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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Camera Review



Samsung Galaxy Note 5 - Camera Review

The new Note series handset from Samsung is company’s sleekest Galaxy Note phone yet, and it takes the design cues from Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge which were introduced earlier this year. Though, removal of the microSD card slot from its fifth generation Note smartphone was not taken lightly by its fans. Well to make the sleeker device, the company had to scarify some features of the device. But those worries would be washed away once you spend some quality time with the device.

The Note 5 is not only the best big smartphone from Samsung, but it might be the best smartphone you can buy right now. Though, we are here to talk about the camera part of the device for now.

The device packs 16MP sensor and f/1.9 lens that was present on the S6, but interestingly they have added few features that make it propel to the higher competition like LG G4. The camera module is accompanied by the laser focus and dual LED flash while heart rate sensor is also present there.

Samsung has achieved the fastest Quick launch of the camera app possible on a smartphone; it has bested its own time from 1.1 seconds to 0.6 seconds. Though, we didn’t test with timing, but can certainly feel that it takes less than a second for the camera app to launch with a double tap on the physical home button. It can be done from the lock screen as well as from any screen.

Natural Light Captures – Photo Gallery

More than anything, Samsung’s greatest strength lies in its software rather than the hardware. The company offers industry best software and processing, and it is extended to the camera app. By default, the camera would be in Auto mode, and it’s one of the few camera phones where you can just point and shoot at things and would get stunning captures.

The camera does the HDR right this time, on Note 4 we thought, it made some details washed out. But with Dynamic range introduction the details are improved, whereas the automatic HDR function makes it a really good companion to judge when the HDR should be used or not, as it smartly detects the need. Generally speaking HDR shots takes a lot of time for processing captures than regular shots, but we didn’t experience any significant delay between these modes.

Low Light Captures – Photo Gallery

The big improvement compared to the S6 are done in the Pro mode, where now you can set the shutter speed manually, allowing it to be true manual mode. It is said to help in shooting better low light captures so that you can enable the slow shutter effects.

Additionally, the Note 5 comes with native RAW support, which is a huge plus point if you’re in a photography profession, now this can be a serious tool for them. It is also quite interesting that you can add more features to the camera by installing plugins for the app via Galaxy Apps store. It is the thing that I would like to see on more smartphones.

Artificial Light Captures – Photo Gallery

For the talk about its front facing camera, it has been increased to 5MP from the 3.7MP on the Note 4. More or less, it is still the same selfie camera, not because of the hardware, but because of the software processing. The app renders skin tones pretty well under most lighting conditions. The beauty mode is not for everyone; at least I wouldn’t want my skin to look plastic. It is not the best selfie camera among the plethora of selfie-focused smartphones, but it handles skin tones really well. So, there’s that.

Meanwhile moving to the video captures, there is an eminent increase in the quality of the recordings from what we saw on the Galaxy S6. There is a Smart OIS (optical image stabilization) feature, which optimizes the vibrations and shakes happened while recording the clip. Though, it was only available in the Full HD (1920 x 1080) mode, otherwise you cannot enable the feature while recording in full HD at 60fps, as well as in 2K and 4K resolution. Though, the plain OIS does plenty smooth job.

Dim Light Captures – Photo Gallery

There is a new feature introduced on par with Periscope and Meerkat app that allows you to stream the live video through your YouTube account. I doubt that many people would use this feature right away. Though, the trend might catch on looking at the sudden spike of interest in live streaming the daily activities.

Other than what we talked above, there are various modes available on the camera app such as virtual shot, fast motion, slow motion, etc. And if your creativity craves more, then you can download more plugins from Samsung Galaxy Apps to satisfy the needs. Overall, both the cameras on Note 5 are an improvement over the last iteration of the device and we liked them a lot.


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