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Meta vs. Midjourney: What’s The Better AI Image Generator?

Midjourney has become so popular in the AI space that it's almost become synonymous with AI art. However, a new challenger pops up every day. Here's how Meta's Imagine AI image generator fares against Midjourney.
Updated April 1, 2024
Two AI art models against each other, generated with Midjourney
Two AI art models against each other, generated with Midjourney

For better or worse, we’re heading towards an era where AI art is more normalized. I’d even argue that we’re already there, and we’re already seeing the lines being drawn in the community about which one’s the best AI image generator moving forward.

The one that people bring up the most is Midjourney, and why shouldn’t they? Beyond creativity, its output personalization and affordable pricing makes it an amazing option for anyone looking to get into AI art. But every now and then, a new challenger pops up, one that looks so promising that it warrants a comparison.

Today, that’s Meta’s Imagine AI image generator.

So, in this article, we’ll be directly comparing Meta and Midjourney’s features, price, and output.

What are Meta and Midjourney?

Meta’s Imagine and Midjourney are two of the most popular AI image generators to date. The former is backed by, well, Meta. It’s part of Mark Zuckerberg’s $30 billion AI infrastructure which includes Llama, embodied AI or robotics, responsible AI adoption research, and more. 

Meta Imagine AI Image Generator

Meta is transparent with how they sourced the training set for their AI image generator, but it has raised some ethical concerns. If you’re using a public profile on Instagram or Facebook, your images may have been a part of their dataset. That’s something to consider when using this AI image generator.

On the other hand, Midjourney is an AI art generator developed by an independent team based in San Francisco, California. It remains the most popular in its segment, boasting over 16 million users. It used to only be available as a bot in Discord, but they’ve since released an alpha version of their website and will soon be rolling out web-based image generation.

Midjourney Landing Page

Meta vs. Midjourney: Feature Comparison

Let’s start with the easy one. Meta’s Imagine doesn’t have any feature at all except for one: AI image generation. This makes using their application straightforward. You just input a prompt, pick one out of the four variations, and call it a day. It’s boring, but it works really well.

Meta Imagine AI Image Generator

Midjourney is the complete opposite of Meta. I’ll run out of breath before I finish the list of Midjourney’s features, so I’ll just give you a quick rundown of the most useful ones:

  • Pan & Zoom: Allows you to expand the canvas of your Midjourney image.
  • Upscaler: Creates a version of your chosen image with significantly better resolution.
  • Variations: Lets you generate subtle variations of an image you like.
  • Model Selection: Enables you to switch versions from Midjourney V1 to V6, or to any of its Niji models for better anime generation.
  • Aspect Ratio Customization: Allows you to specify the aspect ratio of your image.
  • Chaos: Lets you control the randomness of the image variations.
  • Stylize: Gives you control over how stylized the images are.
  • Prompt Weights: Enables you to assign priorities on specific parts of your prompts.
  • Text Generation: Creates images with almost accurate text.
  • Style Reference: Allows you to input any image and use the image’s style as your prompt. 

Of course, the trade-off of this is that Midjourney is a lot more complex than Meta. However, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means I’m able to generate more accurate and creative images.

Meta vs. Midjourney: Output Comparison

Portrait Realism

Meta does surprisingly well in realism, and it shows in this prompt. In a direct comparison, I’m giving this one to Meta. It’s not that Midjourney’s image is bad, it’s actually pretty good, but Meta’s training on Instagram and Facebook images really shows in its realism capabilities. 

Various Realism

This round is so close that I’m giving it a tie. I’ve always had the opinion that Midjourney and Meta are the best AI image generators for realism, and these two rounds prove it. 

Landscape Photo

Midjourney is the clear winner of this round. Meta’s output is incredibly bad if we’re looking for realism. The mountains look a little too geometric, the trees aren’t rendered well, and the colors are way off. On the other hand, Midjourney went on a more minimalist look, but it works in the context of this prompt. This one’s a no-brainer.

Digital Art

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no AI image generator that can compete with Midjourney in terms of digital art. It went on a slightly more surrealist route, so my only wish is that the “Tokyo” aspect of my prompt were more prominently featured. Meta’s output is okay, but it’s messier than what I would’ve hoped for. 

Logos

Meta’s output isn’t as coherent as Midjourney. It’s disjointed and the raindrops aren’t uniform. However, credit where credit is due, it’s still recognizable as a cloud.

Meta vs. Midjourney: Pricing Comparison

Meta is completely free. The only issue is that it’s not available worldwide yet, but we can safely assume it’s coming in the next few months given Mark Zuckerberg’s investment in beating OpenAI and Google in the AI race.

Midjourney, on the other hand, starts at $10 per month for their Basic Subscription and scales up to $120 per month for their Mega Plan. If you’re already subscribed to Midjourney but ran out of fast hours, you can still create by rating images on their website and receiving free two fast hours daily if you’re in the Top 2000 raters.

The Bottom Line

It’s a valiant try for Meta, but Midjourney is just on another league when it comes to AI image generation. It’s more customizable, creative, and accurate. With new features being added almost every week like style reference and Niji 6, I don’t think any AI image generator is going to eclipse Midjourney in the near future.

I’ve also been given access to their alpha website and it’s definitely worth the hype. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but it’s a huge quality of life improvement that would make Midjourney more accessible and user-friendly once it’s released to the public.

Midjourney Alpha Web Version

That said, for free AI image generators, Meta is certainly a contender. It may not be feature-rich, but its realism is up there with paid AI models. Since AI image generation doesn’t seem to be a particular focus in Meta, only time will tell where Imagine goes from here. But for now, it’s time to crown Midjourney as the clear winner of this head to head.

While I have you here, please check out our other AI image generator comparisons here, or our individual reviews of Midjourney and Meta. Have fun!

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Written by John Angelo Yap
Hi, I'm Angelo. I'm currently an undergraduate student studying Software Engineering. Now, you might be wondering, what is a computer science student doing writing for Gold Penguin? I took up studying computer science because it was practical and because I was good at it. But, if I had the chance, I'd be writing for a career. Building worlds and adjectivizing nouns for no other reason other than they sound good. And that's why I'm here.
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