Camera Operation

The new Samsung camera app feels less cluttered than previous versions.

The camera apps on previous Samsung S models offered a lot of features and functions, but unfortunately that also meant they felt overloaded and not very intuitive. On the new models the camera app has been simplified along with the rest of user interface, and this has definitely been a positive step. In Auto mode the interface is now tailored for snapshot-operation but a Pro mode has been implemented for those who prefer more control.

Quick launch is another new feature that allows you to open the camera app by double-clicking the home button on the front. This works swiftly and is a great alternative to opening the app via the home screen icon or the lock screen shortcut.

The mode screen gives you access to the most frequently used special modes.
In the settings menu you can adjust parameters like image size or video resolution.

The Auto mode screen features a column of icons, including flash control, HDR and the settings menu on the left edge. Unlike in previous versions of the app this column is not customizable, but you can make it disappear to de-clutter the screen by tapping on the little arrow at the top. On the right you'll find virtual video and shutter buttons and the front camera switch. At the bottom there's the mode button. On the shooting mode screen you can switch to Pro mode or select one of the special modes, such as Panorama, Selective Focus or Slow Motion video. Here you also have the option to download and install more modes, for example the Dual Camera, Sound & Shot and Beauty Face modes we have seen on previous models.

In the settings menu you can set the picture and video resolution, activate grid lines and define the function of the volume keys among other things. The latter can control the shutter, video or digital zoom. In Auto mode you can focus by tapping on the live view image. Exposure is not linked to the focus point but you can lock focus and exposure by tapping and holding. Focusing works the same way in Pro mode but here you get the option the change from center-weighted to matrix or spot metering. In addition you get manual control over focus, white balance, ISO (100 to 800 only) and exposure compensation. You can also save your favorite settings to a custom profile. 

Switching to Pro mode lets you apply exposure compensation and manually adjust some shooting parameters, using a slider.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge support manual control of shutter speeds in third-party apps, such as Camera FV-5 or Manual Camera. There are rumors about Samsung launching an update that will include the feature in the stock camera app. Hopefully such an update would also bring Raw support as the file format is currently not available in the stock nor third-party apps.