Camera quality is, technically, subjective when it comes to the end product, which always makes it interesting to see who wins when you don’t know where the shot came from. In his latest blind camera test, MKBHD has seen the Google Pixel 5a overthrow the competition, including its much better-performing big brother.

Marques Brownlee and co’s blind camera test performs a completely objective test between 16 smartphones with a collection of various scenes and conditions and asks the audience to vote on which is the best shot. The parenthesis style test actually does a pretty good job of keeping bias out of the equation, but it also often leads to surprising results.

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

The somewhat hilarious Pixel 5a actually beat the Pixel 6 Pro in the very first round of this blind-fisted camera test, with its victory attributed to a slightly better-balanced photo overall. He went on to beat the shots of the iPhone 13 Pro and Realme GT.

The latest contender on the other side of the medium was the OnePlus 9 Pro, which had beaten the Xperia Pro I and Asus ROG 5 – and indirectly the Galaxy S21 Ultra – to qualify for that final round. While the latter shot was a tough two-way call, the Pixel 5a ended up winning the majority of votes, likely for its better sharpness and contrast.

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

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