With 13.5 Million people in Tokyo you can be sure of to be drawn into the killer food scene, tall skyscrapers, distinct boroughs, eclectic neighborhoods and an arts and culture scene uniquely its own. On a long weekend in Tokyo spurred on by a friends reservation at Jiro’s Sushi Bar (that’s right, the same Jiro that dreams of Sushi), I embarked on an eating adventure. Belly’s distended with too much Sushi and Wagu beef we often needed to find walking activities to burn calories just so we could consume more food.
Like most travelers I depend on my Smartphone to take photos, yes, I have a real camera, but it’s often easier and quicker to just pull out my phone and take some quick shots. Plus the camera’s are getting pretty spectacular, on this trip to Tokyo I picked two devices, the Huawei Mate 8 (which is my current daily driver) and the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ (which is my US Smartphone).
Huawei Mate 8
First let’s talk Huawei Mate 8 The Mate 8’s primary 16-megapixel camera has a f/2.0 & 1/2.8-inch sensor with phase detection autofocus, dual-tone flash, and OIS. It also has an 8-megapixel selfie camera (f/2.4). The Mate 8’s main camera is a respectable all-round camera that’ll suit most users’ photographic needs. In auto mode, well-lit shots look great, they have a good amount of detail and there is minimal shake and blur with this 1.5° OIS (optical image stabilization) and most importantly for me the colour reproduction is accurate.
Even in artificial and low light, the levels of noise are wholly excusable. Even in low light, colors are visible, though camera noise is a bit high for our liking.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus has a gorgeous 5.7in Quad HD (2560×1440, 518ppi) SuperAMOLED display and this is something it is important to be aware of, the AMOLED display when put side by side with the 1920 x 1080 IPS NEO LCD display is no contest. So if you’re only ever planning on looking at the photos on your phone, you have a clear winner already. When it comes to sharing the photos the S6 edge+ camera is no slouch. Sporting a 16-megapixel sensor, f/1.9 rear camera with optical image stabilisation; 5-megapixel, f/1.9 front camera which like the Mate 8 comes with beauty mode and is great in low light if you need to take drunken bar room selfies.
Who Are We Taking Pictures of?
If you haven’t heard of Takashi Murakami you’re in for a treat, Takashi Murakami is one of the most visible and important Japanese artists working today. His influence on Japan rivals Andy Warhol’s on the United States. Contemporary and modern are understatements as he defined combining fine art with otaku lifestyle (juvenile culture obsessed with toys, anime, and video games). Well known for taking over pubic spaces like in New York’s Grand Central Station & Versailles he is finally back in Japan after 14 years with a large scale installation in Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum.
For this exhibition, he makes postwar Japan the main theme as he brings together the country’s otaku culture (anime, manga and more) with traditional Japanese art. His 2012 work “The 500 Arhats,” considered to be the largest painting in history (about 100 meters wide), is being shown in Japan for the first time and was originally produced as a way for Murakami to thank Qatar for providing aid to Japan soon after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Huawei Mate 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ – Murakami Shoot Out
I had two phones in hand, the Samsung Galaxy edge+ and the Huawei Mate 8 which I’m actually using as my daily driver. My friend was carrying a Sony a7r with a lens so beautiful I tried not to look at it directly, I’ve included some of his unedited shots to give you an idea of what a real camera is capable of.
Here is where things start to get interesting, let’s put two photos side by side, I did my best to line them up, the camera’s shoot in different resolutions, both are 16:9, but the Samsung shot in 3264 x 1836 with a dpi of 72 & the Mate 8 4208 x 2592 and a dpi of 96.
A feature I like on the Galaxy S6 edge+ is the ability to launch the camera from anywhere on the handset by just double clicking the home button is a useful feature, and the fact it loads the camera almost instantly means you’re much less likely to miss a shot.
While on the Mate 8 the stand out feature for me in photo taking was the ability to use the finger print sensor on the rear to snap a shot. I often felt like I struggled to hold the S6 edge+ with one hand to take a selfie or just in general when trying to take a photo with just one hand. That I was able to do this with ease using a 6 inch device says a lot of about this finger print gesture.
If you do find your self at the Mori Art Museum, it is well worth paying the 1400yen to check out the view of the city! I spent at least an hour marveling at the size and scale of Tokyo! One thing that I did notice is there was a lot of green space, which I love!! This also give us a change to see how the camera performs is less than perfect lighting conditions. You can see it’s an overcast day in Tokyo!
The color saturation on the Mate 8 seems little bit more vivid, that’s why it’s important to look at the photos off the device, the AMOLED display on the S6 edge+ really boosts the colors.
If we take a look at the photo above, the Mate 8 actually does a little bit better at capturing detail, take a look at the mountains in the distance, they are barely visible.
Also at the Roppongi Hills center is the Joel Robuchon bakery, if you’re looking for a snack, it’s totally worth it!
I carried both phones with me the whole 4 days I was in Tokyo and I defaulted to taking the majority of my photos on the Galaxy S6 edge+. When ever low light was even a mild concern I reached for the Samsung. If you know me, this is a very hard thing to admit, I’ve hated their devices since the S2, but the camera on the S6 edge+ is a more reliable point and shoot when conditions aren’t perfect. When lighting is great, it’s hard to tell the difference between the photos.
What did you think? Which camera produced the better photos?