DxOMark Mobile Report: Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 5 is the latest model in Samsung's line of Note large-format smartphones and, like its predecessors, comes with an S-Pen Stylus as an alternative input device. In terms of camera specifications the Note 5 offers very similar hardware to what we've seen on the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. A 1/2.6-inch 16MP CMOS sensor is combined with a fast F1.9 aperture and an optical image stabilization system. The camera is also capable of recording 4K video and, like on the S6 Edge+, in video mode the OIS is now supported by an improved digital stabilization algorithm.
With a DxOMark Mobile score of 86 the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 achieves the same score as its stable mate Galaxy S6 and ranks only behind the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Sony Xperia Z5 in the DxOMark smartphone rankings. The DxOMark testers liked the "good exposure and dynamic range in all conditions, very good white balance and detail preservation in outdoor conditions". Images showed "vivid, pleasant and realistic colors in most conditions" and the testers were also pleased with the Note 5's flash performance. On the downside, "strong ringing is visible", "some noise is visible in areas of plain color" and the testers found some "autofocus inaccuracies in macro mode".
In video mode the DxO team liked the "very high levels of detail in bright light, overall good exposure and color rendering, good tracking capabilities and good autofocus in low light". However, they also found "visible loss of detail in low light, temporal luminance noise on edge transitions" and jitter artifacts when walking with the camera while recording indoors. The autofocus also has trouble triggering in some specific scenes.
Color, Exposure and Contrast
The DxOMark team found that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 images showed "good exposure and dynamic range, very good white balance transition in bright light and vivid, pleasant and realistic colors in all conditions". However, "in very bright scenes some highlights are blown out" and "slight color shading is visible under low tungsten light".
Overall DxOMark awarded the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 scores of:
- 4.6 out of 5 for Exposure
- 4.7 out of 5 for White Balance accuracy
- 4.3 out of 5 for Color shading in low light*
- 4.5 out of 5 for Color shading in bright light*
- 3.0 out of 5 for Color Rendering in low light
- 4.5 out of 5 for Color Rendering in bright light
*Color Shading is the nasty habit cellphone cameras have of rendering different areas of the frame with different color shifts, resulting in pictures with, for example, pinkish centers and greenish corners.
Noise and Details
DxOMark's engineers reported that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 images show "very good detail preservation in outdoor conditions" but there is also "some noise noticeable in areas of plain color".
Texture acutance is a way of measuring the ability of a camera to capture images that preserve fine details, particularly the kind of low contrast detail (such as fine foliage, hair or fur) that can be blurred away by noise reduction or obliterated by excessive sharpening.
Sharpness is an important part of the quality of an image, but while it's easy to look at an image and decide visually whether it's sharp or not, the objective measurement of sharpness is less straightforward.
An image can be defined as "sharp" if edges are sharp and if fine details are visible. In-camera processing means that it's possible to have one of these (sharp edges) but not the other (fine details). Conventional MTF measurements tell us how sharp an edge is, but have drawbacks when it comes to measuring fine detail preservation. Image processing algorithms can detect edges and enhance their sharpness, but they can also find homogeneous areas and smooth them out to reduce noise.
Texture acutance, on the other hand, can qualify sharpness in terms of preservation of fine details, without being fooled by edge enhancement algorithms.
At first sight, the images from these two cameras may appear equally sharp. A sharpness measurement on edges will indeed confirm this impression, and will even show that the second camera is sharper. But a closer examination of low contrasted textures shows that the first camera has better preservation of fine details than the second. The purpose of the texture acutance measurement is to qualify this difference.
Visual noise is a value designed to assess the noise in an image as perceived by the human visual system, depending on the viewing condition (size of image, size of screen or print, viewing distance). The measurements have no units and can be simply viewed as the weighted average of noise standard deviation for each channel in the CIE L*a*b* color space. The lower the measurement, the less noise in the image.
Noise and Detail Perceptual scoring
- Texture (bright light): 4.8 out of 5
- Texture (low light): 3.6 out of 5
- Noise (bright light): 4.1 out of 5
- Noise (low light) 3.9 out of 5
Phone cameras, like entry-level compact cameras, tend to suffer from artifacts such as sharpening halos, color fringing, vignetting (shading) and distortion, which can have an impact on the visual appeal of the end result. DxOMark engineers measure and analyze a range of artifacts. Their findings after testing the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 are shown below:
- Strong ringing is visible
- Some moiré is visible on high-frequency patterns
- Blue sky saturation is sometimes noticeable
- Sharpness 4.1 out of 5
- Color fringing 3.7 out of 5
- Ringing center 16.8%
- Ringing corner 11.2%
- Max geometric distortion -0.3%
- Luminance shading 15.4%
Distortion and Chromatic Aberrations
DxOMark also tests autofocus accuracy and reliability by measuring how much the acutance - or sharpness - varies with each shot over a series of 30 exposures (defocusing then using the autofocus for each one). As with other tests these results are dependent on the viewing conditions (a little bit out of focus matters a lot less with a small web image than a full 8MP shot viewed at 100%). Using the 8MP equivalent setting, the Galaxy Note 5 puts in an excellent performance in bright light but drops off a little in dimmer conditions. The overall score is 93/100 in bright light and 84/100 in low light.
- Fast and generally accurate autofocus in all conditions
- Some inaccuracies in macro mode
- Some instabilities in low light
Like most high-end smartphones the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with a dual-LED flash for better color balance. DxOMark scored the camera 87/100 overall for its flash performance.
- Good flash performance with and without ambient light sources
- Some white balance instabilities in mixed tungsten light
Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Photo: 87 / 100
DxOMark engineers put phone cameras through a similarly grueling set of video tests, and you can read their full findings on the DxOMark website here. Overall, DxOMark found the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 video footage to show excellent detail in bright light, with good exposure and color rendering. However, in lower light fine detail is noticeably lost and in some scenes the AF has trouble triggering.
- Very high levels of detail in bright light
- Good exposure and color rendering
- Good tracking
- Good autofocus in low light
- Visible loss of detail in low light
- Luminance noise is visible on edge transitions
- Jitter artifact is noticeable when walking with camera indoors
- Autofocus fails to trigger in specific scenes
Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Video: 84 / 100
DXOMark Image Quality Assessment
With a DxOMark Mobile score of 86 the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 scores on the same level as its cousin Galaxy S6 and ranks only behind the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Sony Xperia Z5 in the DxOMark smartphone rankings.
The DxOMark testers liked the good detail in bright light, color, dynamic range and flash performance. Ringing artifacts, luminance noise in areas of plain color and some AF inaccuracies in macro mode were comparatively minor points of criticism.
Like the still images video footage showed good exposure and color. In bright light detail is excellent but drops in dimmer conditions. Walking with the camera while recording can result in visible jitter artifacts. For a more detailed analysis, visit www.dxomark.com.
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.