x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • 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.

58 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:21 16

1. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5577; 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: 8665; 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: 225; 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: 8665; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Comment still stands.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:12 2

46. Genza (Posts: 225; 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 (Posts: 851; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


1.1 microns genza, read the article

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:13

47. Genza (Posts: 225; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


iPhone 5s has 1.5 micron.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:35

48. reckless562 (Posts: 851; 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: 346; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


same crap nothing special

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:23 15

16. akki20892 (Posts: 3555; 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: 73; 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: 3033; 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: 2693; 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: 29; 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: 29; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


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

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:22 7

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8665; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Picture #4 and #6 are literally phenomenal.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:34

36. GMS85 (Posts: 157; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


I agree with you!

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:26 14

4. harvardale (Posts: 13; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)


Those night shots are awful.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:51 5

11. szaboagoston (Posts: 41; 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: 325; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


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

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 08:33 1

7. milos (Posts: 38; 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: 14; 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: 254; 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: 346; 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: 933; 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: 103; 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.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:04 1

14. mail2eswar (Posts: 14; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


They are not reversed. Because there is clear difference in pixel count. The first one is Galaxy S5 and the second one is S4 as PA has labeled.
Considering the night shots and these this shot (#18) of the S5, I feel the S5 camera is very noisy when compared to S4 and noise reduction causes the image to be softer when compared to S4(#19).
Overall I believe the ISOCELL is some what disappointment. Or it is the bumped up pixel count which is causing more pixel level noise.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:50 4

17. mokhtar (Posts: 249; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


low light pics .. OMG so noisy i never saw like this noise before , even s4 take better pictures in low light and good light
so ladies and gentlman .. forget about gs5 camera and bla bla bla hdr isocell sh**ts even 2013 flagships can beat gs5 easily ( z1 , g2 , iphone 5s , note 3 , s4 , lumia 925)
waiting for z2 and new htc one , g3 cameras

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:59 3

18. Leonis (Posts: 334; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)


Nothing special here. The big news was the refocused thing and hat can be made with every phone now a days. Samsung is losing this battle for every year. Years of copy finally show itself up

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:01 6

19. bayhuy (Posts: 297; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Isocell now officially declared "Gimmick" .

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:46

25. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


That's it.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:18 1

21. sergiobr (Posts: 425; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


Note 3 owner here ! Lumia 1520 > Note 3 > S5. But no WP ! Keeping my Note 3 heads to Note 4.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:23 3

22. sergiobr (Posts: 425; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


Two things :
1) Night shots, ONLY with my pocket Sony Rx100 (no phone will get closer, I also have a Nokia 808);
2) NEVER shoot indoors with stock camera ! I use Camera Pro and change the ISO and the other values. Photos are better !
3) In good light my Note 3 is closer to all cameras.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:38 1

37. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


+1 for rx 100. I own rx 100 II, its as compact as it gets and nothing comes close to it, i carry it most times and thats why i dont care about smartphone cameras. When its not with me my galaxy s2 comes to play, its still a decent shooter.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 06:40

50. Aus_Roh (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Jan 2014)


I've read that the Canon S120 is actually better than the RX100II for low light. Yes, the Canon has a much smaller sensor and would be predicted to be much worse, but the Sony image stabilisation is nowhere near as good as Canons, thus the outcome. Using a tripod or when shooting a moving object should put the Sony back in front though.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:26 4

23. SonyPS4 (Posts: 256; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Not bad from company didnt really known for making high quality camera like Sony.

posted on 20 Mar 2014, 08:22

54. rockers123 (Posts: 41; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Ok, have you ever tested the camera samples of Z or Z1? Even the S4 managed to beat the Z1 with its older gen camera which you cand find in Xperia Z. Same gonna happen with Z2 as well.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:44 2

24. antonioli (Posts: 177; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


I expected more =/

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:49 2

26. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


As I stated before, ISOCELL is horrible in low light environment. Looks like a 5MP performance. Lol.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:13 4

33. Tuxedo (Posts: 160; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Pixel count has nothing to do with low light performance.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:51 2

27. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2956; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Disappointing quality. I was expecting more.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 10:52

29. DefinitiveKid (Posts: 130; Member since: 15 May 2013)


I'll wait for the retail version and more reviews to jump to conclusions. It might as well be the software needing adjustments.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 11:59 1

31. milos (Posts: 38; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


So far VERY DISAPOINTING.

I saved 24, 25, 26 to my desktop, and opened them up in full size. Galaxy S5 looks noticeable worse than other two!. Just try, and look at the top bricks of the building. Its pretty bad comparing to Note 3 and Nokia.

Its almost not believable that 2014 flag ship is has noticeably worse camera than 2013 flag ship after all the effort.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:08 4

32. DefinitiveKid (Posts: 130; Member since: 15 May 2013)


It might be software based, maybe it's not optimized yet. At least I hope so...

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 12:18

35. sergiobr (Posts: 425; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


I saved and cropped 100%. Until the S4 look better in some photos.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 19:12 1

40. GoBears (Posts: 366; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


After studying all the photos, I'm happy I got the Note 3. Photos with the N3 looked great plus a bigger screen and built in stylus is just a complete win for me.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 19:27 1

41. papss (unregistered)


I agree.. I loved my note three while I had it, took great stills too.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 23:36 1

44. Andrewtst (Posts: 331; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Don't see any big improvement, night shot still pretty bad.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:08 1

45. anush (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Mar 2014)


i read that ISOCELL use some technology that sony patent,i think sony probably sue samsung

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 15:20

51. mojtaba_mn (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Camera never is frist part of choise to buy Phone
Only HTC one 2014

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 21:06

52. milos (Posts: 38; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


does Note 3 and S4 have same camera? Does Note 2 and S3 have the same camera?
Thanks

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 22:26

53. Genza (Posts: 225; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


does Note 3 and S4 have same camera? Yes both of them uses Sony Exmor RS sensor with F2.2 lens.
Does Note 2 and S3 have the same camera? Yes both of them also uses Sony Exmor R sensor but if i'm not mistaken some of them using samsung own bsi sensor.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:41

55. milos (Posts: 38; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


thank.
I remember that my S3 had clearly worse video recording in low light than my friends Note 2. We had same exact settings btw.

So i'm wandering if comparing the S5 to S4 or Note 3 is the same.

i guess then yes.

posted on 30 Mar 2014, 16:39

56. vgking (Posts: 8; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Cant go wrong with note 3, still is faster and more powerful than the m8 and the s-pen stylus really helps with photo editing

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories