Samsung’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S5, was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona and eventually arrived in Indian shores earlier this week. With a sky high price of Rs. 51,500, we set out to find if the device is really worth the price. While we will let you know the conclusion in our full review of the phone, in the process, we took the really intriguing 16 MP camera for a spin. We had purchased the international variant in the US and tested the camera in and around San Francisco to see how it fared in different lighting conditions. Go past the break to find all the full resolution samples, and more importantly the 4K video sample after that.
The 16 megapixel camera on the Galaxy S5 is based on the ISOCELL technology, which basically means the individual pixels are isolated from each other, making way for better overall colour reproduction and accuracy. The downside is, even if it has a larger surface area for the sensor, the pixels will be a lot smaller than the conventional pixel size one could get from a normal BSI sensor. Coupled with a clear f2.2 lens, how does the new ISOCELL tech perform? Lets find out.
Lets start with this landscape of a view from the San Francisco Bay ferry. The colours here are top notch, and so are the details on the water, which usually gets murky with other devices. There is great clarity in this picture, and we think this is incredible, coming from a phone.
Here’s the boat in full. The colours are spot on and overall a really clear looking image. It helps that the skies are clear but even then, the accuracy is something to be noted here.
Not exactly a close up shot, but you can still see the small amount of bokeh it produced in the background, mainly due to the enormity of the sensor. The pixels are small, coming in at 1.12 um, but still produces terrific results. Once again, the colour accuracy here is spot on.
Staying close to the topic, we have another macro picture here, again not too close, but still very sharp and accurate details with some amount of bokeh.
A shot of a colourful building here. The way the red stands out in a sea of blue is striking, and the S5 managed to capture the vibrancy to utmost perfection here. The sharpness, the colour accuracy and the overall clarity of the image was a recurring theme with the S5 in clear bright daylight. A great mix of hardware and software we’d say.
Another macro shot, this time of a small bottle of olive oil. Again, great colours, accuracy and detail.
Here are some more picture in bright daylight –
We also tested it out in places with demanding lighting conditions, like a huge difference in highlights and shadows to test the dynamic range and here are the results –
As you can see from some of the above pictures, the S5’s small-ish sensor when compare to capable cameras does pose a problem in conditions like these. Under exposed shadows are a norm, but the HDR solution works well, which we will discuss in a separate post and video. Some more photos, which feature locations with dim or artificial lights that are mostly never enough for phone cameras, in terms of sensitivity –
Lots of colours here but they are kinda dulled down by the post processing to remove noise.
Moving on, these are some other photos in daylight, all of which had vibrant colours –
These are all the full resolution stills samples and video samples of the Samsung Galaxy S5 we have right now. We think this is a nice segue to our complete review where will talk more in-depth on the performance of the Galaxy S5’s camera. So, what do you think? Does it beat your expectations? Let us know in the comments section below.
Bharadwaj contributed to this report