With Samsung having unveiled the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge recently, one query consumers will be considering is how good the camera in the smartphone is. The Galaxy S6 will naturally be up against the Apple iPhone 6, with Samsung having pretty aggressively targeted the iPhone series in some pre-release press conferences.
This is nothing new for Samsung. At the start of 2014, the Korean corporation bullishly signalled its intent to displace Apple as the world’s most successful manufacturer of mobile devices. This looks like a rather naive statement now, as not only did Apple have a truly stellar 2014, Samsung also floundered somewhat and saw it profits tumble by 60 percent.
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Since then, Samsung has also seen Apple overtake its proud position as the biggest seller of mobile devices in terms of volume. Apple has long since been more profitable than Samsung, but the Korean company has always been able to rely on its mass-market appeal in native East Asian territories. It seems that this is changing, as Gartner has asserted that Apple has now usurped Samsung.
So the Galaxy S6 is a key smartphone release for Samsung. The Korean corporation is attempting to reclaim some of its market share from Apple, and certainly the initial reaction to the Galaxy S6 handset has been positive. One area where the Samsung may particularly look to better the iPhone 6 range is in photographic capability. Samsung devices have previously been well received in this area, and the Galaxy 6 purports to improve upon the acclaimed camera included in the Galaxy S5 last year.
But how does the Galaxy S6 perform against the iPhone 6 camera? Here is a rundown of the capabilities of the two smartphones.
There is little argument that the Galaxy S6 is superior in this department. Samsung has always packed its devices with spec, and the Galaxy S6 is no exception to this rule. But it was slightly surprising that Samsung didn’t arm either the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge with an improved megapixel rating over the Galaxy S5. Thus, both Galaxy S6 devices are fitted with a 16-megapixel snapper.
However, the iPhone 6 only has an 8-megapixel camera, so obviously the Galaxy S6 is superior in pure spec terms.
Low light shooting
This has been a problem area for mobile cameras. The Galaxy S5 had an excellent camera, and it was generally critically well received. The same can be said of the Galaxy Note 4 phablet which is also manufactured by Samsung. But both devices were to some degree maligned for their photographic capabilities in low light conditions.
It is interesting then that Samsung has evidently concentrated on this aspect of the Galaxy S6’s capabilities. It is always wise for mobile manufacturers to listen to the complaints of its audience and the critical community, and it was announced ahead of the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 that Samsung had been working on improving its low light shooting.
According to the Korean corporation, the sensor fitted in the Galaxy S6 enables the device to capture 25 percent more light, and this is then translated into superior photographic production in low light conditions.
However, the iPhone 6 was praised for its low light shooting when it was released, and even though Samsung has moved to attempt to improve the capabilities of the Galaxy S6 in this area, testing in such conditions suggests that there is very little to choose between them.
Optical Image Stabilization
Both Apple and Samsung have included optical image stabilization in their flagship smartphones for some time now, and the iPhone 6 was significantly praised in this department. Samsung has again attempted to upgrade the Galaxy S6 in this area, and it compares pretty favorably with the iPhone range now. However, it is difficult to say that it is superior to the performance of the iPhone 6, which remains at least an equal in optical image stabilization to any device available on the market.
Aside from the details included in the photograph, and the amount of light which is captured by the sensor of a camera, the clarity and the depth of color in a photograph is one of the primary ways of distinguishing quality. In this regard it would be said that the iPhone 6 does outperform the Galaxy S6. The Apple device produces both better colour saturation and superior white levels to the upgraded Samsung lens, proving that although the megapixel rating of the Galaxy S6 is superior, one cannot draw too many rash conclusions from figures alone.
Again, the iPhone 6 was praised for the quality of its video shooting when it was released in 2014. All of the statistics from the Galaxy S5, along with frame rates and resolution, remain identical, and the consensus of opinion after early testing of the Galaxy at 6 is that the iPhone 6 still edges out the Samsung device in this department. However, the Galaxy S6 does include 4K recording, and even though this is a niche technology at the moment, it certainly makes the Galaxy S6 worthy of consideration.
When cameras were first included into smartphones, the simple fact that it was possible to take a picture with a device which you could carry around with you at all times was revolutionary. Today, smartphone owners expect a great deal more from cameras, and there is no doubt that both the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 now offer photographic capabilities that are extremely competitive with digital cameras. Perhaps they are not yet the equal of high-end professional devices, but it is interesting to note with relation to this that there are already some intriguing rumours that the iPhone 7 will deliver such quality.
Both devices now perform superbly as cameras, and both have their own particular strengths and weaknesses. In terms of which is the better to purchase, it is necessary to pay heed to what one actually wants from the camera. Many consider the iPhone 6 to be the superior photography device, however the Galaxy S6 produces superior color quality. Video shooting is excellent in the iPhone 6, but this does not offer a 4K option, which could tip some consumers towards the Galaxy S6.