There is absolutely no doubt that the selfie camera has become an absolutely essential part of Western culture in particular. Indeed, although Twitter and Facebook retain a cultural prominence, the rise of social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat, that are fundamentally devoted to such content, underlines the importance of selfies to young people.
Thus, smartphone manufacturers have been committed to producing increasingly impressive and powerful front-facing cameras in recent releases, as the major players in the market acknowledge the cultural power of the selfie. If a mobile release is to attract young people, nowadays it must deliver a more than decent selfie camera, otherwise the youthful buyers of the smartphone will be extremely small in number.
With this in mind, both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 aim to deliver outstanding selfie cameras. These are, after all, the two biggest smartphones available on the market, from the two market leaders in the niche. It is well known that both smartphones have excellent main cameras on the rear panel of their exteriors, but how do their selfie cameras compare?
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This is perhaps not the biggest test of the selfie camera, as it is well-known that smartphone photography tends to be more than decent in well lit conditions. It is when things get darker that the challenges begin to emerge, but one would expect both the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 to perform pretty well in daylight shooting conditions.
When shooting with an unobtrusive background, both of these esteemed cameras are more than capable units. Straightaway in basic shooting conditions we can see that these are indeed two fine selfie cameras. However, although the Galaxy S8 performs more than capably, it is also true that the iPhone 8 has the clear edge in this department.
Although the color pallets of the iPhone 8 can be criticized, the results produced by the selfie camera in the Apple smartphone are both more vibrant and lively than the Samsung production.
Advantage: iPhone 8
However, when the level of light is reduced slightly, the Galaxy S8 begins to come into its own. When conditions become slightly darker then the color contrast of the iPhone 8 can result in the impression of unnatural lighting. Meanwhile, the realistic color reproduction of the Galaxy S8 impresses in these conditions.
The results are not cut and dried in this department, though, as the iPhone 8 actually does an excellent job of focusing on facial features. There can be problems with blurring with the Galaxy S8 in this department, and this is obviously an issue for any selfie camera. Nonetheless, it must be said overall that the Galaxy S8 outperforms the iPhone 8 in this area.
Advantage: Galaxy S8
While shooting in natural light tends to be perfectly fine for smartphone cameras, taking pictures indoors can be challenging for selfie snappers. In fact, both cameras can struggle at times in certain indoor conditions, which makes comparing the two particularly interesting and valid here. Even when there appears to be a decent amount of light, both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 can struggle to capture a decent selfie indoors.
However, the Galaxy S8 does a better job of lighting up scenes indoors than the iPhone 8. The Apple selfie camera has also been criticized for the yellowish tint that it adds to some photographs, which doesn’t always work indoors.
Advantage: Galaxy S8
While many selfie shots are of a single person, or two people at the most, still there are occasions when smartphone photographers will wish to shoot a group of people via the selfie camera. It must be said, though, that it is rather difficult to capture a decent group photograph via a selfie camera, and it is probably something that shouldn’t really be attempted.
However, the iPhone 8 clearly outperforms the Galaxy S8 in this department, with the Samsung camera resulting in some distortion towards the edges of images. The iPhone 8 is also able to deliver shading that is significantly more natural than the Galaxy S8.
Advantage: iPhone 8
A notorious bugbear of smartphone photography in general is shooting in darker conditions, and this is obviously magnified by the fact that the selfie camera does not have the capabilities of rear-facing units. So results in this department were certainly up for grabs, but it is perhaps not surprising that the Galaxy S8 is the better performer.
Samsung has put a huge amount of effort into improving the low-light shooting capabilities of its smartphone range, and it seems to have paid off with the Galaxy S8. There is a greater clarity in the images produced by the Samsung snapper, meaning that it edges ahead of the iPhone 8 here.
Advantage: Galaxy S8
So ultimately the Galaxy S8 can be considered a marginally better selfie shooter than the iPhone 8, even though the Apple snapper is better in a couple of areas. It is clear that the iPhone 8 struggles to cope with uncommon lighting conditions, and that the Galaxy S8 is clearly superior in this department. It could be argued that the iPhone 8 actually delivers the superior selfie camera in more standard shooting conditions, and this should obviously be taken into consideration in any purchase.
If you intend to capture what could be described as standard selfie pictures, then the iPhone 8 is probably even marginally superior to the Galaxy S8, and may be the ideal purchase. However, if you want the more flexible performer, which is able to deal with a wide variety of different traditions, then the Galaxy S8 can be considered the superior selfie camera. At least until the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy X are released.