The above photo and all the photos in this post were taken with the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. To truly test the camera I used it in pro mode adjusting the exposure, focus, and white balance manually and also in the automatic mode which it defaults to on each opening. A quick note: Our good friend who works at a local PR firm loaned us and some other local bloggers the new phone to try out. In other words this is a paid promotion, but more on that below.
I tried to mimic situations people would find themselves in when out showing off their current food choices to anyone who is interested such as low light, candlelight, outdoor shade, sunlight and indoor situations. I will break down the results for each photo but all in all the camera is quite exceptional for most peoples needs in a cell phone camera. Its auto exposure and color corrections are very accurate and the full image size can be printed up to 11×14 with excellent results. Of course the selfie has to be a really good one to justify a shrine that large. It allows an SD card for additional memory and can be directly connected to a computer to download with some work sneaking past the annoying operating system.
In the Brussels sprouts photo the image was taken in pro mode and exposed with the stove light. I manually set the exposure and focus and as you can see the result is fairly crisp. I did notice a bit of focus loss around the back of the pile, but the depth of field is actually quite good for the low light. Below is the recipe. For those who want to continue looking at photographs from the phone continue below.
This is a quick and healthy way to cook Brussels sprouts.
Sorghum Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts ends cut off and sliced in half
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp sorghum
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
In a large frying pan melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cayenne pepper and fry for a minute then add Brussels sprouts and stir to coat. Flip all sprouts cut side down and saute until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Flip over and saute on other side for a minute more then add sorghum and stir well. Continue to cook until sorghum begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes, remove from heat and serve.
This shot (the shot and the photo!) was exposed with a flashlight to mimic the harsh bar lighting situation some millennial would experience when they need to brag about wherever they happen to be at 3 in the morning. I again shot this in pro mode and though I was able to get the different colors and a fairly decent mid-tone exposure, the phone sensor could not handle holding the highlight detail and the toe detail at the same time. It did capture a lot more detail than I was expecting.
This shot was exposed with late setting evening light through a window. The type of light that would be around when you go out for a fancy dinner and want to make all your friends jealous of how great your life is. Again there is a slight loss of depth of field but the color is quite exceptional. More amazing is it was shot using the automatic color balance instead of manually setting it. The red and yellows are well balanced and though the white plate is a bit yellow it is still very good for an automatic correction.
The breakfast shot was done in direct morning light using the automatic setting around the time all those healthy people are finishing their morning jog to buy Starbucks and talk about how much the new exercise fad is changing their lives. The sensor did an excellent job of maintaining the shadow detail without blowing out the highlight and the color is quite good. I was surprised that the focus did not hold in the foreground since the lighting was quite bright but that is what happens when there is not an adjustable aperture.
In these two shots I used fully automatic and then pro to adjust the color temperature. Although the auto did fairly well with the white point it did cool down the photo a bit. The pro adjustment did allow me to play with my color meter, something I have not played with in a long time and I do like how the warmer tone helps the sweet potatoes look extra tasty and the stone tile is closer to its actual tone.
We’ll post recipes for the duck, tatties and drink soon.
All in all I would say this cell phone camera is pretty amazing. The built in flash has an auto and manual setting. Like all built ins it is fairly over powering and ugly. There are also many different effects and a whole selfie mode to enhance any teenage girl’s narcissism. The video camera is for a whole different post.
A note from Katherine: A big thanks to our friend LW for letting us try out the new phone. The best part of the experience (and perhaps the worst too) was watching Greg’s reaction at the Verizon store. He’s not a fan of smart phones and is more accustomed, as a pro himself, to using a Nikon with multiple lens, settings and more. Looking at all the bells and whistles on the camera phone, he said: ‘I’m gonna be out of a job soon.’ For now I’m enjoying his new toy just as much as he is. (He normally uses a flip phone and I can’t text him photos.) The phone itself is sleek and fun to use. Those of you due for an upgrade can receive up to $300 when you trade in your previous working condition smartphone and upgrade or add a line and activate a DROID Turbo, Turbo 2, Maxx 2, Samsung Galaxy S7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on device payment for a limited time. Those who switch to Verizon can also receive up to $650 to pay off their old phone or contract. There are a few other offers available to. Your local Verizon dealer will be able to tell you more. I need to go text Greg a selfie while I still can.