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Samsung Galaxy Camera vs Galaxy S3: Macro Performance and HDR

Macro Performance

Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Camera offer macro modes, designed to bring maximum levels of detail out of close-by subjects. Here's how they fare in the field.

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Samsung Galaxy Camera - leaf macro

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Samsung Galaxy S3- leaf macro

These shots demonstrate a number of differences between the two cameras, and not only ones regarding macro performance. Check out the background leaves. The Samsung Galaxy Camera's background is pleasantly blurry, bringing out the foreground more successfully than the Galaxy S3. Photography types call this effect bokeh.

Colours are again much warmer in the Samsung Galaxy Camera, making the bold and punchy Samsung Galaxy S3 look a little "one note" in its presentation.

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This close crop of the shot demonstrates that both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Camera are capable of capturing a good amount of macro detail. However, the tiny feint veins of the leaf are significantly clearer and more detailed in the Samsung Galaxy Camera's photo. There is also more subtlety to the colouring.

HDR Performance

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HDR modes are largely dependent on software, so it's no surprise to see similar performance in the respective HDR modes of the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Galaxy S3. Both successfully add cloud detail that was otherwise lost due to over-exposure when not using HDR.

Other observations still apply, though.The Samsung Galaxy Camera brings more nuanced, warm colour and improved overall clarity.

However, in the Samsung Galaxy S3's favour, basic shooting speed is actually quicker and there's a certain twee-ness to some of the Samsung Galaxy Cameras menus. For example, the HDR mode is dubbed "Rich Tone" in the Camera, suggesting it's designed for people that know zero camera lingo. Wouldn't you hope that someone spending £400 on a camera would have heard of HDR before? Maybe we're expecting too much.

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December 20, 2012, 2:25 pm

It's a nice detailed review, but wouldn't it make sense to compare Galaxy Camera with other compact cameras?
Also, some low-light shots comparison would be nice too.


December 21, 2012, 11:43 am

Absolutely, perhaps in the new year we'll do such a comparison if we can still get hold of a Galaxy Camera at that time. As for the low-light shots... We did intend to include them but ran out of time, sorry. Blame santa. The Galaxy Camera does perform better though, thanks to the larger sensor. That said, you can get other cameras with much larger sensors at the price.

sheadtree (psalm1)

December 21, 2012, 4:26 pm

I liked the comparison, just to let me know what a smartphone can do...So I can see the limitations and say, do I want a camera or is this good enough...

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