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Samsung Galaxy Camera – Image Quality Summary and Verdict

By Paul Nuttall


Our Score


Review Price £399.00

Samsung Galaxy Camera: Image Quality

On the whole, images display good balance between shadow and highlights, resulting in a pleasingly even tone across the image. We did find that the Galaxy Camera has a fairly regular tendency to underexpose though, although you can of course correct this with exposure compensation, of which the Galaxy Camera offers /-2 EV.

Samsung Galaxy Camera sample image

Colour tends towards the vivid end of the spectrum, but is generally pleasing nonetheless.

While colour is generally accurate, it is quite vivid. Unfortunately, white balance tends to be a bit inconsistent and results can vary greatly in a range of different lighting conditions. During testing we found that images captured in artificial light swung from warm to cold, and even in good natural light there is a lack of consistency. Thankfully, you can opt to set the manual white balance manually, and although it can become a bit of a chore we found this to be the preferred option.

While having a large focal range to call on undoubtedly aids overall flexibility, such lenses often tend to lack critical sharpness – and so it proves with the Galaxy Camera. This isn’t immediately apparent when images are viewed on the camera’s LCD screen, however under closer inspection on a larger monitor some softening can clearly be seen.

White balance

As you can see from this composite of two images, white balance inconsistencies can produce wildly different results.

Noise is controlled reasonably well, although images do suffer from some fairly aggressive noise reduction. Above ISO 400 this adds to the aforementioned issues with sharpness. At ISO 800 and above fine detail appears smudged, which could be an issue should you be looking to make large print enlargements at such settings.

For an in-depth look at the differences in image quality between the Samsung Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy S3 smartphone be sure to read our Samsung Galaxy Camera versus Samsung Galaxy S3 head-to-head.

Samsung Galaxy Camera: Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is an ambitious blend of digital camera and mobile device that, for now at least, occupies a unique position within the digital camera market. And, in many ways it's a success too. As a camera, it’s fairly well featured with a far-reaching zoom lens and a decent – if not spectacular – sensor. The large, sharp 3.8in touchscreen display is also responsive and makes using the camera surprisingly easy and intuitive, while the external design is minmalist yet reasonably practical. Plus the whole Android interface is surprisingly intuitive and genuinely adds to the shooting experience. So far, so good.

However, as might be expected of a device as ambitious as the Galaxy Camera, not quite everything is perfect, and there are a number of niggly issues that ultimately leave us wanting. For a start, while impressive for a touchscreen camera, we still found controlling the Galaxy Camera was more combersome than a normal camera without a touchscreen or with more buttons. Plus, the interface is just slow enough to be on the frustrating side, especially for a camera of this price. Add in the mediocre battery life and image quality, and the surpising bulk of the camera and the lustre really starts to wear off.

We do see the point in cameras with 3G and that run Android but ultimately when you're paying this kind of money they've got to be excellent both as cameras and as mobile devices to be worthwhile and sadly the Galaxy Camera doesn't quite cut it.

Scores In Detail

Build Quality
Design & Features
Image Quality

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September 5, 2012, 7:23 am

OK, I want to know the two obvious things about this beast:

a) Can it readily be used as a phone? I don't mean with Skype, I mean ... er... natively? Is that one of its functions, including pairing with my Bluetooth headset to make ordinary calls? Does it accept a SIM card?

b) Is there ANY detectable delay between what happens in front of the lens and what shows on that lovely big display? That's always been my complaint with electronic cameras - the delay that causes me to miss action and nature shots - I have more photos of blurred departing tail-feathers than I'd care to count, because my electronic viewfinder's delay had me clicking after the subject (bird?) had already launched.

If the photos are really impressive in quality, including decent low-light performance (detail and lack of noise...) I'm in. If the thing can be carried as a replacement for my Motorola Droid3 phone, I'll even forgive it the lack of a physical keyboard.

After all, the reason that people carry compact cameras is so they can get candid and impromptu shots. Uber-correct optical and image-processing performance - while really, really nice - would be secondary.

Women would carry CAMERA-phone (as opposed to their current camera-PHONE) in any everyday purse, and not notice the additional bulk and weight... among the load of bricks they usually have in there.

Guys who don't wear suits would just revive the belt-mount phone case. Only the suits would have a hard time finding a suitable way to carry the thing.

But my a) and b) questions need answering. Anybody?


December 20, 2012, 5:51 am

The 3G is for data only and it does take a sim. This device has no telephone capabilities Been looking at this phone as a possible xmas present to me from me :-)

Cant answer B sorry.

Merry Xmas


January 26, 2013, 12:56 pm

I've also tested the camera... Also tried to see if the screen will scratch :) Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... to see if you'll have any issues with that :)


August 28, 2013, 5:54 pm

Hi Juppiter,

I have owned this nice piece of hardware for the last 2 months, taking it with me to my trips in Eastern Europe and Asia, and I can only tell you that this has got to be one of the best cameras I've ever owned!

To answer your questions:

1 - I'm afraid that there are no phone features, so Skype is just as far as you can go.

2 - Having used it at different times of the day, in a number of situations ( including night time shots, fast action pictures and dimly lit places), I have never experienced one single delay between what happens in front of the lens and the image on the display. Moreoever, the camera is equipped with two features, one for the least experienced users which allows you to automatically adjust the camera to the environment conditions ( for instance, if you need to take continuous shots, or you need to take pictures at dusk or at night etc). This feature is particularly useful especially for those who are new to semi-professional photography. Additionally, there is an alternative mode aimed at more experienced users, which allows you to manually adjust the aperture, the shutter speed and the brightness.

In either case, you get flawless shots. Ever since I bought this camera, I have totally forgotten that irritating 'tail-feather' effect which occurs especially when taking pictures of fast-moving objects.

I hope my reply was useful to you.


June 23, 2014, 12:20 pm

Why do I need a SIM card if the camera can not be use as a phone?

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