Samsung flagships have always been among the top few when it comes to best smartphone camera lists, and Samsung continues to push the limits with their latest offerings. We’ve already given the latest flagships from Samsung, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, the comprehensive review treatment, during which we were very impressed by the quality of the cameras of these two smartphones. Today, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at exactly how these cameras perform, in this Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge camera shootout!

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Given the fact that both these smartphones feature identical camera setups and features, the images and videos you’ll see in the video above and pictures below are a mix from both devices. As you may remember from the review, some of the shots taken during that time were with Auto HDR on, taking away the guesswork needed to decide whether HDR has to be on or not, and an indicator on the viewfinder lets you know whether it is when taking a shot. Another interesting and useful feature is the ability to take photos while shooting video, but it has to be mentioned that the photos will come out at with a 1080p resolution, instead of the much higher resolution possible with the 16 MP rear shooter.

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The Galaxy S6 camera is definitely one of the best phones to have when taking pictures outdoors. With its f/1.9 aperture for both the front and back cameras, you will get great shots most of the time unless the lighting conditions are extremely poor. That said, a testament to how good an experience this camera provides while taking shots outdoors is in the fact that I didn’t really feel the need to use my DSLR camera to take high-quality photos.

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The videos you will see will mostly be at the 1080p resolution, mostly to make sure that I was able to use all of the features of the Samsung camera, like HDR, and when shooting video at the 4K resolution, these features aren’t available to you. Good videos are possible with both the front and rear cameras, but a point to note is that some warping along the sides does occur from time to time, even with video stabilization on. Slow motion capture is also possible, with you being able to shoot a regular video with the slow motion mode activated, and then fine tune the level of the slow motion you want to see.

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The 5 MP front-facing camera also comes with a f/1.9 aperture, allowing for a little bit of that nice depth of field in the background, and considering what has now become the primary purpose of the front-facing camera, you will certainly get some great looking selfies out of it. Speaking depth of field, the rear camera does a great job in taking shots with a nice depth of field look, very akin to what is possible with a DSLR shooter. You are able to pinpoint the portion of the shot you want to have in focus on the viewfinder, but you can also achieve the same effect by going into the Pro mode and using the manual focus slider, which is also a very nice touch.

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Good panorama shots are also possible, but like with any panoramic camera, stitching problems come through very evidently if the subjects in the shot are moving around. But if you are taking a panorama shot of a still scene, the photo will certainly turn out great. The same holds true while taking panorama shots with the front-facing camera as well, and save for very low light conditions, you will be able to manage some fun “wide selfies,” that will allow you to fit your whole group into a single photo.  It does require some care though, and you  may need a few tries to take a shot in which the signs of stitching are kept to a minimum.

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If you are a little more familiar with the intricacies of photography, you can get a lot of benefit out of the Pro mode that is available. One thing to keep in mind when trying to increase the exposure is to keep the setting at spot metering, instead of a matrix or a weighted scale, as using the latter two will not bump up the exposure when you bring the slider up. You have to pinpoint the one spot of the subject that you want to be brighter and it is from there that you can play around with the exposure slider.

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Moving onto indoor and low light situations, when decent lighting is available indoors, the images will turn out great, and even when outdoors at night, if there is a prominent light source in the scene, the pictures will look good. Good shots are possible in other low light conditions, but understandably, image quality deteriorates as lighting conditions worsen, and of course, images taken with the front-facing camera show more noise than those taken with the rear shooter, given its lower megapixel count. With the lower shutter speed in order to compensate for the low light condition, motion blur in the photos is seen as well. Everything said and done, these are issues that are very common no matter what camera you’re using.

The cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge are obviously even better than the ones that came before it, but these may be also be the best smartphone cameras available in the world of Android, at least for now. As I’ve said many times in the past, it is the post processing that really makes or breaks the photo quality on an Android device, and these devices do a fantastic job in this regard. It cannot be stressed enough how great these cameras are, and this makes Samsung’s latest flagships that much more appealing for consumers.

Joshua Vergara
Writer, blogger, and videographer - Josh is a former support technician that learned much about technology by fixing everyone else's. On the side, he wrote and performed spoken word, maintained his own personal blogs, and began his own video podcast. Now, he's here at Android Authority looking to put it all together!
  • Hustlervanz

    San Miguel Beer! :D

  • Jay

    Sorry but these are rubbish photos. I’ve seen photos posted by S6 owners in various forums and they look much better than this!

  • Balraj

    Was waiting for this article
    Thanks a ton :)

  • William

    those pics made me hungry LOL

  • brosef

    Damnit. I wanna work under you. You get to use all that great stuff, and eat all those.

  • iowamatt

    Your photos are so crazy…I live in Iowa but consulted at UCSF for an IT Project back in 2012. But these photos speak to me. Philz Coffee!!! The best, love their Turkish coffee! Thai Cuisine for a second I thought was Cordon Bleu Vietnamese. If you haven’t been there its worth a try! And then the San Miguel… I spent a fair amount of time in the Philippines and the first beer I ever drank was a San Miguel there. Had to comment.

  • Rick_Deckard

    Man I want to get the S6… Waiting patiently for the S6 international model to get cheaper….. In a meanwhile, I will wait for the G4, maybe, LG may surprise me….

    • Marty

      Nah…you want the GS6, trust me. ;)

  • Marty

    The Sony camera in my GS6 sure takes pretty pics. :)

    • Hans Pedersen

      It’s only a Sony sensor, had they used Sony’s lenses as well, it would be taking as bad pictures as an Xperia phone… ;)

      • Marty

        Yeah, that’s it, it’s *only* a sensor. Thank god Samsung just has to deal with clear glass. After all, it’s infinitely easier to make a lens than a 16 million pixel sensor.

        • Hans Pedersen

          Then, why are SLR optics so expensive, if it’s so easy to make it? And it’s not only the lenses Samsung make, they’re writing all of the post processing software, too. And of course make the processor that controls the whole thing….

          • Marty

            SLR and DSLR lenses may well be expensive, but Samsung isn’t dealing with a high end camera like that. They’re dealing with a phone.

          • Hans Pedersen

            That was probably the worst non-argument of the day…… :)

          • jamboy300

            omg… dude just try to learn something instead of trying to compete against someone who clearly knows more about camera than you do

      • Adam

        Its not the lense, its the software

        • danielsba

          It’s all about bigger and brighter lenses(5 to 6 lenses), lens control technology for high speed and accurate focus with fast phase difference detection technology, for better OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) mechanism with fast image processing, and post image processor (or processing software).

    • People are saying that Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge battery is worst. But camera is good. Check “Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Main Specifications and Customer Reviews” in this LINK

  • kstagg

    Why would you compare 2 phones with the same exact lens?

    • Championship Shyvana

      ….. Is he comparing them?

  • Guest
  • joseph carmine nero

    I swear i can produce same quality or better ones with Z2 but still reviews praise S6 and bash sony

    • Matt

      I had the Z2, The difference between these phones is with the S6, you can take the phone out, snap a picture and not have to worry about which scene you have to use, what ISO to set, how to adjust the white balance or any other tweaks. It just takes great pictures in a matter of seconds. The Z2 is capable of good pictures, but it involves tinkering with settings most people will never use.

  • Radu
  • Radu

    Now protect your Samsung Galaxy S6 using Samsung Protection Plus Mobile Elite Plans as said in

  • Ah nice. San Miguel beer and Purple Ubi Ice Cream. Very Filipino-ish. LOL

  • People are saying that Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge battery is worst. Check “Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Main Specifications and Customer Reviews” in this LINK

  • Sophia Hall

    Shop for Samsung Galaxy S6 now! Find top sites offering best deals and discounts on Samsung Galaxy S6 and latest Android phones. Visit now >> BestAndroidPhoneDeals(DOT)com (Just replace the (DOT) with the actual . )

  • meir

    Galaxy Note 4 is the best device overall.
    waiting to the galaxy Note 5 !!!!
    the Notes line are way above the rest.

  • brendanhohoho

    This is the first product of the famous Galaxy S line to use metal frame and unibody design with the chassis is 6.8mm thin. All create an impressive appearance for the S6. Two sides of the S6 are equipped with toughened Gorilla Glass 4 anti- fingerprint coating. There is nothing S5 can you see on this phone apart from the 4 corners rounded body.

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    Please tell me that gal isn’t sportin’ a hickey?!