Pixel 6A vs. iPhone SE: The Cameras Are Surprisingly Different
13:51

Pixel 6A vs. iPhone SE: The Cameras Are Surprisingly Different

Phones
Speaker 1: I've been pondering. This is it possible to have a phone, be both affordable and take great photos and videos? Well, today we're gonna find out by comparing the iPhone se and Google pixel six, a this is the iPhone se it starts at $429 and is essentially an iPhone eight body and camera hardware with an a 15 bionic processor from the iPhone 13 pro. And here's the pixel six, [00:00:30] a, it starts at $449. It includes the same Google tensor processor from the pixel six pro, unlike the iPhone, it doesn't use an old phone body from 2017. It's a new body though. The camera specs are similar to last. Year's pixel five, both the iPhone SC and pixel six, a use apple and Google's computational expertise, respectively to capture photos and videos that exceed their camera, sensors and lenses. [00:01:00] But how do they compare to each other? Let's find out. Speaker 1: So, first thing we should talk about are the camera hardware. The iPhone se has a single selfie camera and a single rear wide angle camera. The pixel six, a has a single selfie camera, but two rear cameras, one wide angle and one ultra wide. Now each of these has a single selfie camera, but the pixel six a I can go from a wide view to an ultra wide view with [00:01:30] the selfie camera. There's a one and a 1.4 button on the iPhone. I just have to use my arm to get that extra width in there on the pixel six, a the other big difference over the iPhone is gonna be the modes. We have a night mode called night site, which the iPhone does not. We have portrait mode. We have camera for just taking regular photos. We have a video mode with the options to do slow motion or a time lapse. Speaker 1: There's also a couple things like Panorama, a photo sphere, as well as access to Google lens [00:02:00] on the iPhone se we have a time lapse mode, a slow motion mode, a video mode, a photo mode, portrait mode, and a Panorama mode. The thing that's missing on here is night mode. All right, let's talk about video on the pixel six a I have a few different settings here. I could shoot an HD at 30 frames per second or 60. I, I can also shoot 4k at 60 or 30 frames per second. I cannot shoot 24 frames per second on the pixel six [00:02:30] a so on the iPhone. If I'm shooting video, I can shoot HD or I can shoot 4k. If I'm shooting 4k, I can do 60 frames per second, 24 frames per second or 30 frames per second on the pixel six a I can shoot JPEG or I can shoot JPEG and raw on the iPhone. I do not have the option to shoot raw. One of the nice things about the pixel six a is it has modes for video stabilization. There's a standard mode, a locked [00:03:00] off mode, an active mode. So if I'm moving, it'll help smooth things out. And there's a neat thing called cinematic pan. So if I'm panning from left to right, it'll keep that nicest smooth. Speaker 1: I'm back from shooting. And I'm impressed with both phones though. I am leaning heavily more towards one, which more in that in a moment, by the way, if you wanna learn more about the pixel six a and how it compares to the pixel six, check out CNET, pixel six, a review [00:03:30] video by my pal and colleague Lisa nCino. So let's take a look at some of my favorite photos from the iPhone SC and then some of my favorite photos from the pixel six, a montage time. Speaker 1: [00:04:00] All right. So do you have a favorite one so far? Let me know in the comments, but let's take a look at some photos, head to head from each phone. All right. I'm start with, uh, these two photos of a cappuccino. Uh, this has taken outdoors. The small differences I do see is the pixels photo has [00:04:30] a bit more contrast. Look at how dark the, the coffee drink is compared to the iPhones. The other thing I notice is the color. Uh, the white balance is slightly different. It looks a little cooler on the pixel photo and a little warmer on the iPhone photo. Now, these photos are ones I wouldn't normally include in a comparison like this, but, uh, by the way, this is my pal and my camera guy, uh, Soso. And what I was shocked by with these photos is how different he looks in the iPhone photo [00:05:00] compared to the pixel photo. Speaker 1: So in the iPhone photo, let's just start with his t-shirt, his t-shirt's black. It looks almost like a dark gray, his hair, which is dark with some gray highlights, looks like it's all gray. It just looks like he aged 20 years in this photo. In the pixel photo, his t-shirt is much darker and more accurate. It's black, but not solid black. If you look at the camera he's holding, that's solid black and his hair. That's how his [00:05:30] hair looks in real life. It's dark with some gray highlights that old classic salt and pepper daddy look. One of the most obvious differences between the two phones is the fact that the pixel has a second camera with an ultra wide angle lens. These two photos you're looking at are both taken with the main cameras on each phone, but clearly you could see that the buildings, the tops, the buildings are cut off in both photos. Speaker 1: Now on the pixel, I could switch to the ultra wide camera. And that's what this photo is. So now you can see the top of Salesforce [00:06:00] tower. You could see the entire OnRamp for the, uh, bus terminal, but in the iPhone, I have no way of expanding that framing. So one thing both of these phones have in common is neither has a dedicated telephoto camera. So in this case, both phones rely on digital zoom. What I did for these photos was I zoomed in digitally as much as I can on each phone, you can see in the pixels photo that it's able to zoom in a lot tighter than the photo from the iPhone. Neither photo [00:06:30] is great. I would not push either one of these on Instagram. This is purely for you guys. Let's move on to some medium and indoor lighting shots. These are typically where cameras at this price point start to fall apart right off the bat. Speaker 1: The thing that I see between these two photos is the texture of my cat's fur. Uh, and the pixel photo, her fur has much more texture and much more detail. It looks very natural in the iPhone's photo. It looks [00:07:00] more muddy. It looks a little soft. When we go to a hundred percent resolution, you can see pretty quickly how much better the photo from the pixel is over the iPhone. The iPhone's photo looks a lot more processed. Let's move on to portrait mode. Apple and Google are no stranger to portrait mode. They're, uh, to the best companies that have the best portrait mode, but they're also very different. So right now I'm looking at my pal and my colleague, Claire Riley, on the pixels photo of Claire. The [00:07:30] background is very blurry and she's very sharp and there's a nice sharp line of cutout around her, on the iPhone's photo. Speaker 1: Uh, the background's not as blurry, but you can increase the blur on the phone. It can match the blur of the pixel. It just chose not to and notice on the iPhone's photo, the cutout inside her elbow. <laugh> it didn't blur the background there it's you can see the tables are in focus. Where is the background [00:08:00] on the pixel photo is out of focus. So it kind of messed up on the iPhone. Here is my pal, Andy, and no, we're not all fashion models who work here at CNET, but many of us, Claire and Andy clearly look like they are. The cutout is really good. I think on both of them notice the little counter thing he's leaning on. And the iPhone photo is out of focus, even though it's on the same depth of field as where he is. So on a real camera, it [00:08:30] would be in focus. Speaker 1: Right. And on the pixel, it does that, right. Let's punch to a hundred percent on both of these photos. Yeah. Oh wow. You could really see the difference there. I think this looks really good though. All right. Let's move on to night mode. This is unfair, kinda like the ultra wide comparison, because one phone has night mode. Google pixel has what's called night site and the iPhone does not have night mode on the pixel. I used night site to take the photo and it made everything brighter and more even, uh, [00:09:00] if you need help finding some of that, you could see the night sky looks kind of like a dark blue. The trees are not cast in shadow. You can kind of see more detail in that by combining multiple images together, it's reducing image noise. So therefore it's not having to apply as much noise reduction. Speaker 1: The iPhones photo is not combining all those multiple images. Instead, this photo has lots of noise reduction. So the details of the leaves in the [00:09:30] iPhones photo are very soft, very muddy, very painterly. Look at the signs in the background there. You can't really read them in either photo, but you could at least see the word parking at any time in the pixel photo on the iPhones photo. It just looks like a, like someone wrote it and smeared their hand across it. And it's all smeared out. Let's move on to perhaps the most important camera, the selfie camera. And let's take a look at selfies from each of these phones. The iPhones framing is much tighter than [00:10:00] that from the pixel. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the iPhones selfie camera does not have a very wide field of view. I am much more out of focus in the iPhone photo than I am in the pixel photo. Um, again, you can see it's really boost the brightness of the shadows on my face, on the pixel phone, the shadows on my face make me look like a raccoon. So photos are just one aspect. Let's take a look at some of my favorite videos from both the [00:10:30] iPhone se and pixel six, a video montage time. Speaker 1: [00:11:00] All right. And let's take a look at videos side by side from each phone, and I'm gonna start with the pixel six. A Google does such great computational work for its photos. It's just not able to apply a similar level computational work [00:11:30] towards video. So in this case, this is probably what's closer to what's coming out of the camera on the pixel six a without any of that processing. So we do see a lot of image noise. We see a lot of aliasing. You can see the iPhones video right off the bat has a lot more detail colors, or more punchy. There's more contrast. I don't see as much aliasing or image noise. And you can see, even though we're zoomed in, we see more of the texture of the wall. Another takeaway kind [00:12:00] of like the photos we were doing earlier is the fact that the pixel can digitally zoom in a lot tighter than the iPhone. Speaker 1: Neither looks fantastic, but I see there's a lot less image noise on the pixels video than there is on the iPhone. Both phones offer video image stabilization, however, on the pixel, there's a lot more options you have over the controls for that. The downside to video stabilization on the Google pixel is you can't shoot in 4k. You're automatically cropped down to 10 [00:12:30] 80. Cause what it's doing is it's taking that video and cropping in to keep the video stable as you go both look pretty good. Even though I think the pixel six a has better video stabilization. I think the image quality and the actual video looks better from the iPhone. Again, I'm seeing a lot of image noise in this video, like look at the details of the trees and the leaves compare it to the iPhones video. Speaker 1: So after all that, I do [00:13:00] have a favor, but let me say this for phones that are under $450, both of these are the best you can buy in terms of capturing photos and videos. But after doing this comparison, I'd grab a pixel six, a over the iPhone se for its cameras. It's got an ultra wide angle camera and that nightside mode, which to me means a lot. Now I do think the iPhone se does capture better video in terms of image quality, but the pixel six a is still pretty good. Now [00:13:30] I want to hear from you. What do you think? Which one would you choose and why also we're doing these videos every week covering apple stuff. So let us know what you'd like us to cover. Lastly, do all the YouTube things like subscribe and hit that bell. Thank you for watching.

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