By @SimonCocking. As you may remember we recently reviewed the Samsung Gear VR. To operate this you need to run it on a Samsung Galaxy 6 or 7. For our purposes we were supplied with the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. As you know we have a great love of photography and the cameras used to capture the world around us, having reviewed many over the last two years. It made sense then naturally to put the phone’s camera through it’s paces while we had it. (This review is only about the photography you can take using the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.)

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July sunrise, West Cork

As always with these camera reviews the aim is to give you an experiential review of how we found it to use it – starting from scratch rather than from a photography expert point of view. With such an expensive piece of kit we were a little tentative about using it, especially as it can set you back approximately double the price of an entry level dslr. However we had to try it out, and luckily it does fit into your pocket, though you wouldn’t want to have your keys or spare change in there with it too. This does already mean you have the benefit of portability and the increased likelihood of having it with you most of the time. It didn’t bend while being carried, and the display screen and camera lens both appear to be quite robust and tough.

Sheep close up Up close and personal with a soay sheep

There is a lot of smart technology going on in the camera. You can see this happening as it is able to quickly adjust for light challenges, multiple possible points of focus, and also moving objects. We took a number of the pictures in windy conditions and doubted whether the images would be more than a blur. However on most occasions the shutter speed (or it’s digital equivalent) was clearly able to catch the image that we were trying to capture.

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Bláthanna sa bháisteach

Out and about trying to capture big skies and dramatic but subtle rock contrasts the camera also seemed to do well, with some lovely blues coming up.

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Sea arch, West Cork

Once you become familiar with the default setting on the camera there are also a whole range of pro settings, and some fun ones to play around with too. The Mode setting easily takes you to this, and the slowmo has the potential for creating some fun images. The quality of the video was also good too.

20160615_111711 Naturally it is unlikely that you are going to buy this type of phone for it’s camera alone, but it’s ability to return pretty stunning pictures does mean that it is upping the ante in terms of what a traditional camera can offer you for the same or less money. It also seriously pushes it’s competitors to ensure that the camera they offer on their smart phones is of a comparable quality, something not all can do yet.

The one possible regret we have is that it does say it will work in up to 1.5 meters of water, but does this apply to sea water too? We’d love to have it for a little longer to see how it gets on with a few jellyfish!


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