iPhone XS Max vs. Galaxy S10 Plus: The cameras battle it out
Samsung's new S10 Plus has added a third ultra-wide-angle lens to its rear camera, another lens to its front camera, and better software features that could give it an extra edge over the competition.
So can the dual camera on the iPhone XS Max compete against the triple threat on the Galaxy S10 Plus?
That's why we're here on this beautiful San Fransisco day to put these two phones to the test.
The main wide angle and telephoto lenses on the S10+ are similar to its predecessors, with the same variable aperture that helps it adjust to different lighting conditions.
The 10X max has a dual camera setup with a telephoto and a wide angle lens as well but with a fixed aperture.
General shots look stunning on both phones with slight variation in color temperature, contrast and brightness.
Depending on what aperture the 10 Plus was using at the time.
It also depends on whether or not you're taking advantage of some of the new software features.
The Galaxy scene optimizer that you can toggle on from the settings and then just activate from the main screen gives your photo a little added boost.
It can detect what type of shot it's looking at to adjust things like saturation of contrast.
Based on what it thinks would best suit the scene.
You can also get shot suggestions to improve framing and flaw detection which will alert you of things like lens smudges.
For the sake of this comparison, I took most of the shots without any added features to keep things consistent.
So unless I say otherwise, You're looking at it straight from the camera.
For most shots, the better of the two really came down to personal preference.
Take, for example, this one of Mount [UNKNOWN].
I like the cooler, richer tones on the iPhone, but for this shot of the mountains and the desert, I prefer the warmer tones of the Galaxy.
But the S-10 Plus has a third vantage point to choose from that the 10S Max just doesn't, thanks to that super wide angle lens.
Which I didn't think I needed until I tried it and, wow, I definitely changed my tune.
Now this is the type of scene where you would really benefit from that super wide angle lens.
You get a lot more in your shot than just the wide angle and a lot more than what the iPhone 10S Max can get.
Here's a sunset shot of a pool with a regular wide angle lens from the 10S Max.
And here it is with the ultra wide angle lens on the S10 plus.
You just get so much more drama in the sky.
Same goes for video.
I didn't know what I was missing.
You can switch between lens while you're shooting so you can go from this close up of the desert rocks.
To this general shot to this one which almost looks like it was taken from a drown.
Obviously it works especially well when you're shooting landscape.
But there are other incidents where you may just wanna fit more into each shot.
The one downside is that the ultra wide angle lens doesn't have optical image tabulations.
So you want wanna do a lot of tracking shots or night shots with this lens.
That said the main lens on both these cameras takes great quality video.
They both look relatively smooth in this tracking shot.
Even through I was walking very uneven ground.
The iPhone though had some issues locking in the exposure which makes the S10's look slightly more stable.
But the XS Max has a softer slightly more cinematic feel with warmer tones that looks especially good when recording video of people.
Which I actually prefer.
But video on the S10 Plus definitely holds its own.
The S10 also has an option to record in HDR 10 Plus or even better quality video on your phone.
But this feature is still in beta and not a lot of players support it yet, so you probably won't even notice a difference unless you're playing it on an S10.
Both have a slow motion option of 240 frames per second at full HD, but the Galaxy has the super slow motion mode that allows you to shoot video at 960 frames per second, so way slower But at 720 pixels, which is testy at best because it only records a few seconds and you can't edit that later, so you literally have to catch the action right as it's happening, and that's nearly impossible unless you have a staged stunt or something like that.
But when it does get it, it is dramatic.
Both phones can also produce that blurred background effect in portraits.
The iPhone calls it portrait mode.
The Galaxy calls it live focus.
Both of which have been available in previous models.
But unlike its predecessors and the 10S Max for that matter, which use the telephoto lens for these types of photos the S10+ now uses the regular wide angle lens for this effect.
The upside is you're getting more range and flexibility.
You can just fit more you need shot and then just crop it later if you really want that more intimate shot.
The downside is that it doesn't work as well as it did in the telephoto lens, at least in my experience.
I had to re-adjust it a few times to get the alert to pop up.
And it wasn't as accurate at discerning what to blur out in each shot, like this one of my pup.
And sure, the ones in the Galaxy look stunning at first glance because you do get more of that scenery.
But the iPhone is more flattering for portraits.
Because it hones in and brightens up the subject and it's less of a struggle to get the effect to actually work, and if you're dealing with pets and children, time is of the essence.
Both let you adjust the blur before or after you take the shot and have different effects The iPhone is all about changing up the lighting, or the galaxy has this interesting distortions in black and white background options which I really liked.
And both used that telephoto lens for optical zoom, which I have to say looks relatively similar on both.
And then past 2x, they switch to digital zoom, and can get up to 10x, but it looks kinda grainy on both, especially on this shot of the bridge.
Maybe slightly less so on the Galaxy S10?
For actual closeups, I would also go with the Galaxy.
See, because it was able to capture a bit more details in the flowers and you also have a Pro mode option that lets you adjust the focus manually.
The S10 Plus also has the edge when it comes to the front facing camera.
The S10 Plus is the only Galaxy S10 with two cameras on the front.
Now, you'll know when you hit the selfie camera, because it has this cool little light up animation, And you get two lenses, one is a eight megapixel depth camera, and the other one is a ten megapixel selfie camera and both of them have slightly different angles as you can see, but they are both used on the life focus feature to achieve this same effect you can on the real camera.
But for video selfies, you only have the option of using one of those lenses.
The 10XS max can only do one angle for your selfie and relies on that one depth sensing camera.
To create the blurred background effect.
So, it's not as good at figuring out what to blur as seen in the shot of my hair.
Although I think the colors were more true to life than on the galaxy phone.
Same goes for low light and night shots.
The S10 just shines a little bit brighter which means you get more detail that the iPhone just can't pick up on.
The colors don't seem as true to life and have this sort of yellowish afterglow to them.
But for portraits especially I would probably take the better lighting over the true to life tones.
And that's not even using the extra help.
The Galaxy also has its own neck mode, they can help live in a big leap at seeing even more.
The iPhone tennis max puts up a pretty good fight considering its last year's model.
If you want solid camera out of the box, this one made your back, it gets my cries for portraits semantic video and which shots overall.
But the Galaxy S10 Plus just has more to offer right now in terms of features.
An extra lens on the back, which gives you more shooting options for photos and videos.
An extra lens on the front for better selfies and brighter night shots.
So you get more tools to play around with if you're looking to take your phone photography to the next level.
But obviously as with all our camera comparisons, it's highly subjective and that was just my opinion.
And I wanna here what you guys think, so hit me up on the comment section below and also let me know what you wanna see us [INAUDIBLE] S10 plus against next.