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An Addendum to the Samsung Galaxy G7 review.

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The Bend (Samsung Galaxy S7 Curve)

 

 

I never like to write a bad review. Sometimes the truth hurts.

But after publishing the review of the Galaxy G7 Curve, I kept asking myself: Could Samsung possibly have made a flagship phone with a camera worse than previous phones? I cannot imagine it.

My issues with the camera app on the phone remain, but how about a further test of the sensor. So I went out on an afternoon walk with the phone, and what I consider the camera I own with the least capable sensor, the Sony RX100 MarkIII.

The latter has a 20mp 1″ sensor vs a much smaller 12mp (but also Sony) sensor in the phone. So I’m not expecting parity here.

So I shot a number of images with both cameras, both set to shoot raw, with as much as possible between the 2 formats, similar settings. I watched carefully, lest the quirky camera app on the Samsung drop me out of raw image capture like it has done before.

Just how bad is the Camera in the phone? Maybe not that bad. But only when shot in raw.

Here’s one of the images; First from the Sony shot as a raw file and processed in ACR:

 

 

Here’s the  DNG file from the G7, processed as nearly identically as was appropriate for the different files.

 

Note the different handling of light and shadow between the two files. The Samsung clearly struggles here. Keep in mind, that my Fujifilm sensors, not to mention my Nikon D800E, would likely be much better than the little RX 100 in this regard. And it’s those attributes that really make for great images. 

 Now here’s the  Sony magnified to a 66% view.

 

 This is magnified to 100 % for an equal field of view for the lower resolution sensor.

 

Again there are problems with tonality and dynamic range on the file from the Samsung that are evident even in this small piece of the frame. This is a consequence of sensor size.  Detail, however, I think is respectable, given the resolution advantage of the RX 100.

The problems with “muddiness” I complained about, are in the jpeg processing of the G7. Here’s the jpeg straight out of the phone. Look particularly at the highlight on the right of the tree trunk.

By the way, this magnified view was from the right edge of the images. It suggests pretty good optical performance, particularly from the lens of the Samsung.

My thoughts after all of this are that the Camera on the Samsung G7 series is probably as capable as can be expected given physics vs. current technology. It will be useful shot in jpeg for very casual use. Shot in raw, it might not be impossible to capture an interesting image so long as the dynamic range of the scene is limited, and the Samsung software doesn’t get in the way.

In other words: It’s a camera phone.

 

 



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