Samsung’s announcement last night revealing to the world the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ was quiet an event. Obviously, the display was the feature attraction, having created a phone that is practically just screen on the front. In the weeks leading up to the announcement of the phone, there was very little that wasn’t leaked about the phone, but what we heard very little of was the camera. I had written about how the lack of any rumours surrounding the camea meant that Samsung had worked on something revolutionary that it kept locked down tight, or that it had done nothing substantial to it and was going to be just an afterthought. Turns out, it’s the latter, and here are a few things that Samsung could have done to rid us of our disappointment.
Improved Slow Motion Video
One feature we’ve all used on our phones is the slow-motion video capture mode. Back in February, Sony announced a new sensor that could shoot full HD slow motion footage at 1000fps, which we’re seeing in smartphones already. It’s a shame that Samsung shied away from improving the sensor to accommodate higher framerates at higher resolution. Slow motion video at 120 and 240 frames per second is fairly standard across most smartphones, so it would have been nice if Samsung tried to distinguish itself from the rest of the market here.
Shooting modes of last year
It would appear that Samsung hasn’t really put in much effort on the software end of the camera equation either. From the looks of it, the default camera app is identical to the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. The shooting modes and even the interface remains the same, making us wonder why Samsung isn’t leveraging the Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 9’s excellent ISP chips.
Where’s the Dual Camera
Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 9 proudly declare their dedicated ISP chips that allow for dual camera systems to be integrated into the smartphone. While it is understood that Qualcomm would want to develop a chip with this feature so that anyone could use it, the fact that the Exynos 9 is dual-camera capable, but the S8 and S8+ lack dual cameras is just ridiculous.
Single LED Flash because Why Not
By far the most annoying feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge is the fact that it comes with a single LED flash. The Samsung Galaxy S8, borrows this feature. Most users shy away from using a flash because of the unnatural colour it tends to produce on people’s faces. To counter this, manufacturers started putting two LEDs into their flash modules, each of a different colour temperature that would fire together to produce natural looking colours. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ are missing this.
There is no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S7 had a great camera. Unfortunately, Samsung could have improved upon it to make it a fitting companion to a phone that is all about the future. With no improvements on slow-mo capture, or resolution changes or even a different LED Flash module, there seems to be very little we expect the camera to imprive upon. One of our biggest gripes with the default camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S7 was that the app didn’t give any video preview. Once the camra was open, you could only hit “record video” with no way to first frame the shot, given that the field of view changes going from photo to video mode. This always resulted in poorly framed first few seconds of every video, often resulting in missed decisive moments. In all honesty, the fact that Samsung did nothing new with the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S8 is just disappointing, and no, the autofocus on the front camera does not count.