Untitled_S5 (Laguna Beach, CA October 2014) copyright Douglas Stockdale
I just made an unintended switch up from the Samsung S4 to the Samsung S5 phone/camera system. My charging pin became so distorted and bent with the S4 that the phone was no longer taking a charge. After multiple tweaks by me and the Verizon tech, the alternative was take the phone to phone repair shop or since I qualified for an exchange program, I could trade-in/purchase the S5. Since I have been pretty happy with the S4 other than the charging port, why not?
So last evening after making the switch-up, which was completed with virtually no issues, we met some friends down in Laguna Beach at Las Brisas restaurant overlooking the cove. Btw, highly recommended for contemporary Mexican surf cuisine and the margaritas are not bad either! We stepped out of Las Brisas just as the sun was setting, so I thought that this might be an opportunity to see what the S5 camera might do with these tricky low light and high contrast conditions. These are a couple of grab shots someone might take as a vacation snaps.
First, there are a couple of new features on the S5 compared to the S4, one of which is that this is a 16 Mpx camera compared to the S4’s 13 Mpx. Btw, a S4 image is included at the bottom of this post which was made a couple of days prior. The S5 now has a stabilization feature, which I used for both of these images due to the low light. Seems to work as both images do not have any motion blurr but does slow up the composition and capture sequence quite a bit, so if you need some quick response speed turn this feature off.
The images are proportionally the same, even if the S5 phone is a smidge wider than the S4 (yeah, I am an engineer and should be able to give you some precise dimensions, but you get the idea of what I am saying, eh?). That tiny bit of phone size change does not translate to a larger image capture, so I am guessing that the sensor is the same size, but packed a little denser to increase the file size.
For me does the 3 Mpx increase between the two phones translate to something that I can readily detect in the resulting photographs? Not so much for me. So would I change phones to the S5 to get a little bit larger file? Nope. Nevertheless, this image stabilization is interesting, but since this phone-camera is essential my snap-shot camera, this feature would not compel me to make the switch up if I did not need to. But since I now have it, I will play with this some more later on. There are a few more bells and whistles with this camera, including HDR (“Rich Tone” is the helpful hint for this feature) that I will check out later.
I must admit that the Sunset image above looked pretty sweet on the phone’s display.
Disclosure: For this quick look I did the following for the images in Photoshop CS3; made some tonality adjustments in RAW conversion and noted the S5 file does have a bit more information to work with, so the image has the capability for image adjustments. For the S5 image below I also adjusted the color balance to warm it up a tad. Upon opening the image, I provide an Unsharpening of 100 to compensate for the sensor and likewise after saving the JPEG file, I added another Unsharpening of 100 to compensate for the slight softening that occur during JPEG conversion. For both of the S5 images, I did not add a Curves adjustment layer as I might when tweaking an image, so these are pretty close to original sensor capture.
Untitled_S5 (Laguna Beach, cove, CA October 2014) copyright Douglas Stockdale
Self-portrait with Cooper, San Clemente, CA October 2014, copyright Douglas Stockdale