First Galaxy S7 camera RAW vs Auto mode comparison reveals great exposure but aggressive filtering

Samsung has always been ambitious with its smartphone cameras. Its goals are nothing short of turning mobile camera sensors into reliable point-and-shooters able to deliver high quality photos in every condition. It's no surprise tha the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have these great 12MP rear cameras with tons of bells and whistles. Much has been said about the 1.4 micron-sized pixels, Dual Pixel Phase Detection autofocus, and wide f/1.7 aperture. This combination ought to result in a camera that focuses quickly and snaps brighter and sharper images than before, even in low light.

With all that in mind, let's have a quick look at how a raw photo taken by the Galaxy S7 looks compared to the same scene photographed in the camera app's Automatic mode. The photos are shared by Reddit user krypt0nix and give a good impression of the 12MP camera's performance in challenging light conditions.

Looking at the raw photo, it's evident that the camera is able to capture a vast amount of light with its bigger pixels and wide aperture. The image is well-exposed, although in its raw state, it's definitely prime for some touch-ups. After all, that's what a raw image is for! Zooming in, we see the GS7 hasn't focused on the Copham sign, which is the scene's central point, so to speak. We suspect tap focus wasn't applied and the cam was left to shoot freely, although that's only an assumption. Noise levels look moderate, with the darkest parts of the image naturally collecting more noise due to the specifics of digital photography. However, the camera doesn't output noisy images due to the sheer amount of light it absorbs, making even the darkest parts seem lit up.

The same image processed through Auto mode is probably truer to the scene as it originally exists. We can see the Galaxy S7 applies a significant amount of noise reduction and sharpening, which makes the Auto mode image look agressively filtered in comparison with the raw photo. Although there's nothing too bad, we'd love if it Samsung let users choose the amount of light adjustment and filtering the phone applies to photos taken in Auto mode, without going through the complications of editing raw photos. Then again, we presume that the overwhelming majority of users will be perfectly pleased with the results produced by the Galaxy S7 in automatic mode.

Check out the photos below, and stay tuned for our reviews and comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge! We'll be giving the S7's camera special attention in everything we're about to publish, so you'll be able to form a solid opinion for its qualities and whether it will work for you!

Photos credited to krypt0nix, /r/Android

source: Reddit

Also read:

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

This sounds great. Most raw photo can always use a light touch of sharpening and maybe some contrast. But that's what raw is for. You get to decide how much of what you want applied!

2. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

I don't know that I would ever use RAW mode, but it is awesome that they give you a choice.

26. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If you're into tweaking details and using photoshop lightroom for corporate facebook and instagram accounts and don't to bring dslr, raw file editing is good for you. If you're the kind of person that just uploads picture for personal use, auto is already good. I'm excited to see this getting pit versus lg g4's raw images.

3. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Been testing this for the last few days myself on our s7 here.

15. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I saw from images so far S7 they have rathe agressive NR. Samsung need to push an update to fix this. So heavy NR in low light images is not desired.

18. zacsaturday

Posts: 262; Member since: May 09, 2014


19. geordie8t1

Posts: 298; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

Noise reduction

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Have not yet done low light comparo between the two (my 1520 and the s7 we just got), may do that come sunday when I have time

4. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Where is the poet saying iPhone 6s Plus, give craper images and no raw mode to fix anything

5. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

who cares about iphone? this is S7 article and S7 has performed pretty well. I think S7 will easily take the crown of best low light shots.

13. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

It only have to beat Nexus 6p

14. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

Nexus 6p has 1/2.3" sensor. Samsung cheap out it.

6. Unordinary unregistered

Was only a matter of time until someone mentioned the iPhone in a Samsung article lol. You'd think that with androids AYTEE PURSENT MARKIT SHAIR URRMAHGADDDD!!! you morons would be mentioning at least one of the 5,000 other models of phones lol. Nope. Always has to be the iPhone haha. I swear, this website is like what White America was a few decades ago against black people. Jealous/threatened :) /shrug

9. Kratos7

Posts: 62; Member since: May 15, 2015

Never Fails !

16. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015


20. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The haters need to go, fast.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because Apple and Samsung both have the world's top selling single model phones. No phones on the planet outsell iPhone, Galaxy Saturday or Galaxy Note. No Android phone sold in the world even comes close to the Galaxy Saturday. Let alone the Note. The iPhone is the only non-Android phone even worthy to be compared to the S. The S has been better than any phone sold since it was first done. The iPhone has high sales, but their is no doubt, the S and iPhone released in the same year, the San was better on far more front in comparison. Also it was Apple who drew attention to Samsung. After all it was Apple who was so afraid of losing they chose tongue Samsung over complete and uttered BS. So cut the crap. So what. At this point the iPhone will always get compared to the S, because Samsung put the Galaxy S as a sole competitor to the iPhone. Just like Dell XPS goes toe to toe with the Macbook. It's why the Tab goes up against the iPad. Just like in iPhone articles people are going to me tonight Samsung. So what?! What phone is on the same level? LG G5? To me it's a joke compared to the S. The Xperia? No! HTC M9? No! Nexus? Any phone that runs Vanilla Android can't stand up to the Galaxy S. The S is not a toy. The iPhone is what it is. It is a music player or iPad Touch with cellular capabilities. The Galaxy S started as a phone. Lots of companies can sell junk in large numbers. Doesn't make it the best no matter how good it is at something. The S since the S5 has own the socks off the iPhone in features, battery life and innovative ideas and yet had always cost less that the iPhone until the S6. The S6 to me was worth the extra $100 for the Edge.

27. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I'm sorry, what's an iphone? I think the last great apple device for it's generation was iphone 4s.

7. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I have never been jealous/threatened by any black person if that is what you mean, and I sure as hell am not jealous/threatened by iphone.


Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

No competition to the Lumia 950xl nor xperia xp. Back to the drawing board when will they learn all you need is a 23mp camera with 1.5 microns heck bump it to 2 microns downsampled to 8mp to win

11. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

That would make 8.5-11mm camera module height alone at best case depending on pixel size. Put it right behind display, just like Samsung does, it gonna be ~10-12.5mm thick at camera hump.

12. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

20MP 950xl says otherwise at a total 8.1mm thickness for camera and phone with a 1/2.4in sensor size. And considering the shots that the guy from Nat Geo just took with the 950/950xl...I don't see the s7 being anything other than pure taste. Even right now its just ok compared to my 1520, imo. The huge huge difference is focus time, dear lord does the s7 focus fast.

17. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

23MP resolution with 1.5-2 micron pixel size requires either ~1/1.7" or ~1/1.3" sensors depending on pixel size. So 950XL doesn't say otherwise. It has 1.12 micron pixels. Xperia Z3 is thinner than 950XL with its slightly larger sensor, but camera placement helps it.

24. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

But it wouldn't be no 10-12.5mm either. They dropped the thickness by .6mm going from the 1520 to the 950xl. So yes it does say otherwise. As well the 10.4mm 1020 was also impacted by the way they coupled the Xenon Flash to it, it is thinner than 10.4mm You would be looking at a 9mm-10mm phone with no camera hump, for a 1/2" sensor at 20MP and about 1.5micron-2micron in size. Considering the 41MP sensor is 1/1.5 at 1.12microns. Hell just update that sensor to 20MP at 2microns, 1/1.5in sensor and throw it into a 9mm body.

25. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

The 1520 has LCD screen despite the 950XL's OLED. OLED screens are ~1mm thinner than best LCD counterparts. So no wonder 950XL is a bit thinner than the 1520. The 1020 is 10.4mm thick without camera hump. It's ~4mm thicker with the hump. Microsoft's Lumia 1020 page is misleading.

22. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

I'd buy a mirrorless camera rather than a Windows Phone device if i really wanted a great camera in pocketable size, tbh.

10. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

thank god for wide aperture this time

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.