ZenFone 6 looks worse than any phone when on 48 Mpx mode
I bought a ZenFone 6 a while ago and since then the 48 Mpx photos have become just useless. I was hyped about 48 Mpx feature so I could take a photo of people and I could just zoom in to see someone, but instead it's just a mess.
The colors are not great, not near from the ones shown on preview, the sharpness is poor and white balance seems shifted sometimes or maybe it just doesn't work.
The worse thing is the RAW files (if you try Manual mode). They are USELESS. A lot of magenta where it shouldn't be any and colors doesn't even show in the shadows sometimes. I can't fix a unfixable RAW, so why there's RAW then?
I have an ZenFone 3, 4, 5Z and 6. I feel like from 3 to 4 the quality got a little worse, but still useful, then 4 to 5Z the noise got A LOT WORSE, but still, I could at least edit on Lightroom and I could sometimes get a good image. The ZenFone 6 is just... just... I don't know. I just can't.
The photos were just imported to show how it shows up on Lightroom. I didn't edit most them (I added saturation as said in each one to be easier to see some stuff and the ZenFone 3 one is edited) because I want to show that the start point is a lot WORSE on ZenFone 6 and sometimes unfixable. The images are mostly prints because I don't know why the page can't upload the full images (sometimes).
Full files (RAW and those JPGs) down below.
- #1) ZenFone 4 (RAW exported as is) [ISO 347 1/25 s]
- #2) ZenFone 6 (RAW exported as is) [ISO 682 1/30 s]
- #3) ZenFone 6, (far from ISO 3200 that is the limit of this phone, so imagine 3200) [ISO 680 1/25 s]
- #4) ZenFone 6 [ISO 366 1/60 s]
- #5) ZenFone 6, original RAW file (why is everything so magenta, even at ISO 25?) [ISO 25 1/1800 s]
- #6) Trying to get information from shadows, there's none (tree is not green, instead everything looks MAGENTA and a lot of NOISE on a LOW ISO PHOTO) [ISO 25 1/1800 s]
- #7) Why the green still looks like MAGENTA? (added saturation so it's clearer to see the magenta on left bottom of the image) [ISO 25 1/400 s]
- #8) An example of GOOD DYNAMIC RANGE so you can actually recover shadows and do things properly on RAW (took from ZenFone 3, NO WEIRD MAGENTA OR IDK STUFF) [ISO 800 1/4 s]
As you can see, ZenFone 4 (#1) does BETTER on mid to low light scenarios, so do the ZenFone 3 (#8). High ISO is just unusable on ZenFone 6 (#2 and #3). It lacks saturation, color precision, and so on. I don't know why the RAW files are SO BAD.
Sometimes the colors are so messed up like when the magenta somehow is found everywhere basically (#4 and #7) that I can't fix. I dare you to fix that (there's nothing but magenta, so you can't just remove the magenta and expect it to be the color it should be)
Things I did in the past with ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 4 (it was hard to do on ZenFone 5Z, but sometimes...) is an HDR from the RAW file. You expect data to be found in the darks so you can get that and just work with it, because, come on, those RAW files are 16-bit color, so it must have a lot of color data. They don't (on ZF6). (#5 and #6)
The painful thing is that MAGENTA is everywhere. You can't ignore this. And it does mess up THE WHOLE IMAGE because where there was supposed to be green now it is MAGENTA and there's nothing you can do about that. (#7)
I just took 2 photos again (12 Mpx Auto + '48 Mpx JPG + DNG' ) today just to show how quality dramatically changes when on 48 Mpx mode:
- #9) 12 Mpx Automatic [ISO 604, 1/30 s]
- #10) 48 Mpx (JPG shot from the app) [ISO 110 1/60 s]
- #11) 48 Mpx RAW file (added some EV and lowered highlights to match light from #9: +1.2 Exposure, -85 Highlights, +89 Saturation) [ISO 110 1/60 s]
I feel bad how RAW image quality has decreased as newer phones have been created. I know a lot of people doesn't actually use Manual, but now no one will just because it is USELESS.
Files (yes, somehow 91 MB 48 Mpx RAW files can be compressed to <50 MB ZIP):
tl;dr: THERE'S TOO MUCH MAGENTA ON RAW and there's a lot of NOISE even at low ISO on the MAIN SENSOR. 48 Mpx is useless. You have to trust Automatic with HDR or you're screwed. Files are there if you want to check and do yourself.