Picture quality analysis (2D)General

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  1. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    The Evo 3D is such a camera-centric phone that IMO it deserve a very robust analysis of its cameras. This post will focus on image quality for 2D photos.

    Let's start off with some photo comparisons with the predecessor, the Evo 4G. In the following images, the top picture is from the E3D, and the bottom picture is from the E4G. The inset picture is a direct crop from the original photo, so you can see the quality at native resolution.

    Both cameras were set to their max resolutions (5mp for the E3D and 8mp for the E4G). All settings within the camera app were set to the same values. Photos were taken from a fixed position with E3D first, followed by E4G. I tried my best to frame the shot as similarly as possible to minimize metering variations. The first two comparisons were shot under direct sunlight on a 'mostly cloudy' day. The last set was shot under the shade of a tree.

    Test set 1:

    In this first set, you can see that the E3D got the colors right. E4G went crazy in the auto-white-balance mode and made things way too yellow. I was unable to force the white balance to give me something more natural. Looking at the insets, there is a lot more noise in the E4G pictures (note all the reddish spots in the shadows), and the leaves do not look as sharp. This is directly due to the 8mp being overkill for the resolving power of the lens.

    Test set 2:

    One again, E3D wins this one. The maple leaves are in sharp focus, and the color tones of the soil and rocks in the background are much more representative of the actual scene. I made 3 attempts to take a sharp photo with the E4G, and what you're seeing was the best of the three. The Evo had a very hard time focusing on the thin maple leaves. So while this comparison might not seem fair since the E4G shot isn't in focus, there's something to be said for the camera's inability to focus correctly. Who cares how good the sensor is if the camera can't focus light on it? :) And looking at the insets, it's once again clear that the 8mp is doing nothing but magnifying the imperfection.

    Test set 3:

    For the final shot, I chose something in the shade and less colorful for some contrast comparison. The E3D appears to have higher contrast, though I tend to prefer the color temperature of the E4G shot. However, if you look at the insets, the E3D image is clearly more sharp. It seems that again, the E4G has problems getting the focus right. For web viewing where you get to resize the photos way down (like I did for these images), that slight blur is not so noticeable. But clearly the E3D wins in clarity and contrast.

    So in broad daylight and daytime shade, the Evo 3D cameras win hands-down in my book. Coming up: more comparisons under low light with and without flash, and we'll see which camera takes the cake.

    Cavemansol, ymmie, JerzyIroc and 35 others like this.
  2. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    Here are the results of the low-light comparisons. Overall, the E4G wins this round with better color reproduction, despite being much grainier and less sharp. E3D has a much more powerful flash but tends to tint the photos blue as a result.

    Test set 4:

    In this test, the box of toys are under a 40W incandescent fan light, which is pretty dim for indoor photography. I set ISO and white balance to auto for both cameras. Color reproduction goes to the E4G, hands down. E3D had a hard time figuring out how to white balance the tungsten lighting, but looking at the insets, the E3D shows less noise than the E4G. From a post-processing perspective, the E3D has the most potential, since it's much easier to color-correct than to remove noise. Still, if I were to pick a favorite without any touch-up, I'd pick E4G here. Note, I did also try the preset Incandescent white balance setting, but it did not look right at all. This was true for both phones.

    Test set 5:

    In this set, we have even dimmer conditions than before. The room is lit by a 40W-equivalent CFL lamp, which is pretty far away from the subject. E3D once again proves it takes sharper pictures, judging by the insets. And unlike the previous test set, the E3D gets the colors correct. E4G still has a hard time focusing, and the contrast is not as good as E3D. Noise is very evident in the E4G image, especially in the glass vase.

    Test set 6:

    This final comparison tested the flash capabilities of the phone. The clear winner was the E4G. E3D seems to have a much more powerful flash, but the final photo is tinted blue and overexposed. I tried many variations to improve the shot but was unable to. E4G had good contrast and color, albeit noisy, as usual. Flash actually improved color tones when compared to test set 5. Clear winner here is the E4G.

    The results of these low-light tests surprised me; I went into these thinking the E3D was the shoo-in winner. Not so. However, I've seen my E3D perform better than this, and for sure, my E4G has produced some pretty horrendous flash shots. But in these controlled tests, the E4G came out on top for low-light. Definitely worthwhile to do more tests, but it's certain that low-light photography is hit or miss sometimes, even with dSLRs.
  3. BenChase7

    BenChase7 VIP Member VIP Member

    Very Nicely Done. Thanks Novox77
    marctronixx likes this.
  4. themuffinman75

    themuffinman75 Well-Known Member

    Excellent post. Personally I haven't done much out door testing but just last night I was doing a lot of low light testing and its not even close, the 3vo destroyed the evo. Anyway, in every conceivable low light condition the 3vo came out ahead. Wish I could post pictures but I don't have my laptop with me.
  5. houndstooth

    houndstooth Active Member

    Nice write-up. Thank you. Looking forward to more.
    marctronixx likes this.
  6. SporkLover

    SporkLover Well-Known Member

    Darn you Novox77...... All of us phandroid denziens were satisfied with off the cuff subjective statements about how the 3Vo isn't as good as the Og Evo in certain aspects, and then you had to go all scientific method and objective and prove us all wrong.
  7. The colors of the 3D are better for sure but you got softer shots with the 4G because they are all out of focus, all of them. Get them in focus and they are probably just as sharp. I cant remember if you can tap the screen to focus the 4G but for whatever reason, yours are out of focus. You also shot the pink plant with a wider angle then you did with the 3D looks like.
  8. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    Not a wider angle. I'm just centered more to the left on the E4G. Look at the rocks near the bottom of the screen and then the right edge of the maple leaves. If you're thinking I'm wider by looking at the inset, it's because the 8mp inset will appear larger than 5mp by definition.

    Yup, I tapped the screen to focus on the E4G. And I also tried letting it pick the focus point. Believe me, I tried several times to get the E4G to focus properly, and I picked the sharpest version for the comparison pics in the OP. The camera doesn't focus well, and obviously that impacts image quality. On occasion, I have gotten sharper pics from my E4G, but the fact that it's such a chore means it's an inferior camera system.

    And sharpness is only one of many factors. Even if we call sharpness a draw, the E3D wins on contrast, color balance, saturation, and noise level, and it does all this with fewer megapixels.
  9. Yea, the 4G did have problems focusing correctly if I remember. Hardly used it at all since it was so poor. Everything looks better on the 3D and the pics on my Sensation rival my Canon point and shoot. HTC has gotten better at their cameras.
  10. ArmageddonX

    ArmageddonX Well-Known Member

    Wow! That's great. Thanks Novox =)
  11. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    Low-light and flash tests are in. See the post below the OP. And surprisingly, the E4G performed better in my tests. Didn't expect that.
  12. NeoteriX

    NeoteriX Well-Known Member

    Very nice work. Any word yet on what specific OmniVision (I assume) sensor is in the Evo 3D?
  13. nebke

    nebke Member

    Great thread. If you have more tests planned I would love to see them. These have been very helpful in resolving some of my camera fears.
  14. aznmode

    aznmode Well-Known Member

    Great comparison. Mine doesn't take that great of pictures. I have noticed though that E3d will dim the pictures after they're taken so it's a little misleading when youre taking the shots since it's so much brighter on the screen before hand. Any idea how to fix this?
  15. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    In the settings, you can change the exposure level. I'd go with +1 for now and see if that's enough. In the camera app, press your built-in "MENU" button and tap "Image Adjustments." First slider is exposure.
  16. rickthestick

    rickthestick Member

    Has anyone used this camera in bright sunlight? I get a green tint on everything in direct sunlight. Anywhere, else the pictures are beautiful. Can anyone verify this?
  17. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    can you post a sample pic?
  18. aznmode

    aznmode Well-Known Member

    It seems I have to turn it way up but then some images becomes too washed out.
  19. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    For whatever reason, when viewing 2D pictures on the E3D, the screen brightness adjusts to whatever screen brightness you have the phone set to. So, if you are like me, and have your screen set to >20% brightness, all your 2D pictures will look dark.

    When taking and viewing 3D pictures, the brightness of the screen adjusts to show you a true representation of the pictures you have taken. With 2D pictures, it only shows you a true representation when you are taking a picture.

    Similar to how the 3D screen kicks on a second after you switch to a picture in the gallery, the phone will show you the actual exposure of the 2D picture for a split second before the set screen brightness takes over.

    It would appear that to view a true representation of the exposure level of the photos you have taken, the phone's brightness setting needs to be set to around 90% (approximately).
    eric3316, aznmode and novox77 like this.
  20. aznmode

    aznmode Well-Known Member

    Youre right! I adjusted my brightness all the way up and doesn't dim any more. Man that was confusing. Thanks for the info. That is much better!
  21. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    Sure thing. I would definitely say it's a bug within their camera software; if for no other reason that brightness automatically changes from camera to 3D photos to 2D photos.
  22. flyjbaker

    flyjbaker Well-Known Member

    I am in the dissenting camp! My pics from the 3D compared to the 4G are horrible. The 3D has a yellowish/greenish tint when shooting in blasting sunlight. The 4G does a LOT better in direct sunlight. I will admit that the 3D does better in low light but they are both horrible. I expect a camera phone to be able to perform in direct sunlight. I don't expect it to perform in low light. I will likely be returning my 3D because of this. I have done a lot of side by side comparisons and the 4G kicks the 3Ds ass. I will admit that the 3D is more consistent. But it is consistent crap. Whereas the 4G mostly nails the pic in good light but sometimes it blows it. The 3D looks like pics from cellphones from years ago. I just can't go backward that far. Maybe something is wrong with my phone...
  23. flyjbaker

    flyjbaker Well-Known Member

    Yep...I sure can. Not only is it greenish/yellowish, but the resolution or the quality of the resolution is horrible. I have a 20 inch monitor at home and if I put a full res pic off of the 3D onto it all it takes is one click of the mouse wheel to zoom in and everything goes into that "fake look smear"...it doesn't pixalate but it just kind of looks fake with horrible highlights. I would assume this is caused by the jpeg compression in the camera...it just isn't that good. I look at pics from my 4G right next to the 3D and it is night and day...

    Let me see if I can post pics here....

    The United 757 was taken with the 4G. Perfect clarity...perfect color...perfect highlights. Now I have to upload pics from the 3D...I thought I had already done this...lol...the other 3 were taken with the 3D in absolutely blasting Texas sunlight. It is almost like a filter is on the camera and you can see the greenish tint in the pics...

    Attached Files:

  24. aznmode

    aznmode Well-Known Member

    You forgot to invite us to the party!!! lol. Those pics arent bad except for the close up one. Pretty grainy. Overall the images taken by the E3d seems not to be as sharp and slightly dim even in outdoors.
  25. aznmode

    aznmode Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the Vignette camera app will do the same so I think anytime the camera is activated regardless of which software it will do this.

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