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Comparison of photos on Gopro Hero Black 4 and Samsung Galaxy A3 2016

For a long time it was interesting to me to compare photographic abilities in the camera of Gopro Hero Black 4 and a mobile phone, in my case - Samsung Galaxy A3 2016. Both cameras have the same resolution in photo mode (12 and 13 megapixels), but the physical size of the matrices is different ...

Technical data

I could not find data on the size of the matrix in the Samsung Galaxy A3, but it is clearly smaller than that of the Gopro (1 / 2.5 ″, pixel size 2.2 µm). For comparison, the sensor of the older model Galaxy Galaxy S5 (1 / 2.6 ″, pixel size 1.12 microns) is still smaller than that of the Gopro.gopro hero black 4 vs samsung

I would like to draw your attention to such technical details. the physical size of a pixel is one of the main criteria for obtaining a quality image.

About lenses

  • A lens with a focal length of 5mm and aperture is installed in the gopro f / 2.8.
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 has an aperture lens f / 1.9.

High aperture f / 1.9 is popular among Samsung marketers and others. I will even quote this nonsense:

Front and rear cameras with f / 1.9 aperture are always bright and clear, even in low light conditions.

To debunk the myth of super-fast optics in modern phones, here's an article What is a diaphragm?.

By the way, the gopro can shoot better in the dark than this phone. Both in video and photo mode. Despite f / 2.8.

In general, the camera phone of the Samsung Galaxy A3 is considered average and falls short of top-end smartphones, but nevertheless it is considered good.

Image quality and test shots

I used the phone in the default settings mode, that is format 16 * 9 with a resolution of 9,6MP. In height, the frame is cropped from the full 13MP, the horizontal resolution is original. Honestly, this format is more convenient square 4 * 3, which gives a goproshka.

Such photos I get at default settings on both devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy A3 - 4128 * 2322 pixels (9,6MP)
  • Gopro Hero Black 4 - 4000 * 3000 pixels (12MP)

For the purity of the experiment, I cropped the frames with the same aspect ratio.

gopro vs samsung A3

Both photos are without color correction. The photo from the phone definitely looks juicier and more pleasant. The snow is white, as it should be, the sky is blue and in general the colors are more saturated.

The gopro image looks more detailed and sharper. Although the difference is essentially small.

The angle of view on the Gopro is as expected. In fact, a fisheye lens is used in gopro. Its viewing angle is 170 degrees, which is wider than 14mm in full frame. IN this article you can see how 14mm and fisheye differ.

The camera angle of the Samsung Galaxy A3 is 28mm in full frame. Which is significantly narrower than gopro. But this focal length more versatile, because allows you to focus on both details and photograph general scenes. On gopro, it is unrealistic to take a close-up photo of something.

gopro vs samsung A3

The phone passed this test at 5, and gopro at 3 with a minus. The phone even gave some hips! On the phone, such shots are also more convenient to do due to the presence of a screen.

The shot on a goproshka here turned out to be frankly dark. At first glance, this is its drawback. But for processing such an image is better, because contains more information than bright and high-contrast phone images. On the other hand, given the nature of the use of these cameras for amateur purposes, additional processing is rather a disadvantage. After all, no one will seriously process photos from such devices.

Gopro adjusts the exposure more accurately to obtain maximum dynamic range... In practice, this means that the snow texture is almost always visible on the gopro and there are no overexposures. In phone images, snow often cuts out into white spots without details. But the picture is more juicy. For amateur purposes, the second option is preferable.

In the dark, the phone has the advantage of having a flash.


An important point about using these two devices in photo mode is autofocus. The phone focuses very badly. Even in bright sunlight, he often misses the mark.

Gopro works without autofocus. the hyperfocal distance of her lens starts about 20 centimeters from the camera. In other words, a gopro does not need to be focused in principle, because at such an ultra-wide angle everything is immediately in focus.

Overall, which photographs is better?

As they say, the best camera is the one with you. In the case of such amateur devices, by and large it doesn't matter what you shoot with. The main thing is to successfully catch the moment. Moments from my vacation in Bukovel can be viewed in this article... All photos in the article are mixed on gopro and phone.

About video

This test would be incomplete without comparing video quality. The GoPro is expected to shoot an order of magnitude better than a phone with a very average camera. The experiment is completely unfair because in the beginning the GoPro was installed on a Feiyu FY-G4 electronic gimbal, and the phone was held in hand. From 40 seconds, both devices are held in hands without stabilization. However, the picture on the gopro still shakes less, because it is easier to shoot handheld at a wide angle.

The image on gopro is more subdued. As I wrote above, this is good for post-processing and justifiable for a video camera. The phone, on the other hand, shoots immediately as intensely as possible. And rightly so, very few people will be engaged in color correction of video from the phone. To each his own.