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From dusk till dawn: Samsung sheds more light on the making of the 16MP Galaxy S5 camera

From dusk till dawn: Samsung sheds more light on the making of the 16MP Galaxy S5 camera
Samsung's Galaxy S5 earned the top place in our thorough camera comparison immediately after launch, thanks to its improved 16 MP camera with ISOCELL sensor, which is able to produce consistently pleasing results in a variety of scenarios. The ISOCELL technology decreases cross-talk between adjacent pixel cells, plus the pixels have 30% larger full well capacity. This means that each individual pixel can receive more light before saturating itself, which results into an improved color dynamic range, and images with better color exposition. The improved light sensitivity results in better performance of the camera sensor in low-light conditions, too.

Samsung didn't stop here, though, and wanted to derive the maximum of the sensor/lens/chipset/software combo. The company prides itself in two things in particular, when it comes to the camera of the S5. One is the ultra fast 0.3 seconds autofocus time, which is made possible by the new Snapdragon 801 chipset's 45% increase in image processing power, and the PDAF (phase detection auto focus) brisk focusing tech. 

Hence, they took pictures day and night, from sunrise to sunset in various weather conditions, even in the freezing cold of winter.

The other is the always-on HDR mode, both for stills and video. To take a high dynamic range photo one needs to combine a few pics with different exposure settings, so processing those shots quickly, and seamlessly merging them in a single image, is quite the daunting task with the speeds that the Galaxy S5 shoots at. Samsung's engineers apparently used a separate sensor for the short and the long exposure part of the HDR snaps, and developed a proprietary algorithm to deal with the deluge of pixel data that results from combining the shots. They traveled the globe, and kept shooting over a thousand of images per day in all weather conditions, until they were pleased with the always-on HDR feature, that you can see demonstrated below. Our camera comparison comes to show that the effort put in developing the Galaxy S5 camera has definitely been worth it, do you agree?



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posted on 08 May 2014, 06:00 7

1. tech2 (Posts: 2167; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


'They traveled the globe, and kept shooting over a thousand of images per day in all weather conditions' - Wow that's some real dedication right there.

Its not easy to beat Sony who've been producing camera lens for flagships for so long.

posted on 08 May 2014, 06:36 4

2. hassoups (Posts: 373; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


the only company that could match Sony (and in this case even surpass it) is Samsung, although i think they'd be pretty equal if Sony got their algorithms right.

posted on 08 May 2014, 07:21 5

4. PunyPoop (Posts: 741; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Are you serious? Top DSLR lenses are made by SONY FYI..

posted on 08 May 2014, 07:37 6

5. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2925; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


And sensors.

posted on 08 May 2014, 07:52 1

6. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I love Sony from 1987

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:11

8. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2925; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I love Sony since I got my "My first Sony" radio/audio recorder in the late 90's lol. I had lots of fun with it :D

http://cdn.head-fi.org/d/de/de074b43_755l9or.jpeg

posted on 08 May 2014, 13:01

18. james.blunt.1973 (Posts: 36; Member since: 15 Dec 2013)


I love Sony from 1973

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:41 2

10. hassoups (Posts: 373; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


And dslr have what to do with their smartphones? It doesn't matter if they make the lenses and sensors and everything else, they always underperform compared to other smartphones. Always.

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:05

16. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2925; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


lolol. Still the only manufacturer whose phones take better pictures than Z2 is Nokia.

posted on 08 May 2014, 14:04 2

19. Ashoaib (Posts: 2270; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


but samsung has better result using same sony's lense/sensor which sony use. So sony knows how to make good lense and good sensors but dont know how to use them

posted on 08 May 2014, 20:42

21. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3270; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


It was only five minutes, but it was a tough five minutes. Samsung's marketing department really had to think of exactly how to best BS their customers. How many images per day? Hundreds? Too little. Millions? Not believable. Okay, thousands it is. Weather conditions? Baking hot sun? No, phone will explode if the camera is used that much. Ice cold winter? No, phone won't work right. Better to put "all weather conditions" so the legal department is happy. Okay, everyone, good work. Ship new marketing BS now!

posted on 08 May 2014, 20:45 1

22. cheetah2k (Posts: 837; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Sometimes, companies who have been producing camera sensors & lenses for flagships for so long get complacent. Seems this is the case with the Sony Z1 / Z2.

All we need now is for Canon to start making phone camera sensors and lenses. Only then will the phone camera really start to get serious :p

posted on 08 May 2014, 07:18

3. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Why not just use a Xneon flash use twin OLED flash one at top another at the bottom

posted on 08 May 2014, 07:53 3

7. tech2 (Posts: 2167; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


lol.....you wanna blind people ?

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:30

9. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Lol...

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:41

11. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2691; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


That's awesome.

posted on 08 May 2014, 08:55 1

12. mrblah (Posts: 455; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


They did none of this.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:27 1

13. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3270; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Their marketing department worked hard, though.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:41 4

14. SAIDH0 (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 May 2014)


Not exaggerating but GS5's camera is one of the best to date! .. The amount of detail that it has is jus insane.. IMO its the closest thing to a pureview camera and in some situations it can even beat it..

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:05 1

15. elitewolverine (Posts: 1700; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


some situations beat it? Would have to disagree. IMO that is.

The camera is great no doubt about that, but i would put the pureview, 1020, icon/1520 up against this any day.

But this is all IMO that is.

posted on 08 May 2014, 19:57

20. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3270; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


The lack of natural colors is regrettable. Instead, the GS5 puts out pumped up fake colors.

The Galaxy S5's lack of OIS is regrettable. All the major camera makers use OIS for their better cameras or lenses. Because it works well.

The lack of dual tone flash is also regrettable. Samsung gave us a gimmick heartbeat sensor instead of dual tone flash.

The lack of good low light performance is also regrettable.

Other than the faster focus in good light situations, the new camera of the GS5 is just a bundle of regrets.

posted on 10 May 2014, 14:50

25. Teeeyoo (Posts: 36; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)


You are such a hater..i can feel it..lol

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:40 1

17. SAIDH0 (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 May 2014)


I agree with u but the pureview camera is not perfect! I owned L1020 before and man that camera was a beast its just it wasn't consistent and slow.. with that said, I would say Pureview camera is the best but the GS5's camera is more consistent and that's jus my opinion :)

posted on 09 May 2014, 01:52

23. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3270; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


I think you have a good point. Nokia Lumia camera hardware specs were good, but Lumia cameras were well known for terrible lag when taking pictures. The Samsung devices I have used have not had nearly as much lag.

posted on 09 May 2014, 02:25

24. jojon (Posts: 90; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Really?....i would put my Lumia 1020 up against ANY other phone cam and blow it out of the water

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