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Samsung Galaxy S8 Review - Performance

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Sample Photos

Camera Performance - Colour is good, with the camera producing nice pleasing images straight from the camera. Exposure is reliable, and when left on auto settings, the camera will automatically switch to the HDR mode when needed to record more dynamic range in photos, without looking unnatural. The selfie (front) camera is improved, with an 8-megapixel sensor and AF, but can struggle with dynamic range at times, and using the HDR mode can help a little here. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good, although images are softer in the far corners. With a f/1.7 aperture, the camera is capable of taking a photo that shows a blurred background, particularly when the subject is close to the lens. The camera can focus on subjects fairly close to the lens, giving reasonable macro focus.

Vignetting is not an issue, but there is some barrel distortion, and some pincushion distortion, although this can be fixed using the "Shape correction" option in the settings. For most shots, it was difficult to create flare in shots unless shooting directly into the sun, and the camera was impressively resistant to flare the rest of the time. If you shoot using the Pro mode, you can select raw shooting, and the camera will record Adobe DNG files, as well as JPEG images. 

You can select "Selective Focus" and this will give you an image with a blurred background, but in playback you also get the option to choose the front focus, rear focus or pan focus (with everything in focus), these can then be saved as new images. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low from ISO50 to ISO200, with some appearing at ISO400. Above ISO400 and at ISO800 noise becomes more noticeable, and detail suffers. With a bright f/1.7 lens and optical image stabilisation, for most shots, you shouldn't need to use the higher ISO speeds. To get access to higher ISO speeds above ISO800, you will need to use a third-party app, such as Adobe Lightroom Mobile, and then ISO speeds up to ISO1600 become available. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under mixed light, as well as under Tungsten lighting, with a slightly warm result, and using the Tungsten preset gives a slightly cooler result. AWB also performs well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a slight magenta colour cast.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are 15 effects built-in to the camera app, and you can apply stickers or masks (on top of people's faces). You can also download additional effects, or use any number of third-party apps to edit images.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Panoramic | f/1.7 | 4.2 mm
Samsung Galaxy S8 Panoramic - Lake Geneva | f/1.7 | 4.2 mm

Panorama mode - The camera has an automatic panoramic mode that automatically stitches the image as you pan from one side to another. The results are well stitched, and if you get the smoothness and speed right you get a very high-resolution image, with images we took between 30 and 53 megapixels.

 

Video - The camera records 4K (UHD), QHD, Full HD video with stereo sound, and optical image stabilisation is available in all modes. When recording in UHD, 1:1 or VGA resolution only optical image stabilisation is available, not both electronic and optical stabilisation. Results are very good, with good detail, and you can also take 9-megapixel images when recording 4K video. Image stabilisation works very well, although it can take a while for stabilisation to settle. You also have the option for continuous AF while recording. The camera performs quite well, even in low-light, thanks in part to the f/1.7 aperture lens. Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.


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