Enter the two new midrangers – Samsung’s J7 Pro and Sony’s XA1 Ultra
Samsung’s Galaxy J7 Pro raised some brows on our latest comparison video. With the OPPO F3 fresh for a rematch, we thought that it’d be wise to throw in the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 and Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra for another camera comparison. Do note that everything was left in their respective auto modes and all images were taken at the highest possible resolution that the phone allows.
Before we get to the actual review and comparison, here’s a quick rundown of the each phone’s cameras’ specifications.
|13 MP, f/2.2||16 MP, f/1.9||13 MP, f/1.7||23 MP, f/2.0|
|1/2.3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size||27mm||24mm|
|1080p video||1080p video||1080p video||1080p video, HDR, stereo audio|
|PDAF, LED flash||Autofocus, LED Flash||Autofocus, LED flash||PDAF and laser autofocus, LED flash, OIS|
|Dual 16 MP (1/3.1″ sensor size, f/2.0) + 8 MP, f/2.4, FHD video||16 MP, f/1.9, FHD video||13 MP, f/1.9, LED flash, FHD video||16 MP, f/2.0, 23mm, 1/2.6″ sensor size, OIS, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p|
Now then, let’s get to it!
Rear Camera – Outdoors/Daylight
Starting with a daylight-assisted shot, we’d see here that the J7 Pro produces the most exposed image out of the box. The newcomer, which is Sony’s Xperia XA1 Ultra, produced the one with the most contrast and most saturation. The A5 2017’s shot is in the middle of those two, while the F3’s is the most balanced of the four. It isn’t shown here, but the one with the widest shot is the OPPO F3.
Upon closer inspection, the J7 Pro actually produced the least detail, which was disappointing. The A5 2017 and F3 is tied in that department, and the colors of the XA1 Ultra’s shot is actually level with the others except the J7 Pro’s. I find it weird that the J7 Pro had these shots considering my recent comparison video of it and the OPPO F3.
Next up is another daylight-assisted shot with the focus on the Security Bank signage. All shots are overexposed, and differences are not that plenty compared to the previous shot. Surprisingly, the J7 Pro produced the one with the most contrast for this image and it is actually the XA1 Ultra now that has the most exposed shot. Also, the J7 Pro has the most vivid shot with the most-controlled white.
Rear Camera – Outdoors/Nighttime
Moving into nighttime, I switched to the J7 Pro and A5 2017’s respective night modes. Focus was just on auto for all four. The scales tipped in favor of the J7 Pro since it remained the most faithful without overblowing details and exposure. The XA1 Ultra gets points for being able to light up the majority of its take.
Detail-wise, there’s not much to go on since all went for the highest ISO possible with luminance in post. Focal point was hard to find since I can only imagine that their apertures are turned down to the lowest.
Rear Camera – Indoors
Moving indoors, we now move to a macro shot presenting Spiderman and Darth Vader. Focus is on Spiderman’s face. At a glance, the XA1 Ultra’s inherent saturation wins again for having the most vivid image. The J7 Pro trailed next that is then followed closely by the A5 2017 and OPPO F3.
Zooming in reveals the various differences in detail. Note that all shots are taken by hand, without any mounting support. The OPPO F3 suffered in detail with the XA1 Ultra coming in next.
After I took these images, I decided to do a quick speed test wherein the focal point is shifted from a place physically farther than my intended subject to the aforementioned subject. Final focus is still on Spiderman.
I don’t know why, but considering that the OPPO F3 only has phase detection autofocus, it is the fastest of the four with the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra in second and the Samsungs in a tie.
Continuing indoor shots, the next one is a shot of my fightstick and I will be focusing on colors. If it’s just the stick that we’d talk about, differences are near-zero. Even the XA1 Ultra’s shot is leveled save for the yellows. Looking at them from a full view shows that the XA1 Ultra and OPPO F3 produced faithful whites while the Samsungs went for a warmer tone to compensate for the lack of lighting.
Even with the XA1 Ultra and OPPO F3’s shots grainy at core, they didn’t let up in terms of details in close up. Ryu’s face can be clearly seen in the XA1 Ultra’s take. The OPPO F3’s shot came out actually sharper than the J7 Pro’s, which was surprising.
Rear Camera – Outdoors/Nighttime Video
As per usual, rear camera videos are taken in dark environments to test their individual limits. Specs didn’t lie as the XA1 Ultra’s superior f/2.0 aperture had the most lighting paired with Sony’s software optimization. The OPPO F3 comes in next while retaining the most detail possible. It’s also the fastest out of the four when it comes to on-the-fly focusing. The Samsung duo relied mostly on luminance but lighting suffered a lot, producing a dark but soft video.
More images below:
Front Camera – Outdoors/Daylight
Finally, onto the front cams. Under daylight, the Xperia XA1 Ultra’s contrast control and saturation was king for keeping my skin tone accurate. However, for some reason, the selfie I took with it still was shaky despite its optical image stabilization. In the details department, the F3 headed it. Both Samsungs produced shaky images, akin to the XA1 Ultra’s. Mind you, these were taken during the middle of the day, so shutter speeds in my estimation, are supposed to quicker than 1/150. Software, maybe?
Front Camera – Outdoors/Nighttime
After letting the sun set and moon rise, things weren’t still looking good for the A5 2017 and J7 Pro. Sure, grain was eliminated for either, but it didn’t do as well as the XA1 Ultra in lighting. The OPPO F3 proclaimed its faithfulness again while providing the most suitable lighting. The XA1 Ultra gave a rather yellow-heavy shot which I find unsettling.
Talking about wide selfies, only the XA1 Ultra didn’t have the capability to do so. However, in both well-lit and nighttime conditions, the A5 2017 and J7 Pro’s wide selfie feature failed to even complete the image. The OPPO F3 did well with its secondary 16MPx front camera that does well enough in the way of capturing more.
Front Camera – Video/Daylight
And on to the last segment – front camera video. I find that the A5 2017 and J7 Pro’s takes are the best ones from this. While the XA1 Ultra’s details and stabilization are notable, the weird skin color it gave me was off-putting. However, I can only imagine that this might be due to a fast shift in lighting because these were taken under direct sunlight in a cloudy day. The OPPO F3’s effort is commendable too, but its lack in reds made me look famished and anemic.
So, what do you think? Comment your selection below based on the results I’ve gathered and analyzed. For those who own the phones, do you find the outputs agreeable? Let us know!