mugupo: Note 4 does good job in good light, some time on par with S100 in my opinion. However low light is kinda terrible especially with no flash. 4k video is nice but you can't capture image like you can with lower resolution.
"However low light is kinda terrible especially with no flash."
It isn't at all terrible against the non-Xenon smartphone competition. Check out for example my low-light comparisons here in the Android forum.
Actually, the OIS of the device works great for static subjects.
aayjay: Can anyone suggest an app for the Snapdragon version of the Note 4 that will give me 4k HDR? Will the "Open Camera" app work with a Snapdragon version? Will "Snap Dragon HDR" produce 4k HDR video?
An app that will allow me to flatten a 4k video? Not over saturated? Not overly contrasted? (Snapdragon version)
Are there any samples posted on youtube or vimeo?
"Can anyone suggest an app for the Snapdragon version of the Note 4 that will give me 4k HDR?"
No such apps, I'm afraid.
" Will the "Open Camera" app work with a Snapdragon version?"
Nope. It not only can't produce HDR footage - it creates a completely messed-up, useless one on Snapdragon. (On Exynos, it works just great.)
" Will "Snap Dragon HDR" produce 4k HDR video?"
Nope. However, it'll produce noise reduction- and oversharpening-free video so its output may be preferable to that of the stock Camera app.
"An app that will allow me to flatten a 4k video? Not over saturated? Not overly contrasted? (Snapdragon version)"
Nope - the usual restrictions (enhancing the DR of a contrasty and low-bit medium) apply. That is, it's not possible to gain much - the results will show some very bad banding because of the finite resolution of 8-bit videos.
zodiacfml: This is just a sign that Apple is dead serious with smartphone photography....killing the entry level P&S of Canikon, we even saw a patent for three sensor, original Foveon style image capture.
Have we heard from Canikon innovating the entry level segment outside from increasing MP counts?
Next thing we'll know, smartphones would eat into mid level P&S too.
jakeb, you haven't ever seen a Note4, I presume.
neo_nights: [OFF-TOPIC]@Lars (or anyone else at DPReview) - Few weeks ago I've looked up for any info about a successor for the Lumia 1020 and, apparently, Microsoft will abandon the "big sensor" route because it was a niche market and Microsoft realised that it'd be better for them to do just like everyone else.
Do you have any info on that?
"I have no hot info on this but a while ago I spoke to a Lumia engineer who said that a lot of customer feedback they got for the 1020 was that the camera was too slow which of course has at least partially to do with the large sensor."
High pixel count sensors can also be very quickly (and energy-efficiently) processed / handled with proper engineering - see the 808. It's what engineering was missing in the pretty much rushed 1020 - they simply didn't have the time to implement DSP purely in hardware, unlike with the 808.
"This is just a sign that Apple is dead serious with smartphone photography...."
Too bad they haven't produced anything outstanding so far. They have never been the BEST in smartphone photography. Heck, not even mainstream smartphone photography like the Galaxy Note 4; that is, not niche devices like the 1020 or the 808.
Mister Roboto: Wow, still iPhone is there no matter what...
All-rounder? What kind of award is that?
Note 4, Galaxy 6, CM1, Nokia should get that title as they are miles better than iPhone in IQ and some of them have 4K video. iPhone is using 10 year old technology in it camera and any 50$ camera out there can easily trounce iPhone's output anytime of the day.
"when using Auto the iPhone 6+ is bestbut the IQ sucks and all the others are betterDid I understand it correctly??"
Mister Roboto is certainly exaggerating. The iPhone 6 isn't at all bad. For that matter, I prefer the sweep panos it shoots to those of my Note4 because of the reasons I've posted as one of my first comments at http://connect.dpreview.com/post/8738956944/samsung-galaxy-note-4-camera-review (look for the one starting with "The biggest problem with the Note 4 panos (compared to the iPhone) are as follows")
Also, it has faster (and, in cases, more reliable) AF. Its HDR implementation, based on shooting one-and-a-half frames (see my dedicated posts on this) is capable of somewhat (not much - we're speaking about 1-1.5EV) higher DR. It also has all(!) manual features (but, regrettably, not RAW - something in which the Snap805-based Note4 excels).
In other respects, the Note4 has both better IQ and a much superior feature set (4K, dual cam support etc.)
Menneisyys: Guys and gals, just don't forget the following:
If you do own a Snapdragon 805-based Note4, you can have (apart from over-8 bit color channels and dynamically adjustable WB) almost-RAW output without any of the biggest problems with the stock Camera app. That is, no noise reduction or even more aggressive oversharpening will ruin your images.
Note: it's simply not possible to do the same on Exynos-based Note4's. They will be stuck with the noise reduction and sharpening no matter what third-party app they use.
if you do have a Snapdragon 805-based handset but don't give a try to direct camera accessor apps like Snap, you deprive yourself something SIGNIFICANTLY better than you can achieve with the stock Camera app.
Just compare the stock and unprocessed Snap camera HDR output images at http://forum.xda-developers.com/note-4/general/shooting-light-best-image-quality-note-4-t3012008 . In the article, I also thoroughly asses Android-based noise reducer / sharpener tools.
Thanks to both of you - and the three people that liked my answer to 'chillgreg' :) (I wasn't one of them.)
Mister Roboto: "Image Quality
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 produces some of the very best image quality of any current smartphones. Its pixel level image quality cannot quite match the Apple iPhone 6 Plus but this is more than made up for by the higher 16MP sensor resolution on the Samsung. Exposure is usually spot on, colors are saturated but skin tones are natural and white balance reliable. "
Is this a joke? despite 1 stop difference in ISO (which up to now I cannot understand why post two picture with different settings?), Note 4 is better in the studio comparison. Blow up that 8MP of iPhone 6 and you will end up with 16MP pixelated smeared result. Equalize both at print size and Note 4 is much better.
"Significantly better resolution? Upsize the iPhone output to 16MP or 41MP then tell us if it has better resolution, sharpness and detail"
I've talked about the overall lens + sensor pixel-level resolution (that is, pixel-level quality), which largely depends on the lens quality. That is, the effective resolution you see when zoom to 1:1 level.
1, iPhone shots do have better pixel-level quality than the Note4, let alone the 808.
2, of course, those other handsets use way higher pixel counts, so, not on 1:1 level and/or after downsizing to 8 Mpixel, they easily beat the iPhone.
dpstrand: Did you do any macro mode tests? What is the minimum focus distance?
About 6-7cm's. I've shot a demo of this showing a MBP 17" keyboard (should be the same as the standalone Apple keyboard etc.) with the minimum distance I could achieve:
I've focused on "Z".
"Yes even if the iPhone has microscopic 1/3 sensor and has 4MP output, they will still say it has much better pixel level image quality than Samsung, Panasonic and Nokia phones with bigger sensor. =D Since when that ever happened to iPhone camera? If you happen to see those miserable advertising photos shot from iPhone blown up to 20x30 inches in the subway, you will definitely do facepalm =D"
Look, I'm in no way an Apple fanboy (I've had some very serious battles vs. some Apple enthusiasts even here in the iOS subforum) but what you state is plain wrong.
I with my own hands have done some excessive Note 4 (using Snap camera HDR with the best possible post processing) vs 808 vs. iPhone comparison and can tell you even the old iPhone5 had better per-pixel sharpness (resolution) than the Note4, and it had significantly better resolution than the 808. It's in no way Apple fanboy BS.
Again, after downsampling the 16/41 Mpixel images, they're overall better-detailed than the iPhone ones
IEBA1: I had hoped to see a comparison of the Note's video with and withought HDR. And does HDR video work in 4K?
Yup, this seems to be the case of Snapdragon 805 vs. Exynos.
At least the Note5 won't have two different chipsets with wildly varying camera capabilities... (and hopefully a 4K screen for VR buffs. I'll also purchase the Note5 if it has 4K because I'd love to have the VR gear.)
No flat-tone (aka HDR) in 4K. Also see my comment below:
"The stock Camera app does NOT allow for flat-tone (pseudo-HDR) recording in 4K, only in 1080p and lower. Sure, you can pre-enable HDR before starting shooting in 4K but as soon as you do start recording, the handset falls back to non-flat (non-HDR) rendering."
antares103: The Note 4 is the latest iteration of Samsung's top-end line of so-called 'phablets'
and yet, it still doesnt support DNG on Lollipop.
"The point is it CAN*, but it doesn't. I know iPhones can't either, but I don't consider iPhones an aspiration device. "
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but do you have a Snapdragon-based device? Then, you can have almost-raw/DNG output, much superior to the (pretty bad) output of the stock app as long as you don't need WB, the lack of lens correction or 9+ bit color channels.
FuhTeng: Thank you for the comprehensive review. I've never been pleased with skin tones and the awful loss of detail in lousy light. Maybe I'm just fussy and too spoiled by my dedicated cameras. Thank you for the comparison to the iPhone 6+ too (as natural a comparison as that is) because I've been wondering if I would be happier with it versus my Note 4.
"I've never been pleased with skin tones and the awful loss of detail in lousy light. Maybe I'm just fussy and too spoiled by my dedicated cameras."
Neither am I. I too find the default output of the Note4 pretty ugly. Even the (otherwise, in most respects, camera-wise inferior) iPhone 6+ outputs better (less noise reduced and oversharpened) images.
Fortunately, I have a Snapdragon 805-based device so, if I really want to, I can have access to raw-like image output much-much better than both the iPhone and the default output of the Note4, in both stills and video shooting. Too bad it's not possible to access the dual camera features (and the camera mode) in these non-stock modes.
abi170845: all looks crap under artificial indoor light and backlit scenes which most selfies and portraits takes place. All phones look good under nice outdoor light except night scene. One can improve using Perfectly Clear apps.
"One can improve using Perfectly Clear apps."
I seriously doubt it has better noise reduction / sharpening than even the native Android Photo Mate R2, let alone decent desktop tools (Neat Image, Topaz DeNoise or even Lightroom's own noise reducer).
Anyone seriously into smartphone photography will NOT want to use any (compared to the above apps) toy apps.
joao salvador: I have and use the iphone 6 and the Note 4. Samsung for everyday/work and iphone as second contact phone and for weekends. The Note 4 is clearly the best for pictures and video. The iphone lags beyond but takes fantastic panoramas and sometimes gives you more natural colours. Problem is the Note is sometimes awkward to use and always requires two hands to get sharp pictures even with ois. But when you manage to keep it steady it provides clearly better results than the iphone. My wife has the 6+ and despite the ois it has the same problems of stability as the Note. So, in my opinion, it's the iphone for panoramas and the Note for everything else (provided you can keep it steady). Maybe the S6 will be the best of both worlds. BTW: my RX 100 smokes all of the above and it's not much more difficult to carry than the Note 4 or 6+!
"My old Pana LX3 smokes any modern smartphone, even the 808 Pureview (the benchmark in still pictures). However, I think Nokia 930 and 1520 are the current winners. As a bonus, you get HDR audio capture, that is, you can record a black metal concert without being annoyed with unwanted distortions (you'll only get the wanted distortion from the guitars :P)."
Agreed. I've made 1:1 tests with the Note4 and the 808 in a loud concert. The Note4 did distort; the 808 didn't. Of course, the OIS helped the image of the note4 a LOT.
Mister Roboto: Ok we get it, you like the crappy iPhone when there are tons of better smartphones( hello Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung) with camera or simply a real and dedicated camera. =D
"Irrational hate. Knee-jerk anti-Apple rant alert!"
While I agree the cameras of iPhones are far from being cr@ppy, the cameras of the Note4, the 808, the 1020 etc. are _all_ able to produce higher-detailed and/or less noisy images than that of any iPhone when operated by a knowledgeable user.
worldcup1982: nothing beats the nokia 808 still.waiting for the successor, if there will ever be one.the 1020 is worse, worse lens,worse timing...
"you have a condescending view of other phone owners."
He spoke of the _vast majority_ of them, not _all_ of them. Regretfully, most phone manufacturers, including Apple(*), seem to only want to cater for the former.
*: WRT the iPhone, implementing raw support could have been comparatively easy in the new (and, otherwise, excellent) iOS8 SDK. They, however, didn't bother...
"I don't understand the pointless 'pixel level image quality' comment either"
It's easy: the per-pixel sharpness of the iPhone is definitely better than that of the Note4. (Heck, even the lowly, 1/3.2" iPhone5 has turned out to have better pixel-level sharpness.) However, the Note4 still has better overall sharpness because it has two times the pixels.
BTW, the same stands for the 808 (or the 1020) vs all "low-Megapixel" flagships like the iPhone, the Note4 etc. The per-pixel sharpness of the 808, in the 41 Mpixel native mode, is _much-much_ worse than that of even the Note4. (Actually, this - the per-pixel softness - is why you can safely shoot at 75% JPEG quality in the 41 Mpixel mode on the 808; higher-quality JPEG won't result in better output, only in significantly higher file sizes.) However, after downsampling, it still easily produces better-detailed images than even the Note4, let alone any iPhones.
Michael Ma: I found a better camera app called Open Camera. Shoot 4K video with HDR, and 24p with the Note 4. I think the HDR on the Open Camera app looks much flatter and natural rather than the over-saturated stock camera with HDR. Overall, I love my Note 4 camera.
1. I think there is a misunderstanding here. The stock Camera app does NOT allow for flat-tone (pseudo-HDR) recording in 4K, only in 1080p and lower. Sure, you can pre-enable HDR before starting shooting in 4K but as soon as you do start recording, the handset falls back to non-flat (non-HDR) rendering.
2. Can you get a working image with Open Camera in 4K mode? Mine is fully messed up. The only useful 4K-capable app I could find was the same "Snap camera HDR" I recommend for near-RAW shooting. If you maximize the bitrate (on non-rooted and non-hacked devices, to 48 Mbps) and reduce sharpening to zero, the 4K footage of Snap becomes pretty decent, without the usual ugly effects of the stock Camera app's noise reduction and oversharpening.
(This will only work on Snapdragon 805-based Note4's, naturally. Expos users shouldn't bother.)