Asus ZenFone 5 ZE620KL vs Samsung Galaxy S9+ Camera Comparison in Indoor Lighting

On May 10, 2018, I posted an article comparing the low-light imaging capabilities of flagship-level cameraphones Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9+.

I received great feedback from my readers and followers about that camera shoot-out so I thought of doing it one more time; This time featuring Asus ZenFone 5, which is one of the best 2018 midrange Android smartphones in terms of imaging performance, and again, the popular Samsung Galaxy S9+ in indoor lighting.

Asus ZenFone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S9+

I know that this camera comparison is a bit odd considering that Samsung Galaxy S9+ costs more than twice the price of Asus ZenFone 5. And I'm sure almost all of you are already expecting the former to easily beat the latter in this department -- and in others.

So why did I do it? Well, I just wanted to check if the difference in image quality indoors is as wide as their price difference in stores.

Why a shoot-out with indoor lighting? Why not?! More than 50% of the photos in my daily smartphone were shot indoors. I think it makes sense to do a camera comparison specifically in this setting because it's the one where we almost always find ourselves in.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Rear Camera Overview

The Korean Giant's 2018 flagship phablet features a Dual Rear Camera module. This set-up has a 12 MegaPixel primary shooter with variable f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm focal length, 1/2.55" sensor size, 1.4µm pixel size, and Dual Pixel Phase Detection Autofocus. The seconday cam is also a 12 MegaPixel camera but it has an f/2.4 aperture, 52mm focal length, 1/3.6" sensor size, 1µm size, and AutoFocus. The module also benefits from Optical Image Stabilization.

Asus ZenFone 5 Rear Camera Overview

ZenFone 5 2018 also has a Dual Cameras at the back with phase detection autofocus. One is a 12 MegaPixel primary shooter with f/1.8 aperture, 24 mm focal length, 1/2.55" sensor, and 1.4 µm pixel size. The secondary snapper has 8 MegaPixel resolution, f/2.0 aperture, wide-angle 12 mm focal length, smaller 1/4" sensor, and smaller 1.12 µm pixel size.

Alright! Let's jump straight to the photo comparisons. The first photo in each set was taken using the Asus ZenFone 5 while the second was snapped using the Samsung Galaxy S9+ -- all with automatic settings. No post-processing - including cropping - was done on all of the photos in this shoot-out.

Set 1

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: While the photo taken using the SGSS+ is brighter and warmer overall, I think in terms of details the AZF5 shot is now far behind in terms of clarity of details. In fact, with a little editing, you can make the first photo look more or less the same as the second one.


Set 2

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Straight out of the camera, the Galaxy S9+ photo looks brighter and more brilliant from end to end. But again, since the details are not blown out on the ZenFone 5 shot, it can edited to appear more visually appealing.

Set 3

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Background blur is more prominent on the Galaxy S9+ shot and this was made possible by the phone's larger f/1.5 aperture for the primary cam.

Set 4

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Again, the S9+ shot is brighter and more brilliant straight out of the camera but the ZenFone 5 photo has enough details and color content for effective post-processing. I showed this set to friends who are into imaging and interestingly, some preferred the image taken using the ZenFone because - as they say - it's not too warm.

Set 5

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is better overall. The shot is illuminated enough to show details better -- including the white specks on the granite counter-top. In the Asus ZenFone 5 photo the details in the lower part of the stirring-stick holder disintegrated or became blurred just a bit.

Set 6

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Here, I wanted to show how well each cameraphone captures Asian "moreno" skintone with moderate indoor lighting. Personally, I think the Galaxy S9+ rendered my skin color in a more pleasing way. Nonetheless, with a bit of tweaking using Snapseed or other photo editing apps, the ZenFone5 shot can easily be improved.

Set 7

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Since I used automatic settings on the two handsets, HDR kicked in on both when I snapped this shot. In terms of brightness, the S9+'s superiority is clear in this set --but notice how the leaves on the trees outside look more lush on the ZenFone5 image.

Set 8

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Same story as most of the shots here. In terms of details, they're pretty even. But the photo taken using SGS9+ is brighter and warmer.

Set 9

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Some friends said that they prefer the AZF5 shot because its colors aren't too warm or saturated. Frankly, I prefer the tones of the SGS9+ shot -- but I think that when it comes to clarity or crispness, they are quite equal.

Set 10

Asus ZenFone 5 Sample Indoor Camera Shot

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Sample Indoor Camera Shot



TechPinas Commentary: Samsung Galaxy S9+'s superiority as a flagship-level model is clear in this set. It processed the darker areas better than the Asus ZenFone 5 and rendered the wooden elements in a more visually pleasing manner.

Conclusion

With indoor lighting, photos taken using the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (which costs at least PHP 52,990) tend to look brighter, warmer, and more punchy than those taken using the Asus ZenFone 5 (which sells for PHP 19,995). However, when used in settings where there's ample ambient light, the two phones are more or less even in terms of capturing textures, details, and color information, which is essential in post processing. Overall, straight of the camera, SGS9+ shots look better overall -- but with post-processing, AZF5 photos won't be too far behind.

There you have it! Those are my thoughts and opinions about this camera shoot-out, TP Friends! Let me know yours via our comments section below. Feel free to also message me on social media if you have questions or clarifications about this comparison. Cheers!

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