Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S
The Galaxy S5 offers numerous inventive shooting modes, like real-time HDR and Selective Focus, yet its picture and video quality is on par with the iPhone 5s.
The Galaxy S5 packs a new 16 MP camera that features 1/2.6” 16:9 sensor with 1.1 micron pixels, a six-elements f/2.2 aperture lens, and LED flash. Thanks to a new phase detection auto-focus, it also brags with one of the fastest focusing times in a smartphone camera, at 0.3 seconds. The iPhone 5s houses an 8 MP shooter with two-tone flash, five-element f/2.2 lens with smaller 1/3” sensor that sports much larger, 1.5 micron pixels. The iPhone 5s' autofocus times have been measured to be between 0.5 – 1 second, depending on the light situation, which is slower than the S5 on paper, but in reality feels very, very fast too.
The Galaxy S5 camera app offers an abundance of shooting modes, including a new Selective Focus camera option, that will capture at different focus settings, leading to a blurred-out background, and more artsy photos. It also has a rel-time HDR mode that delivers instant results, both for stills and for video. The iPhone 5s flaunts a very simple, easy to use camera app. It focuses only on the main options, such as Panorama and now-automatic HDR capture, but does them extremely fast, and with good quality.
The iPhone 5s has consistently delivered great results in our camera comparisons, but how does it fare against the new technology in the S5? Pretty well, actually, at least in terms of color representation, which is more realistic and true-to-life, than the slightly overblown colors that come out of the Galaxy S5. However, the colors of the S5's photos are still pretty correct and pleasant to look at, even making the competition look washed-out in comparison. Samsung's phone captures more detail, akin to its 16 MP camera resolution. Its photos look sharper, and more defined, but there is way more noise creeping up in the scene, especially visible when you zoom onto the pieces of sky in the frame, for instance, or indoors. Both handsets expose most of the scenes correctly, and there aren't any glaring white balance issues.
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Samsung's phone can record 4K video at 30fps, as well as 1080p video at 60fps. The iPhone 5s makes do with 1080p video at 30fps, which, however, is more than adequate for any purpose, The Galaxy S5 video is fluid, with very steady autofocus, and quick exposure adjustments while panning around, while the iPhone 5s dropped the focus for a brief moment in the cloudy, rainy day. Footage from Samsung's phone looks more vivid, thanks to the oversaturated colors, but less true-to-life than what the iPhone 5s is able to capture.