Samsung Galaxy S8 camera review

Hi folks,

As you all know the Samsung Galaxy S8 released last week and many people are excited about its “endless screen” and the best mobile phone camera existing today so I thought I will give quick review of the camera from my perspective.

I am semi-pro photographer working with mobile phone photography, shooting and editing photo on the mobile phone itself, as well as shooting with mirrorless camera (Fuji XE2) and full frame camera (Nikon D610)

This weekend I did a nice walk around Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam. It was cloudy day with patches of sun, something you will usually find in Amsterdam.

The first impression of the phone is nice and sleek design with good grasp. It might seem like slippery phone at first touch due to its glossy surface however it never slept from my hand while the whole photo shooting, even when I was pulling it out of my pocket while biking (common practice for the locals in Amsterdam), something I had many problems with my previous iPhone 6/6s. So design score : 10/10

To launch the camera fast while the phone is locked you can drag the camera icon on the bottom right corner. This can be a bit tricky if you are handling the phone with your right hand only and if you have smaller hands so I would love to see in the future camera launch from some of the buttons (like the one dedicated for Bixby). This is common for iPhone as well so I would like to think it’s an industry standard and it can be changed with help of using some 3rd party apps like Home2 Shortcut.

First impression of the photos taken is sharp and colorful photo with many details capture. Something I have to admit is mind-blowing for everyone looking at the results on the Quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen, however the story is different if you open the photo on other screen like iPhone or MacBook Retina display. The photos there are losing the colors and become something that you will usually shoot with your other phone’s camera. This can be very misleading, especially if you want to shoot and edit the photos on your mobile device exclusively using some of the photo editing tools like Snapseed or VSCO.

Camera position:

The camera is positioned as per usual, however due to its wide lens I encountered problem where the camera is capturing part of my finger while shooting with right hand only.

This should not be a problem most of the times but it’s good to be taken into consideration for the future releases. I don’t have gigantic hands BTW, so I can imagine this problem will be more common for someone with hands bigger than mine (like NBA player, or most of the Dutch people 🙂 )

Also the fingerprint sensor is placed next to the camera so most of the times your camera will be dirty due to the use of the fingerprint sensor. Make sure to have this in mind and clean your camera before making your perfect shot.

Here are some photos in the cloudy and sunny environment:

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review18Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review13Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review12Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review10Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review17

The color captured is a little bit more saturated than the real scene, so for the general audience it would give nice effect. The sharpens of the photos is exceptional making Samsung’s Galaxy S8 perfect camera for general travel photos.

Score: 8/10 . The photos are amazing from technical perspective of view. The reason I am giving 8 is because the misleading look on the phone’s screen due to the great screen that will not be inherited on other screen devices. I had this example this morning when I was editing the photo on the Samsung and I took a look of the edit on my Mac – there was a huge difference.

Portraits & Selective Focus

Samsung is going towards portraits photography offering the selective focus functionality. For amateur eye this might look perfect and very impressive, however the things are not as perfect as they seem: many times, the edges of the subject are not blurred and they will look very weird because of this. You can see some examples bellow:

 

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Here you can see the mistake in the algorithm that is causing weird look above the head.

 

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Almost perfect shot! The hair is blurred a bit too much.

 

I tried this functionality with other subjects like flowers and objects and for my surprise it works much better than people (or at least works good in less detailed background).
Still this is impressive algorithm that will just improve over time.

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review4Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review5Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review3

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Some visible mistakes in the algorithm above the light

Great result with the full portrait shot not using the selective focus functionality:

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review6
Great portrait capture, however you have to be careful not to capture part of your hand if you are shooting with one hand only (see left bottom corner)

 

Score 8/10

 

Panorama:

 

The panorama is really good – much better than the one on iPhone.

The distortion of the objects is really minimal so I really like the final result.

As expected the color is a bit off but nothing that will kill your shot.

You can notice the distortion of the buildings is minimal if any and the color is quite accurate to the original scene.

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review_panorama2

 

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Almost no distorsion visible on the buildings

 

Score 9/10

Food:

Samsung offers really nice functionality when shooting food. It has circular whitish and a bit blurry filter that is putting the food in your focus and makes it stands out.

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_Camera_review_food2
Samsung Galaxy S8 – perfect camera for food photography

 

Score 10/10

Summary

 

At first glance the camera performances are impressive and offers many fun options to explore.

I would say it’s perfect camera for the general public as it offers many options, manual setup and the photo quality is great. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested only in point and shoot photos, quick travel photos and some landscape photography.

In this test I didn’t cover the pro mode where you can manually set all options like Shutter Speed, White Balance ISO, Tone , Focus and Exposure.

Also in my next post, I will cover the underwater functionality.

Please let me know if you wish to see something specific.

Until than, happy shooting!

Kire

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