When it comes to photography, nothing beats having a dedicated camera for functionality and image quality. Each year, DSLRs, high end compact cameras and Mirrorless cameras flood the market with new features and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, many people are exclusively using smartphones as an alternative. Why? Because they are a perfect solution for portability and convenience. I’ve been able to test out the camera of Samsungs latest flagship offering, the Galaxy S8. For a small module in the back of a phone, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with its capabilites. The following considers specifications, a few photos that I’ve been able to capture and my likes/dislikes regarding the camera.
Hardware – For all of the spec geeks out there, the Galaxy S8’s 12 megapixel Camera has an aperture of f1.7 with optical image stabilisation. It also features ‘dual pixel’ technology where each individual pixel has phase detection capabilities for better and faster focus. Each individual pixel is a size of 1.4 microns which should let in more light than many other smartphone cameras and produce better image quality.
Software – On the software side of things, the phone is factory set to auto-HDR. It captures three shots at a time and finds the best balance between highlights and shadows for and merges some of the features of each for a well balanced image. This mode also in theory prevents blur in your photos. There is a ‘pro mode’ for more seasoned photographers who want more control over their shots and a ‘food mode’ for those who like to take shots of what they eat.
Anyway, enough of the technical stuff, here are the images I’ve been able to capture.
As stated before. I have been impressed with the level of detail that this little camera produces. Smartphones have definitely surpassed most point and shoot cameras. However, no camera is without its weaknesses and this includes the Galaxy S8.
Colour – Colours are vivid and punchy, but at times can come out a little too saturated. This is often an area of preference I know, but there are times that you enjoy a scene because of the natural colours in the surrounding environment. It can be a little frustrating when they are altered unexpectedly . Editing software can fix this however.
Low light performance – Low light capabilities have vastly improved in Samsung cameras over the years and this remains true with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Still, it does not quite match that of a dedicated camera, and I have seen better results with the likes of the Google pixel and its predecessor, the Nexus 6P.
No dual lens – What was spearheaded by the likes of HTC and Huawei has now become commonplace with the likes of Apple and LG. There are benefits to having two lenses whether it is more light gathering capabilities, more zoom reach or subject isolation for portraits. It would be nice to see this feature on Samsung cameras as I believe they would be able to utilise this tool very well. I’m sure this is in the pipeline from rumours regarding the Galaxy Note 8 which will be announced later on this month. We will see.
I hope you enjoyed my review and samples of this great little tool.