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The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a smartphone which runs Android 4.1, has an 8 megapixel camera and has won a number of awards ahead of its competitors produced by Apple and Nokia. Here, we'll take a look at how well the camera performs, as well as its video recording capabilities.
You can shoot in auto-mode, if you want you can use the touch screen to set your focus point. There are a number of scene modes available which are fairly typical for compact cameras, including portrait, landscape, sports etc. There are also other shooting modes which include burst shot, face detection, panorama, HDR and more. Samsung have also included a number of effects such as warm / cold vintage, black and white, sepia etc.
With the camera being powered by Android you can download apps, check your email, browse the web and much more. There are plenty of apps for editing pictures, such as Snapseed, and plenty for sharing as well, such as Facebook.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 records in full 1080p HD, you can also use the effects mentioned above when shooting video.
- 8 megapixel rear sensor and 1.9 megapixel front sensor
- 4x digital zoom
- 4.8 inch 720 x 1280 HD touch screen
- Wi-Fi & GPS
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- Android 4.1
- Range of scene modes and effects
- Continuous shooting
- Panorama mode
- HDR mode
When viewing your pictures in the photos album on Android, not only does it include the pictures taken on the camera, it also includes those from other services you've connected to, such as Facebook and Dropbox. They can also be edited on the apps.
There's no CIPA rating provided for battery life, but with use of the phone, camera, Wi-Fi, 3G and apps, you'll soon find the battery is ready for charging, in all likeliness you'll want to charge it every day. This isn't unusual for smartphones, so it's nothing to be concerned about.
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Focus / Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||30 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.3 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.4 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 fps|
Continuous shooting records in full 8 megapixel resolution.
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Samsung Galaxy S3 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/48 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 80
Drive | 1/570 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 80
Snow | 1/2020 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 50
Pet Portrait | 1/33 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Sample Photos - Images have excellent, punchy colours and are well exposed. Even in the snow, the S3 takes good images, conditions which cameras often struggle to photograph well. It's a little tricky to take good portrait shots with the S3 as it has a fixed wide-angle lens.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/1544 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 160
Trees | 1/100 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 125
Macro | 1/50 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Detail in the images is good, and there is very little purple fringing in contrasting areas. For more detail in the highlights and shadows there is a HDR mode. Unfortunately you can't get close enough to subjects to take particularly impressive macros.
Samsung Galaxy S3 ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/25 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm
ISO200 | 1/50 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm
ISO400 | 1/100 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm
ISO800 | 1/183 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm
ISO Noise Performance - A sharp, noise free image is produced at ISO 100, with a small amount of noise appearing at ISO 200. At ISO 400 there is a significant increase in noise with images losing detail and becoming a little softer in places. At ISO 1600 images are softer again in places, but many parts of the image still remain quite sharp. You can't manually select an ISO speed higher than 800.
Samsung Galaxy S3 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/33 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/33 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the AWB and incandescent preset both perform well and take very similar images. Under the fluorescent lights, again, performance by the AWB is good, with the fluorescent preset taking an image with a magenta cast.
Panorama mode - Panorama images have a decent amount of detail and are fairly well stitched together, although when you view them at full size there is some slight ghosting.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Digital filters
Black and white | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Blue-point | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 125
Cold vintage | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Green-point | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Negative | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Posterise | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Red-yellow point | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Sepia | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Solarise | 1/17 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Vintage | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Washed out | 1/15 sec | f/2.6 | 3.7 mm | ISO 100
Digital Filters - The Galaxy S3 has a number of creative effects, with examples of each above.
Video - Below is a video shot in full 1080p HD. Quality is good although hand held videos are hard to keep steady.
Value For MoneyThe Samsung Galaxy S3 is available for £399.99. Other smartphones with cameras include the iPhone 5 (8 megapixels) at £459.99, Sony Experia Z (13 megapixels) at £524.99, Nokia Lumia 920 (8 megapixels) at £535.00, Blackberry Z10 (8 megapixels) at £509.00, HTC One X (8 megapixels) at £379.00 and LG Nexus 4 (8 megapixels) at £349.99.
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Samsung Galaxy S3 ProsImage quality is good
Android operating system
Apps available for editing and sharing images
Large touch screen
Fast continuous shooting
Samsung Galaxy S3 ConsNot ideal for portraits
Difficult to get close to your subject for macro shots
No image stabilisation
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Samsung Galaxy S3 Specifications
|35mm equivalent||No Data|
|Optical Zoom||No Data|
|CCD pixels||8Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||No Data|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||No Data|
|Shutter speeds longest||No Data|
|ISO sensitivity||No Data|
|Internal Memory||No Data|
|Battery Type||Li-Ion 2100 mAh battery|
|Box Contents||No Data|