Samsung Galaxy S6 as camera

Started Aug 31, 2017 | User reviews
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,242
Samsung Galaxy S6 as camera

There wasn't anything wrong with my iPhone 4S but I wanted a drone and it wasn't compatible. After lots of review reading and looking at samples I settled for the S6 as the price/IQ etc. ratio looked ok. (I don't see any significant difference between iOS and Android from a user perspective). My search process apparently was too long for my fading memory because It turned out that I had overlooked one issue that already had made me discard the S6 at one point: moustache distortion. Luckily my PTLens plugin has a profile for the S5 only it's called G900F which it took me lots of time and wasted effort to discover. Why can't phone (and camera makers) stick to one name? Anyway it worked as well for the S6 and totally solves the problem.

I'm not terribly fond of the 16:9 format (doesn't make any sense to waste all that image circle above and below) but even if I crop to square I still have a little more pixels than on the 4S so I won't fret about it. And at 100% pixel peeping the photos look similar (haven't made any side by side comparison) so I consider myself potentially having double the resolution of the 4S. Not bad as the 4S is quite good too. A significant benefit is the ability to shoot raw. However haven't found out how to make that default, the camera app goes back to jpg every time the camera is off. Otherwise a very nice app. Have discovered that finding a suitable third party app with raw isn't totally straightforward. Tried Capture Pro but no raw. Tried Manual camera but that's limited to 4:3 and 8MP. FV-5 seems to be the thing. Stays raw and uses all the pixels, has a histogram and all manner of manual adjustments.

Using your phone as a camera makes it prone to dropping and most modern phones including the S6 are very delicately made, thus require some serious protection. I decided to go all out (kayaking tours) and get the Life Proof FRE waterproof and drop safe case. Takes your worries away except it has no place to attach a string so you have to improvise something that will prevent it from being dropped into the deep blue sea. The drawback is the screen and lens protectors. Haven't seen any deterioration of IQ because of the latter but haven't shot into the light either. Screen visibility suffers a bit in bright light. So I might get another case with bump protection but no protective screens.

Summary: with the distortion correction the S6 is a capable camera that you can rely on with confidence whenever your "proper" camera isn't available or you prefer the convenience. I have yet to buy the drone...

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
Samsung Galaxy S6
5.1 screen • 16 megapixels (rear) • 5 megapixels (front)
Announced: Mar 2, 2015
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