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Flashback: 12MP shootout 12 years later – Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

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12 years in the past we printed the 12 MP shootout – a head-to-head comparability of the primary two telephones with 12MP cameras to hit the market, the Samsung Pixon12 (launched August 2009) and the Sony Ericsson Satio (launched October 2009). Since we have been feeling nostalgic about a few of the best cameraphones of years previous, we determined to attempt to recreate that shootout.

Flashback: 12MP shootout 12 years later - Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

In final week’s Flashback article that targeted on the Satio we famous how slender the sector of view of the digital camera is in comparison with the primary digital camera on a contemporary cellphone (to say nothing of the ultrawide cam). So, let’s begin right here – which cellphone matches extra within the body? Simply trying on the thumbnails under it ought to make it clear that the Pixon12 has a noticeably wider FoV (all photographs have been taken from the identical place).


Field of view comparison: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/1278s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Field of view comparison: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/909s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Field of view comparison: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/3200s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Discipline of view comparability: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

Samsung marketed the Pixon12 as having a 28mm lens (in 35mm equal), although in actuality it was nearer to 30mm. The Sony Ericsson Satio has a 35mm lens, whereas the trendy Xperia 1 II is far wider at 24mm (for the primary cam).

That ought to put the Pixon12 an obstacle on the subject of resolved element because the similar 12MP decision is stretched to cowl extra of the scene. Nevertheless, the Samsung digital camera cellphone as soon as once more has the higher hand with low noise and well-defined element. We’re additionally together with the photographs we took with the Sony Xperia 1 II for final week’s article as a benchmark of what a contemporary cellphone can do.


Fine detail: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/446s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Fine detail: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/588s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Fine detail: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/1250s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Wonderful element: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

The photograph Sony Ericsson Satio is kind of noisy, which drowns out the finer element. That is particularly noticeable within the grass and within the chipped paint of the snail. Here is a cropped in view:

And simply out of curiosity, this is the identical crop displaying the Pixon12 and the Xperia 1 II. Do not forget which you could hit the Evaluate button to the suitable of photograph thumbnails and decide two photographs to have a better look within the gallery.

You might have observed within the snail photograph that Pixon12 prefers punchier colours. The Satio does have a tendency to provide colours nearer to actuality. Nevertheless, with each telephones the grass might look barely totally different in two consecutive photographs.


Color rendering: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/750s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Color rendering: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/556s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Color rendering: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/2000s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Coloration rendering: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

The broader lens of the Pixon12 once more places it at an obstacle on the subject of dynamic vary – it captures extra of the sky and because it was a cloudy day (however nonetheless in the midst of summer season, so fairly vibrant), the telephones had their work lower out for them. With that in thoughts, the Pixon12 has the higher hand because it resolved the clouds barely higher (and it match extra of them within the body).


Dynamic range: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/676s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Dynamic range: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/476s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Dynamic range: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/2000s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Dynamic vary: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

The Samsung Pixon12 has a wider lens and a brighter aperture too – f/2.6 will not impress anybody at the moment, but it surely’s nonetheless higher than Satio’s f/2.8. This allowed it to shoot at 1/15s shutter pace, in comparison with Satio’s 1/8s, which resulted in a lot much less seen handshake on this scene.


Low light shot: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 250, 1/15s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Low light shot: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/8s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Low light shot: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 250, 1/15s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Low gentle shot: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

Here is a better look that makes the handshake evident. After all, neither of the outdated telephones have Optical Picture Stabilization (OIS) and they do not know tips like picture stacking that their modern-day descendants use to provide a lot better photos even in low gentle.

Nevertheless, this can be a pretty well-lit scene. The subsequent one was shot with the flash disabled – that is all about what the sensor can do. Whereas telephones carried out fairly poorly, the Pixon12 did not even attempt.


Low light, no flash: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 250, 1/15s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Low light, no flash: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 800, 1/8s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Low light, no flash: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 800, 1/5s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Low gentle, no flash: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

This scene has one wall lit by a considerably dim (and fairly yellow) avenue gentle and one wall being in shadow. There are ornamental bas-relief panels on every wall and you’ll virtually make it out within the Satio photograph. Try the Xperia 1 II photograph as reference for what the sample ought to seem like.

Apart from picture high quality, we additionally wish to discuss autofocus. Each the Pixon12 and Satio are fairly sluggish at one of the best of instances, at nighttime they didn’t get a spotlight lock very often. It’s a identified weak point of distinction detection autofocus – at nighttime it simply does not have a lot to latch on to.

The Satio did do a greater job of it, however even it could not get a lock half of the time. The Pixon12 failed more often than not. Fashionable part detection autofocus is extra resilient on the subject of focusing at nighttime. It additionally helps that trendy photodiodes are far more delicate, making the job of the AF system simpler. This has a significant affect on the expertise – the trendy flagship acquired immediate focus lock and gave us confidence that it’s right, whereas the older telephones hunted for autofocus and made us fear in the event that they acquired it even half proper.

You don't see a lot of xenon flashes these days, but they used to be standard on premium camera phones
You do not see numerous xenon flashes today, however they was commonplace on premium digital camera telephones

That was a check with no flash, however each the Pixon12 and the Satio are geared up with xenon flashes, not like trendy telephones. Xenon produces a brief, very vibrant burst of sunshine, good for evening time photographs. The Satio as soon as once more has the higher hand. To its credit score, the Pixon12 captured an excellent quantity of element within the foot statue, however the Satio acquired nearer to the right coloration (the inexperienced of copper patina) and it even managed to see a few of the background.


Xenon flash test: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 160, 1/33s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Xenon flash test: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/12s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Xenon flash test: Sony Xperia 1 II (LED-only) - f/1.7, ISO 800, 1/8s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Xenon flash check: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II (LED-only)

Here is a better look:

After all, neither can match the efficiency of a contemporary cellphone. The Xperia did not actually need its flash because the statue was proper subsequent to a well-illuminated mall, which solid loads of gentle on the statue. And LED flashes aren’t efficient at that distance, anyway.

Listed below are a few extra digital camera samples:


Daylight photos: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/1201s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Daylight photos: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/714s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Daylight photos: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/3200s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Daylight photographs: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II


Daylight photos: Samsung Pixon12 - f/2.6, ISO 50, 1/1585s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Daylight photos: Sony Ericsson Satio - f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/1000s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio
Daylight photos: Sony Xperia 1 II - f/1.7, ISO 64, 1/2500s - Flashback: 12MP shootout, Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

Daylight photographs: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

The Samsung Pixon12 and Sony Ericsson Satio have been unveiled 12 years in the past and that they nonetheless handle to take some respectable photographs is a testomony to their prowess. They have been the cream of the crop again in 2009 and value accordingly. The Pixon12 was moderately expensive at €640 (€735, adjusted for inflation). The Satio additionally “break the bank” at €550 (€630 in at the moment’s cash), nevertheless, it’s nonetheless half of what a Sony Xperia 1 II price at launch – €1,200. And the Xperia has 12 years of progress in picture sensors and picture processing on its aspect.

Flashback: 12MP shootout 12 years later - Samsung Pixon12 vs. Sony Ericsson Satio

It was enjoyable revisiting a few of the all time greats and seeing how they maintain up in spite of everything this time. Nostalgia apart, this can be a nice instance of how far we have come – we barely care to say issues like part detection autofocus today, although it is far more efficient than distinction AF.

It is simply that it’s anticipated on trendy telephones. As are Bottom Illumination (BSI) picture sensors. We do not have particulars on the Pixon12 and Satio sensors, however seeing how Sony launched the primary BSI sensor in 2009 (a 5 MP CMOS sensor), these are actually frontside illuminated. Once more, this can be a main enchancment in digital camera design that we take without any consideration at the moment that would not be attainable by digital camera telephones just like the Pixon12 and Satio convincing folks {that a} cellphone can really exchange your digital camera.

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