DxOMark Mobile Report: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is an enlarged version of its smaller cousin Galaxy S6 edge and uses the same hardware in the camera department. A 1/2.6-inch 16MP CMOS sensor is combined with a fast F1.9 aperture and an optical image stabilization system. In video mode the camera is capable of recording 4K footage and the OIS is supported by a new and improved digital stabilization algorithm.
With a DxOMark Mobile score of 87 the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ achieves the same score as the Sony Xperia Z5 and takes a joint number one spot in the DxOMark smartphone rankings. During testing the DxOMark team liked the "very good detail preservation in outdoor conditions, very good white balance and the good exposure behavior and color rendering". When shooting with flash images showed "good exposure, good detail preservation and low noise levels". Without additional light sources white balance and color preservation in flash captures was good as well. On the downside, "strong ringing is visible, slight noise is noticeable in all conditions and some pictures show slight aliasing".
In video mode the DxO team liked the "very high level of detail in bright light conditions, good exposure and color rendering, good tracking and good autofocus behavior". However, footage also showed a "visible loss of detail in lowlight condition" and "temporal luminance noise is visible on edge transitions". Testers also noted "jitter artifacts with indoor walking movement" and that the autofocus is "slightly slow at scene change detection in low light conditions".
Color, Exposure and Contrast
The DxOMark team found that the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ images showed "good exposure and dynamic range and very good white balance transition in bright light". Testers also noted "vivid, pleasant and realistic colors in all conditions". However, "in very bright scenes some highlights are clipped" and "very slight color shading is visible under low tungsten light".
Overall DxOMark awarded the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 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 S6 edge+ images show "very good detail preservation in outdoor conditions" but there is also "some noise noticeable in all conditions".
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): 4.0 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 S6 edge+ are shown below:
- Strong ringing is visible
- Slight aliasing is noticeable in some pictures
- Blue sky saturation is sometimes noticeable
- Some slight color fringing
- Sharpness 4.1 out of 5
- Color fringing 3.7 out of 5
- Ringing center 17.3%
- Ringing corner 10.9%
- Max geometric distortion -0.4%
- Luminance shading 11.8%
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 S6 edge+ puts in an excellent performance. The overall score is 93/100 in bright light and 91/100 in low light.
- Fast and accurate autofocus in all conditions
- Some instabilities in preview
- Slight overshoot in preview
Like most high-end smartphones the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ comes with a dual-LED flash for better color balance. DxOMark scored the camera 86/100 overall for its flash performance.
- Good exposure, detail preservation and white balance
- Low noise levels
- Good color preservation without additional light sources
- When flash is mixed with tungsten light white balance turns yellow
- Slight white balance instabilites are noticeable with additional light sources
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 S6 edge+ video footage to very good detail in bright light, good detail and pleasant colors. However, there is visibly less detail in lower light and walking while recording can cause a noticeable jitter effect.
- Very high levels of detail in bright light
- Good exposure and color rendering
- Good tracking
- Good autofocus behavior
- Visible loss of detail in low light
- Temporal luminance noise visible on edge transitions
- Jitter artifacts noticeable with indoor walking motion
- Autofocus is slightly slow to detect scene changes in low light
Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Video: 85 / 100
DXOMark Image Quality Assessment
With a DxOMark Mobile score of 87 the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ is the new new joint number one in the DxOMark smartphone rankings, sharing the top spot with the Sony Xperia Z5.
The DxOMark team liked the very good detail in bright light, reliable exposure and pleasant colors. They also noted low noise levels in all lighting conditions. Visible ringing and aliasing in some images are a couple of minor negatives.
Video footage also shows very good detail in bright light and the testers liked the reliable tracking and generally good autofocus performance. On the downside, there is a noticeable loss of detail in lower light and jitter artifacts can occur when walking during recording For a more detailed analysis, visit www.dxomark.com.
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