The pixel 4a has a few camera tricks up its sleeve to take on the iPhone.
So let's see how the cameras compare on two of the biggest budget phones.
Both of these phones have Single rear camera that's the pixel for a cost $50 less than the iPhone SE in the US.
So let's see some photos and videos first and then we'll come back and talk about the differences in camera hardware.
I took a lot of landscapes for this comparison and I have to say I was expecting there to be a big difference between the two phones.
But as you can see, for many of these photos, they're really hard to tell apart.
The iPhones' colors are a tiny bit more saturated on some outdoor photos in bright sunlight.
On this same with the windmill, the photos are so similar.
But to me, it looks like the iPhone has a tiny bit more contrast.
And if you push in a little bit, it's still hard to tell a difference.
But the pixel is overall a little sharp on the windmill itself, but more noisy in the shadow areas like here on the tree.
This shot of the flower mural, I can hardly see any difference at all unless I'm really nitpicking the Pixel is maybe a third of a stop underexposed, if that compared to the iPhone.
Both phones do a really good job of evening out the shadow and highlight detail in the HDR mode so nothing looks blown out, but I think the pixel takes a slight edge here as the effects looks a bit more pleasing.
The pixel also has the option to adjust the HDR by tapping on the image when you're in the regular camera mode.
And then adjusting these sliders for the highlight and shadow details so you can tweak it as you like and then snap the image.
But it does take longer to render the HDR effect on the pixel than it does on the iPhone which is almost instantaneous.
For this food shot with natural diffuse lighting, the biggest difference I can see is the saturation level, so the iPhone looks a bit more vibrant like we've seen in some of the other shots.
When you push in a bit closer to look at the detail, I cannot separate them.
Moving to portrait mode on the rear camera, the pixel pushes in quite a bit so you have to take a few steps back to get the same wide view as the iPhone.
Or take a few steps in with the iPhone to get the same view as the pixel.
But if you do that facial features can look a bit more distorted.
First shot without too much going on in the background edge detection works pretty well on both and I think the blur looks natural.
With more of a busy background the phones start to struggle getting the blue right But overall to my eye the pixel just takes this one because of a smooth transition between the subject and the background.
The white balance is a little more true to life on the pixel, but the iPhones colors look punchy and vibrant.
On the iPhone, you can also adjust the virtual aperture before or after taking the photos whereas on the pixel, you can only adjust after the fact.
And you could also add different lighting effects on the iPhone like studio or stage lighting to enhance the shot.
But the iPhone contact portrait my photos of anything other than people so if you try to snap flowers or any other object it will just say no person detected on the screen.
The pixel on the other hand takes portrait mode photos of pretty much anything.
For the front camera, the pixels lens has a wider field of view.
So I found that my facial features looked a little distorted for selfies, and it's a fixed focus lens.
So sometimes if you don't get the angle or the distance between you and the lens just right, you can end up being a bit softer and out of focus.
Like always voters it's about personal preference, so I prefer how I look on the iPhone compared to the pixel, which has a bit more contrast overall, thanks to their single lens.
Neither of these phones have optical zoom, but the pixel has super resume that merges frames together to create a more detailed image.
The iPhone has plain old digital zoom.
So here's a shot from both of the phones at two times.
And here is one at five times, which is the maximum reach of the iPhone.
It's actually not too bad on either of them.
But I would say the pixel definitely takes the edge on detail.
And you can push out all the way to seven times on the pixel.
But yeah, it does not look great when you get that close.
The pixel has always excelled at low light photography and it's safe to say the four a continues that tradition.
night mode on the default camera app means that low light shots look clearer and brighter than those on the iPhone SE which doesn't have a night mode on the default camera.
Just take a look at the difference that it makes in these shots.
It's really night and day.
The full a also has an Astro photography mode just like the original pixel for now this is one of those features that I really don't find myself using much at all but I love that it's there.
And when you do use it, it produces some really nice looking photos.
Now we've seen what each of the phones can do for photos, let's talk video.
Now both shoot at 4k but the iPhone goes to 60 frames a second while the pixel is at 30.
And while it might not make a huge difference on paper, in practice, I think the iPhone looks better.
The image is a bit sharper overall and colours are more true to life compared to the pixel.
I also found that iPhone shifts exposure more fluidly so there wasn't a huge jump when I was going between light and dark areas.
Stabilization on both phones is pretty good, but I do think the iPhone displays slightly less of that jello effect which is often the result of electronic image stabilization like used on the pixel.
Okay, now it's time for some videos from the front facing cameras on the SA and the pixel for A. I'm holding them about the same length from my face.
The Pixel 4A does crop in a little bit more onto the image just for you to take a look at how it deals with me hand holding.
And also to see the background if anything is blown out.
See how they do with dynamic range from the front camera when it comes to video.
And also the audio so as I'm talking, we'll switch back and forth between the audio tracks so you can take a listen.
See which one sounds better.
And I'm also gonna do a little bit of a walk so you can see stabilization as I'm moving, rather than just standing still.
So holding your phone and steady as you walk, is a real talent and a great skill and I admire anyone who can do it well.
So let's take a look and see what the stabilization looks like.
As I am walking and talking and as I try not to trip over the plants in the garden [LAUGH].
Alright, let's look at the camera specs.
The Pixel 4A has a 12.2 megapixel rear camera at F/1.7 with optical and electronic image stabilization The front camera is eight mega pixels at F2 and it's fixed focus.
The iPhone has a 12 megapixel rear camera at F 1.8 with optical image stabilization while the front camera is seven mega pixels at F 2.2.
Now if for some other bits and pieces about these cameras that you might value, if you want role capture as well as jpeg, you'll get that on the pixel just go into the settings and toggle it on Now you can shoot RAW on the iPhone, but you do need a third party app.
And the pixel has a beauty mode to soften or retouch your skin.
And there's also a pretty useful electronic level that can show you if you're not holding the phone straight.
Alright, you've watched the video.
Now you have to decide which one of these phones wins the comparison for you.
So the usual disclaimer is, of course, this all comes down to personal preference and the screen you view it on does make a difference.
So I've been comparing phones for a while in terms of the cameras and I have to say the results of this comparison for me have not really presented any surprises.
Both are excellent at what they do and considering that they first cost less than $400 in the US for the base models.
You're getting an incredible camera for your money.
Now that said, I think the pixel just takes the edge when it comes to still images.
Overall, I was just really pleased with the consistency of the images and especially night mode.
It does a really good job.
Unfortunately the SE does not have nightmares built in If it did, I think there would be absolutely neck and neck when it comes to still images.
I do prefer the selfie and the front facing camera on the iPhone.
I think it looks a little bit more flattering.
When it comes to video art.
It's the complete opposite.
The images look sharp details.
The audio is good and the stabilization is excellent.
Select, so if video is a priority for years, and the iPhone is a stronger performer, but as I said, both of these phones have incredibly capable cameras, and you're really not gonna be disappointed in either
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