When it comes to smartphones with best cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge have proven to be the ultimate best out there. With this year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the hopes are way too high. Samsung is using the same sensor as the one on the Galaxy S7 duos, along with a few improvements in the software department. I’ve tested the camera on the Galaxy S8 in different lighting conditions, and it didn’t disappoint me at all.
Before we deep dive and talk about the picture quality, let’s first look at the camera specifications. At the back, you have a 12-megapixel sensor with pixel size of 1.4µm, and aperture f/1.7. The camera supports phase-detection auto-focus, optical image stabilization (OIS), 4K video recording (30fps) and full-HD (1080p) slow-motion video recording (60fps). There is also an LED flash for low light photography. Up front, there is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera of aperture f/1.7 for selfies and video calling. The camera also supports auto-focus, thus allowing you to capture blur free selfies.
Samsung Galaxy S8 camera interface
Samsung has gone with a clean and clutter free interface. When holding horizontally, you can camera switch, HDR, flash and settings toggle on the left, whereas camera shutter button, video recording button and gallery shortcut is on the right. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review: It’s glorious, but with some caveats
Just above the gallery shortcut, you also have Snapchat-like live filter effects that you can add to photos. Swiping from the left reveals camera modes such as auto, pro, panorama, selective focus, virtual shot, slow motion and hyperlapse among others.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rear camera (outdoors and close-ups)
The rear camera performs exceptionally well in bright outdoor conditions. Be it close-up shots or the ones of faraway objects. The sensor is able to capture sharp photos with accurate colors. Take a look at the camera samples below.
Indoor photos captured in artificial lighting conditions look good too. You can see good amount of details, when with 100 percent crop. Here are a few camera samples captured on the Galaxy S8 rear camera.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rear camera low-light
Samsung has also worked on improving low-light photography on the Galaxy S8. Even the ones captured in dim lighting conditions look good. The sensor is capable or capturing accurate light and color information without looking much graininess. Here are some low-light camera samples.
Samsung Galaxy S8 front camera (outdoors, indoors and low-light)
The auto-focus module on the front-facing camera works great to capture blur free photos. In bright outdoor conditions, the camera performs really well, and is able to capture accurate skin tones and colors. There is also a selective-focus mode that focuses on the subject while blurring out the background, and it works well. However, at times, it is not able to capture that depth information, and the effects look artificial.
Low-light photos look decent. Even in dull lighting, photos are visible, just that there is a lot of graininess. With the screen flash on, the scene is brightened up, but skin tones look quite bright and artificial. But this is only in case of very dull lighting, in case you are clicking photos under dim light, the quality isn’t that bad.
Overall, the Galaxy S8 is a very capable shooter in day light and low lighting conditions. The front-facing camera works well outdoors and indoors, only in scenarios where there is near negligible light, the quality goes for a toss. But it’s not a big deal considering such occasions will be rare. Also, the front-flash is an on-screen one, and not the LED one, so expecting too much wouldn’t be a good idea.