Short comparison: Autumn leaves in the early morning sun

In this post you'll find just a short comparison with four shots: autumn leaves in the early morning sun, captured with the Nokia Lumia 1020, Galaxy Note 4, Sony Xperia Z3 and the new Honor 6, a a "sub brand" smartphone from Huawei, running on Android and by far the cheapest device in this test.

It was on my way to work that I noticed the sun playing with these leaves and I couldn't resist getting of my bike and capturing them. I tried to make as similar shots as possible, but that's not really easy since it's hard to find something to focus one - it's all leaves, after all. But I think I managed to get a few comparable shots from medium close distance, so I guess it's interesting to see how the new Galaxy Note 4, Sony Xperia Z3 and Honor 6 perform against the already much older Nokia Lumia 1020 and its 41MP sensor. Like I said, the Honor 6 is the cheapest device (around €300) and I'm just testing it these days to see what you can expect from a camera (we've seen cheaper devices surprise us before).

I resized the shots first and I will share them all to give you an impression of the different colours and light (all settings are on auto). Again, I'll start sharing them in the order of their resolution, starting with the Nokia Lumia 1020 (5MP)

Sony Xperia Z3 (8MP)

Honor 6 (9.7MP)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (15.9MP)

I won't add the high-res from the Lumia 1020 in a resized version (that would be useless). What can we conclude from these resized shots? Well, first the focal length of the Sony Xperia Z3 and new Honor 6 smartphone are longer than on the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Galaxy Note 4, which show more of the scene (of course, I didn't move an inch).

I'm surprised to see a slight change in the amount of sunlight in the shot - the more I capture similar shots, the more I feel the light we see is in fact never constant, although we are convinced it is. Nevertheless, I think the shots are quite comparable. What about the colours then? Well, I'm not sure -  memory can be deceiving. I'm sure many will think the result coming from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is most attractive - it's golden and bright. Maybe a bit too bright even, it even looks like I used the flash to get less shade (but I didn't). Update: noticing much brighter shadows in other shots coming from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, I suddenly realized I might have had "HDR on" in these shots. I checked. I did. Excuse me.

Comparing the new Honor 6 with the Sony Xperia Z3, colours of the Z3 are much better, richer, offering more subtle differences. In fact, the X3 colours are quite comparable with the way the Nokia Lumia 1020 captured the scene - a slightly different angle (my bad) and the different focal length are the most important differences in this case. So let's have a look at the crops I made from the center of the shot, where I focused with all cameras.

Crops
Nokia Lumia 1020 (5MP)

Sony Xperia Z3 (8MP)

Honor 6 (9.7MP)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (15.9MP)

Nokia Lumia 1020 (34MP)

Now what suprises me here is that in the crops from the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Galaxy Note 4 I see less detail than in the shot coming from the Lumia 1020 (even the crop from 5MP) and the Honor 6. The results from the Xperia Z3 and Note 4 appear to be "softer" in this case. The Honor 6 and Lumia 1020 show more of the texture of the leaves, although I do get the impression the Honor uses slight over sharpening to achieve this much detail. I would have expected some more detail coming from the Galaxy Note 4 this time. Update: this might have to do with the fact I inadvertedly had HDR on when making these shots with the Galaxy Note 4... :-/

In all, I'm not overwhelmed with what the Honor 6 is showing this first time, but so far, I'm not extremely disappointed either - after all, it is the most affordable of all in this comparison. All devices give a pretty nice, crispy shot - guess the scene isn't that hard to capture. You'll find all originals in a dedicated album on Flickr. Like I wrote, this is just a short comparison. I have a new one coming up with the exact same smartphones though, a few very interesting nightshots I think you are going to like. I hope to publish those soon!