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


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 among the best cameraphones of years previous, we determined to try 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 slim the sphere 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 suits 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 images 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

Area 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 fashionable Xperia 1 II is far wider at 24mm (for the primary cam).

That ought to put the Pixon12 a drawback relating to resolved element for the reason that 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 pictures 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 sort of noisy, which drowns out the finer element. That is particularly noticeable within the grass and within the chipped paint of the snail. This 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 can hit the Evaluate button to the suitable of photograph thumbnails and decide two images to have a more in-depth look within the gallery.

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


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 a drawback relating to dynamic vary – it captures extra of the sky and because it was a cloudy day (however nonetheless in the midst of summer time, so fairly vibrant), the telephones had their work reduce 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 in the present day, 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 mild shot: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II

This is a more in-depth look that makes the handshake evident. In fact, neither of the outdated telephones have Optical Picture Stabilization (OIS) and they do not know methods like picture stacking that their modern-day descendants use to supply a lot better photos even in low mild.

Nevertheless, it is 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 strive.


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

This scene has one wall lit by a considerably dim (and fairly yellow) road mild 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 appear to be.

Moreover picture high quality, we additionally need to speak about autofocus. Each the Pixon12 and Satio are fairly sluggish at the very best of instances, at midnight they didn’t get a spotlight lock very often. It’s a recognized weak point of distinction detection autofocus – at midnight it simply would 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 relating to focusing at midnight. It additionally helps that fashionable photodiodes are way more delicate, making the job of the AF system simpler. This has a serious influence on the expertise – the fashionable flagship obtained on the spot 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 obtained 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 a whole lot of xenon flashes as of late, however they was normal on premium digital camera telephones

That was a take a look at with no flash, however each the Pixon12 and the Satio are outfitted with xenon flashes, in contrast to fashionable telephones. Xenon produces a brief, very vibrant burst of sunshine, good for evening time images. The Satio as soon as once more has the higher hand. To its credit score, the Pixon12 captured a great quantity of element within the foot statue, however the Satio obtained nearer to the proper coloration (the inexperienced of copper patina) and it even managed to see among 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 take a look at: Samsung Pixon12 • Sony Ericsson Satio • Sony Xperia 1 II (LED-only)

This is a more in-depth look:

In fact, neither can match the efficiency of a contemporary cellphone. The Xperia did not really want its flash for the reason that statue was proper subsequent to a well-illuminated mall, which solid loads of mild on the statue. And LED flashes are usually not 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 images: 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 images: 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 images is a testomony to their prowess. They have been the cream of the crop again in 2009 and price accordingly. The Pixon12 was relatively expensive at €640 (€735, adjusted for inflation). The Satio additionally “break the bank” at €550 (€630 in in the present day’s cash), nonetheless, it’s nonetheless half of what a Sony Xperia 1 II value at launch – €1,200. And the Xperia has 12 years of progress in picture sensors and picture processing on its facet.

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

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

It is simply that it’s anticipated on fashionable 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, it is a main enchancment in digital camera design that we take with no consideration in the present day that would not be potential by digital camera telephones just like the Pixon12 and Satio convincing individuals {that a} cellphone can truly exchange your digital camera.

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