Video Mode

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is capable of recording 1080p full HD video and the camera app' s video mode is accessed by tapping the video/stills switch above the shutter button. Once in video mode the aspect ratio of the live view image turns to 16:9 but otherwise the screen layout remains pretty much the same as in stills mode. 

You can apply the same effects as in stills mode to your video footage and you can also adjust exposure compensation, white balance and video quality and resolution. In practice though the Auto systems do a very decent job and there's hardly ever a need to interfere manually which means all you usually do to record a video is press the video button to get started and then again to stop capturing.

Compared to stills mode you get fewer options in video mode but the menu and control layout pretty much stays the same.
During recording a secondary shutter button appears above the video button a tap of which will capture a 16:9 stills image without interrupting the video.

Stills images can be captured during video recording by tapping the shutter button that appears on the screen after you press the video button to start recording. Image captured during video recording are the same width as a standard still image (3264 pixels) but in 16:9 format rather than 4:3 and therefore only 1836 vs 2448 pixels high.

Video sample 1 - Good Light

Exposure and focus are taken care of automatically when shooting video, so all you need to do is point your device toward the scene and press the record button. In good light video quality is excellent, with good color, very few articats and very smooth motion. Sound quality is decent but in windy conditions wind noise will be audible on the sound track, just like on many compact cameras. The electronic image stabilization is not quite as efficient as its optical counterpart in many compact cameras but overall the video quality in good light is excellent and on par with many digital cameras.

Video sample 2 - Low Light

In low ligh the video image quality deteriorates in a very similar to what we've seen on the the S3's stills image output. Footage is still smooth but there's visible image noise and the video looks soft when viewed full-size. Like with stills the light levels in bars and other establishment can sometimes too be low and you end up with underexposed video footage.