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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Review - Camera Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: Camera

The S5 Mini has an 8-megapixel main camera, so don’t expect the same quality photos as the Galaxy S5. It also lacks the new ISOCELL sensor, hybrid auto focus and Phase Detect
autofocus features that help make the S5 one of the best smartphone cameras on a flagship phone.

But that’s not to say you can’t capture good quality images both indoors and outdoors using the S5 Mini. It’s one of the easiest to use and best performing phones in its class and it performs well in most shooting

Additionally, there’s and 2.1-megapixel front-facing cameras for above average selfies and video calling plus the ability to shoot video at a maximum Full HD 1080p.

S5 Mini photo samples 1

Shooting with S5 Mini is similar to the S5. Most of those key photo modes are there, including Beauty face, Panorama, Virtual Tour and HDR modes. There’s even the option to download more shooting modes if you need to.

Head into the settings and you’ll quickly notice that HDR mode can only be selected from the Mode button. Selective focus is also missing. This is the S5 camera feature where you can choose to blur out the background or foreground. It’s something already possible on the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the HTC One M8. It’s undoubtedly a cool feature, but most will get by without it.

The S5 Mini’s camera does a good job up close. Colours are well reproduced and there’s a good level of sharpness on show. Even in trickier, low-light conditions it still manages to produce vibrant, detailed images.

S5 Mini photo samples 5
The S5 Mini’s 8-megapixel camera in Auto mode handles close-up shots well

S5 Mini
S5 Mini (left) and S5 (right) close up images compared give you an idea of the difference in sharpness and overall quality

S5 Mini photo samples 3
Even in low-light, the S5 Mini still manages to produce well balanced shots

S5 Mini photo samples 8

Shooting from a distance, it still captures strong images albeit without the same level of detail or high contrast the S5 manages. When you compare it to the 13-megapixel camera on the HTC One Mini 2, there’s a more noticeable difference in quality.

S5 mini
S5 Mini (left) and HTC One Mini 2 (right) proves megapixels isn’t everything

The HDR mode (see below) works well. It balances the high-contrast areas of clouds well while also brightening up the gloomier parts of the foreground, and all without leaving any irritating ‘halo’ effects around objects.

S5 Mini photo samples 6
S5 Mini with HDR mode turned off

S5 Mini photo samples 7
S5 Mini with HDR mode turned on

When it comes to shooting video there’s not much in the way of helpful settings to improve the quality of footage. There’s no video stabilization or the ability to shoot in HDR mode, though you do still have the option to pick a recording mode that’s more share-friendly.

When you get recording, you can adjust the autofocus just like you can do with the stills camera. Footage is bright, vibrant and detailed and largely free of any annoying juddering. Audio capture isn’t perfect, but it’s a decent camera for capturing short clips.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

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