Today we ‘Probe’ the Galaxy S5 Camera

One of the most important things to smartphone owners is the camera of a device. It can be make or break for someone who is comparing devices. While screen size, resolution, and battery life are important, the camera can be just as influential. 

Samsung has always prided themselves on producing devices with great cameras, and the S5 is no different. Today we are probing the camera on the ever popular Galaxy S5, which comes with the biggest megapixel count over any Galaxy phone to date with 16 megapixels. The previous megapixel count was 13 on both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. To go along with the 16 megapixel rear facing camera, the S5 comes with a 2.1 megapixel front camera worthy of shooting 1080p with 30 FPS. The S5 also supports 4K video recording, unlike it’s predecessor the Galaxy S4.

The S5 comes with six shooting modes: Auto, Beauty Face, Shot & More, Panorama, Virtual Tour, Dual Camera, and the ability to download more through Samsung Hub. 
The Auto mode is the one you’ll use the most because it is the most practical of them all. It is well-balanced and will take care of static pictures or shooting something with a little more motion. Below you can see a picture with a lot of motion and the camera captures it very well, although if you zoom in you will see the water will show blurs. The Auto Mode makes it very simple with the quick focus. You just have to tap to focus, and it will take care of the rest.

The S5 has a great definition of colors as is expected with Samsung’s phones. This camera has great peripherals, which can be seen below. On this image, we focused on the water, but the vegetation around the river is still very clear and crisp when zoomed in upon. You can really appreciate the 16 megapixel shooter in nature pictures. Every leaf is defined throughout the picture. Although you pick one point to focus on, the camera does a very good job of taking in the surrounding environment.

Once again, the camera’s ability to produce vivid photos from any distance is shown below. The rocks and greenery is well defined, however when you are taking a picture from a distance, motion tends to blur easier. The color representation on the Galaxy S5 is definitely top of the smartphone list. Samsung has been criticized for their excess use of saturation before, but with the camera it is great. The camera has more to take in and can’t focus entirely on the waterfall. The Auto Mode definitely shows it’s easiness in scenes with a lot to take in.

One of our favorite features on the Galaxy S5 camera is the Focus Mode. On the HTC One M8, it comes with two cameras, so you can choose between near and far focus whenever you want. On the S5, the setting has to be enabled, but it is worth it. The detail this camera shows is second to none in the smartphone market. Below you can see the pictures where we used the Focus Mode. The object in the focus has to be at least twenty inches away for this mode to work. The software definitely does a good job of separating what’s focused on and what isn’t. The line on the rocks is very crisp until you get to the outer right edges of the rocks.

One convenient feature of the Focus Mode is that you can go into your gallery at anytime and change the focus from close to far, and vise versa. You can compare the differences between the near focus on the lower left and the far focus on the lower right.

One thing that the Galaxy series camera has lacked in its entire existence, is shooting at night. Below you can see a sunset shot with the S5. When it is used in low-light conditions, objects tend to look grainy and blur together. While the colors are shown very well once again, it can’t handle the darkness. The S5 has improved over previous models of the Galaxy family however. There is a clear definition of the waterline to the trees, and the trees to the sky. It is not perfect, but it will work.

Overall, the Galaxy S5 camera tops the list of smartphone cameras we’ve had the pleasure of using. If you are an outdoorsman or or just a casual walker, the Galaxy S5 will take great pictures of whatever you point your phone at. While it handles colors and detail very well, it does a decent job with things in motion. The only point that seems to drag the camera down is night shooting. It can take decent pictures at night, but it isn’t great. The S5 is a great camera for someone who is a point-and-shoot type of photographer.

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About Author

I skateboard, listen to metal, write on my website FWNED, autocross, and love messing with new phones. Currently I'm using a Pixel XL running Pure Nexus with ElementalX as my daily driver.