Lumia 930. And here are the crops from somewhat below the center. LG G3 (10MP) Nokia Lumia 930 (16MP) Samsung Galaxy K Zoom (15.1MP) Samsung Galaxy S5 (16MP) No doubt in my mind the cleanest crop comes from the Lumia 930 this time. And although very noisy, I think I'd choose the K zoom as second once again. What about the crops from the left to corner though? The crop coming from the Galaxy K Zoom is a bit of a disaster compared with the Lumia 930...
I simply can't share all the crops here, if you want to, you can see all the details in the original shots I shared on Flickr. I have two more supermarket scenes to share, so I'll give them to you right away. They're both colorful bottles - first with shampoo, second with wine (my life in the morning and in the evening so to say :-) Again, these are the resized versions of the 5MP results coming from the Lumia 930. Okay, let's have a look at the crops. Lumia 930 first. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom has a lot more noise and chose quite a different color... The Galaxy S5 gives the right color, better contrast but noticable oversharpening. And since you want to see what the LG G3's came up with in its 10MP capture of the same scene...
It might look "sharper" to you, but that's also because the sensor size is much smaller (you get more in the 640 x 360 crop, etc.). It's not a bad result though, and it looks like the Galaxy K Zoom is the most disappointing here - especially the colors are way off this time. What about corner softness? I'll share the Galaxy K Zoom first, followed by the Lumia 930. Well, that's not very comforting either, is it? Last crops I'm going to share here are from the bottles. LG G3 first. I'll show you how an image may appear sharper thanks to a smaller sensor size: this is the 5MP PureView result from the Lumia 930. Next crop comes from the Galaxy K Zoom (15.1MP) followed by the Galaxy S5 (16MP). Again you see the lack of contrast in the K Zoom really is something Samsung should look into, since I think it's something that can - and should - be fixed. The Galaxy S5 is doing one hell of a job here. But what does the Lumia 930 give me in comparison?
The difference between the S5 and Lumia 930 is mainly in the colour - and less oversharpening in the latter. Now since I brought up "corner softness" in this comparison, I can't escape from sharing those results here, too. Again, you'll see the K Zoom first, followed by the Lumia 930. And in this case of wine (pun intended), I think it's interesting to see the difference between the LG G3 (first) and the Galaxy S5 (second) as well.
Although it's not really fair to compare these results (you'll get a hell of a lot closer in the shot when you compare 10MP or 16MP!), I think LG's G3 is doing remarkably well here. Now I know some readers think we've gone mad, pixel peeping like this. It's the old argument you're not going to print your shots on posters anyway. But that's not true as I've written before, and also I've recently experienced another reason for the importance of high resolutions.
I've been promoting my own little store for a while now (to no avail I might add), and in order for this publisher to be able to print a decent result, the shortest side of a photo has to be 2500 pixels minimum. I'm very sorry I deleted some of my RAW files (taking too much space on my harddisk), since I can't upload the 5MP results I got... My conclusion after these supermarket shots? I think Nokia still wins with the Lumia 930. Competition is closing in though. Samsung should really work on the contrast of the Galaxy K Zoom, and its corner softness proves to be a serious issue.
The Galaxy S5 isn't doing bad at all, but shows some serious signs of oversharpening. As does the LG G3, but it's not as noticable thanks to the smaller sensor. I hope it goes without saying that I didn't include the power of the Galaxy K Zoom's optical zoom in this comparison. I'm sure some of my PureViewClub friends like Bigs can give you even more detailed insight, based on all the shots you can see for yourself as well in another dedicated album on Flickr.