Camera quality is, technically, subjective when it comes to the final product, which always makes it interesting to see who wins when you don’t know where the shot is coming from. In his latest blind camera test, MKBHD saw the Google Pixel 5a topple the competition, including its much more capable big brother.

The blind camera test by Marques Brownlee and co takes a completely objective test between 16 smartphones with a collection of various scenes and conditions and asks the public to vote on what the best shot is. The bracket-style test actually does a pretty good job of keeping bias out of the equation, but it also often ends up with some surprising results.

This time around, it was Google’s Pixel 5a that took the crown even when put up against the Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro, and even the Pixel 6 Pro.

The Pixel 5a, somewhat hilariously, actually beat the Pixel 6 Pro in the very first round of this blind camera test, with its win being attributed to a slightly better-balanced photo on the whole. It then went on to beat shots from the iPhone 13 Pro and Realme GT.

The final competitor from the other side of the bracket was the OnePlus 9 Pro, which had beaten out the Xperia Pro I and Asus ROG 5 – and indirectly the Galaxy S21 Ultra – to make it to that final round. While that final shot was a tough call in either direction, the Pixel 5a ended up taking the majority of votes, presumably for its better sharpness and contrast.

Of course, as we’ve seen time and time again, smartphone cameras today are all usually pretty good. They’ll get a decent shot most of the time, and what most people consider good or bad comes down to things like color, brightness, saturation, and sharpness.

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Ben Schoon

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