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  • New Galaxy S5 camera samples test the 16 MP sensor, compare it with the Galaxy S4, Lumia 1520, and Note 3

New Galaxy S5 camera samples test the 16 MP sensor, compare it with the Galaxy S4, Lumia 1520, and Note 3

New Galaxy S5 camera samples test the 16 MP sensor, compare it with the Galaxy S4, Lumia 1520, and Note 3
Samsung's new Galaxy S5 flagship comes with a 16 MP ISOCELL camera, an apparent improvement over the 13 MP shooter in last year's Galaxy S4. The sensor is 1/2.5" in size - quite a bit larger than your average Android phone sensor - and only giving way to the 1/2.3" unit in the Sony Xperia Z1. Granted, Samsung used a larger sensor, but also crammed 16 million, instead of 13 million pixels in it, so the pixel size itself is still 1.1 microns.

The ISOCELL technology, however, decreases the cross-talk interference between adjacent pixel cells, which bleeds light meant for one pixel, into the neighboring pieces. This allegedly overcomes the problem with stuffing many small pixels close to each other, which some argue is the reason behind the artifacts that often appear with Sony's 20 MP photos from the Z1, for instance. Samsung also explained that the pixels in the ISOCELL sensor have 30% larger well capacity. This means that each individual pixel can receive more light before saturating itself, which results into a wider dynamic range, and better color representation.

Galaxy S5 Selective Focus - rear mode

Galaxy S5 Selective Focus - rear mode

In addition, Samsung claims the fastest in the industry 0.3 seconds shot-to-shot times with the Galaxy S5, and the camera interface got a number of extra features, like the Selective Focus mode, that you see in action on the right. Also, the camera on the S5 shoots in wide view 16 MP mode by default, while the full 13 MP resolution of the S4, for instance, produces photos in 4:3 format.

Talk is cheap, though, and without an optical image stabilization module, the low-light performance of the Galaxy S5 might be called under question here. Luckily, an abundance of real-life camera samples with the S5 just appeared, putting the 16 MP ISOCELL sensor through its paces in various scenarios. We have the camera tested under indoor, outdoor, and night conditions, as well as some macro samples, plus a comparison with the same shots, taken by the S4. Dig in the slideshow below (the comparison shots are towards the end), and tell us what you think. These are full-size samples straight from the handset, so arm yourself with patience, while they load.

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posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:21 16

1. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Eh, it's not bad actually, but in low light condition pictures do show some noises which is quite not what I expected to be since it has an ISOCELL camera. But still, it's not bad when in well lighten conditions.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:25 7

3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Test the same scene with a Z2 or 5S (both don't sport OIS) and compare. Where there's light, the camera is pretty damn good.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:15 2

34. Genza (Posts: 540; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Z2 has bigger sensor and fast F2.0 lens.
5s has bigger pixel size with 1.5 micron.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 13:48 2

38. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Comment still stands.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:12 2

46. Genza (Posts: 540; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Since Note 3 and S4 can take better pictures than S5, i'm pretty sure Both of them (Z2 and 5s) will outperform S5 especialy in low light.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 19:40

42. reckless562 (banned) (Posts: 1153; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


1.1 microns genza, read the article

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:13

47. Genza (Posts: 540; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


iPhone 5s has 1.5 micron.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:35

48. reckless562 (banned) (Posts: 1153; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


WWAAIITT........ im sorry.....i became dyslexic for a bit there. thought we were talking bout the phone IN the article, the S5.......my bad

posted on 30 Mar 2014, 20:44

57. realthedeal (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


Just google this and click on Android (can't post links). I think the Galaxy s5 looks better than the other two in the link I posted, but honestly it looks pretty bad here.

"Galaxy S5 vs One (M8) vs Xperia Z2 vs G Pro 2 nighttime photo samples"

posted on 04 Apr 2014, 16:50

58. GBPN15 (Posts: 6; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


One will win that one. Its camera is designed to the night. :/ Z2 isn't as good as it. :( Have a Z1

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:59 16

12. LiyanaBG (Posts: 381; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


same crap nothing special

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:23 15

16. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Lol dude.
Even note 3 took better photos than s5.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 16:44 4

39. gamblor77 (Posts: 107; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Ya pretty mediocre honestly. The irony is I have a Note 3 and the photos are nothing special at all. From my experience the Note 3 takes really nice photos up close (macro) but any kind of scene photo is just OK, low light is pretty horrible like all other Samsungs I've owned. And yes I have tried all different settings and even other camera apps like FV-5 and ProCapture.
This article just adds to my feeling that they seriously sh*t the bed on the S5 and it makes me sad. Here's hoping the Galaxy F with OIS is real and actually takes good pics, otherwise I'll be considering the Xperia Z2 or New HTC One.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 22:20 1

43. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3109; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Like all other Samsung phones you've own? Seems like you've never used any other brand before. Because try just about anything that isn't Nokia and low light images all look pretty bad.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:59 1

49. rickysam (Posts: 44; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


dude dont even think about sony in case of low light photos they r the worst in low light

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:13 3

15. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Yeah, these samples are good from S5 but night shots are horrible even worse than S4. And in good light conditions it's good though compared to 1520.

Let's wait for the samples from the final retail unit which I expect to be better than these.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:52 4

28. Maryewww (Posts: 32; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


I don't know why i tend to like note 3's photos over S5,

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:57 6

30. Maryewww (Posts: 32; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


Oh yeah, i know why!! ISOCELL is gimmick!

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:22 7

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Picture #4 and #6 are literally phenomenal.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:34

36. GMS85 (Posts: 209; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


I agree with you!

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:26 14

4. harvardale (Posts: 46; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)


Those night shots are awful.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:51 5

11. szaboagoston (Posts: 43; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)


Agreed. But no smartphone can do decent night shots, perhaps the 1020. A point and shoot like the Canon Powershot s110 or the Sony RX100 II takes a thousand times better low light pictures.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:26 2

5. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


18 and 19...S4 is the clear winner.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:33 1

7. milos (Posts: 59; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


I totally agree. Look at the detai and noise level. S5 looks worse than S4. Unless they mislabeled the photos

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:50 2

10. mail2eswar (Posts: 15; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


Exactly. I feel in most of the cases S4 is a winner. Pictures from S5 looks more noisy and lost details.
Even in the last photo, Note 3 is clear winner over S5.
The ISOCELL is either a Marketing crap or just a fail in their implementation.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:27 9

6. chunky1x (Posts: 270; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)


Phone Arena's photo viewer is a big steaming pile of cow dung especially when used in slow internet connection. I missed the old version.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:00 4

13. LiyanaBG (Posts: 381; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


i have very fast 100mps internet and its slow loading they need to change it

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:36 8

8. Nesco (Posts: 12; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)


phonearena photo viewer is sh*t..iam sure my connection speed is enough for such pictures...but still it doesn't load

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:07

20. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


simple solution for now: go to the source. they load way faster.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:41

9. majp89 (Posts: 171; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


It looks like the S4 and the S5 photos are reversed especially in 18 and 19, there is no way that the camera is that cloudy and noisy and all of a sudden the S4's camera is improved.

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