Vic Gundotra who is often considered to be the person behind Google Plus posted a pair of photos on Facebook promoting the iPhone 7’s stunning camera quality…
I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography,” Gundotra remarked. “Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning.
The post evidently gathered a lot of attention from smartphone photography enthusiasts commenting in haste against the iPhone, boasting the camera quality of their respective phones.
One commenter commented: “Indeed the [death of the DSLR] era has arrived,” one user noted. “[A]nd Samsung S8 even does a better job as compared to [the iPhone 7.]”
And then the former Google executive dropped the following bomb:
He was without a doubt demanded to expand upon his remark and explain it. Gundotra then posted a lengthy reply detailing what he believes is the reason Android phones still lag behind the iPhone when it comes to photography.
The fully response is shown below:
Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo-options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?
It’s because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.
Also the greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level – it’s happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago – they had had “auto awesome” that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc… but recently Google has fallen back).
Apple doesn’t have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.
Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.
Although some valid points have been made it is hard to deny that Android phones (especially the Google Pixel) have made some tremendous progress.
Most tech critics seem to agree that the Google’s Pixel slightly edges out the iPhone 7 Plus when it comes to photography.
Just take a look at the phenomenal photo The Verge’s Vlad Savov took with the Pixel:
Those now unsure about how the iPhone’s camera quality compares to that of all other flagship smartphones can enjoy the following video from popular tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee: