Samsung Galaxy S8 camera deep dive
By maximising the number of pixels and adding faster autofocus and brighter lenses, smartphone camera developers have recently been able to provide users with the tools they need to take great photos anytime, anywhere.
“While Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones have always been at the forefront of camera development, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ take mobile photography to a new level with the handsets’ ability to capture vibrant photos in low light as well as new features that add even more fun to photos,” says Craige Fleischer, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa.
Lighting and subject movement are two factors that greatly influence the outcome of a photograph. But in the real world, these conditions are not always ideal for taking pictures. The Galaxy S8, however, is embedded with sophisticated multi-frame image processing to ensure bright and clear photographs in nearly every environment.
“With this technology, the camera takes three photos – instead of just one – then selects the clearest image and uses the other two to reduce the blur,” says Fleischer. “By imposing the three images on top of one another, the resulting photograph is highly detailed with clearer contours. This applies to images captured in less-than-ideal conditions, such as when zoomed-in in low light. Furthermore, the camera can capture and process the image so quickly that users cannot tell the difference between it and conventional smartphone cameras.”
The phone’s 12MP F1.7 autofocus rear camera utilises the same great Dual Pixel image sensor that was first introduced to the smartphone market with the Samsung Galaxy S7. With Dual Pixel technology, every single pixel enables precise and fast focusing, much in the same way that the human eye does. By splitting all of the camera’s pixels into two photodiodes for on-chip phase detection, the technology enables vastly improved autofocus performance, even in low light.
The 8MP F1.7 smart autofocus front camera has also been improved from the 5MP F1.7 front camera of the Galaxy S7. Until now, the front camera, which is most often used for taking selfies, was programmed to provide a fixed focus based on the average arm length of users. However, that distance has expanded with the proliferation of the selfie stick and other accessories.
Therefore, the Galaxy S8’s front camera has been equipped with autofocus features and facial recognition technology so it can better recognise and track faces, even when the distance between the camera and the subjects in the photo is increased. The result is superior selfie quality with a clearer, more detailed picture.
As smartphone camera use has become more widespread, so too has the popularity of camera apps that let users apply various effects to add a bit of fun to their photographs. The Galaxy S8 gives users the option to use photo filters, stickers and stamps in the same way as these popular apps.
“With a simple, convenient filter setting, users can let their creativity run wild by choosing from a collection of 16 filters, including eight beauty filters. Or, they can let the camera do the work for them via the Auto Filter feature, which automatically applies a filter optimised for the photo. Filters can be previewed before finalising the edits,” Fleischer mentions.
Users can also choose from a selection of 34 stickers and 50 stamps to add to their photos, right from the native Camera app. The camera’s facial recognition technology can instantly apply static and animated facial feature stickers on the subject when in Camera or Video mode. New stickers and stamps will continue to be added in the future.
With the Galaxy S8’s enhanced UX, capturing life’s special moments has never been easier. Even with the phone’s large display, users can effortlessly launch and control the camera app with one hand.
A swipe right triggers shooting mode, while swiping left opens filter settings for convenient editing. Swiping up or down lets users effortlessly switch back and forth between the phone’s front and rear cameras. The camera’s zoom function has also been simplified and can be controlled by moving the shutter button to the right or left with one hand.
With advanced photo processing, fun new features and a convenient UX, the Galaxy S8 delivers on Samsung’s heritage of offering best-in-class Galaxy technology.