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Feature focus - Samsung Galaxy S5 camera

We take a closer look at some of the software features of the Galaxy S5 camera, including some hands on time with the impressive new Selective Focus feature.
February 27, 2014
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One of the most impressive looking pieces of hardware found in the new Samsung Galaxy S5 is certainly the camera. As well as squeezing 16 Megapixels into the new sensor, one of the largest pixel densities found in a smartphone camera, Samsung’s new flagship handset also makes use of the company’s new ISOCELL technology for improved image quality. But enough about the hardware, let’s take a look at the variety of software features offered up by the new Galaxy S5.

Right off the bat you’ll notice the newly refined user interface, which features the redesigned bubble icons, in keeping with the revised look to the rest of Samsung’s Touchwiz interface. Despite the sleek appearance, the full range of shooting options and settings are very quick and easy to access.

Samsung Galaxy S5 camera settings

The Galaxy S5 retains many of the popular shooting modes from previous iterations, including Beauty Face, Panorama, and the Dual-Camera picture mode. There’s also the full range of settings that you’d expect from a flagship model, including image stabilization, although it’s not optical based, burst shot, and face detection.

As you can tell from the menu, there are a ton of photo and video shooting options, some of which you’d expect to see in a full DSLR camera. Two features which particularly impressed us were Selective Focus and the HDR options.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Selective Focus Mode
Depth of Field effect created using the Selective Focus mode.

The Galaxy S5 already has an impressively quick focus time, just a fraction of a second, which can also be used to have the camera quickly take multiple images at different focus levels. Using the Selective Focus feature, you can create images with a very cool looking depth of field effect, after a short period of processing time. Once you’ve taken a snap, you can go back to the picture and swap between different focus levels. There are three options, near focus and far focus, which are pretty self-explanatory, and pan focus which brings the entire picture into view.

Samsung Galaxy S5 camera HDR Mode
Left: HDR mode off. Right: HDR mode on

Next up is HDR mode, which provides a noticeable improvement in image clarity and focus in low lighting conditions. In the image above you can notice a huge difference in exposure and clarity between light and dark areas when toggling HDR on and off, which really helps to reduce blown out areas.

Of course that’s just a little taste of the huge number of features packs into the Galaxy S5 camera software, this is a device which is sure to keep even the most demanding smartphone photographer happy. We’ll also be bringing you an even closer look at the handset’s image quality very soon.