Android Hardware

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: camera

Often one wants to take a pic of something that grabs your attention. Your camera isn't always at hand, so one feels with the amount of attention given to cameras on phones on the web (and not to mention the amount of software available to manipulate these pics), one should be able to use it in situations like this. However, I have found that in high contrast situations, phone cameras are pretty useless.

In these pictures, my cat was loving the winter sun, just begging to have her picture taken. In a situation like this, I would use fill-in flash (manual mode, underexpose by one stop, then let the flash light the image). Unfortunately, with the phone camera, you have no control over the exposure. All you can do is switch the flash on or off.

Please note, the pics shown below have been sharpened and resized for the web, no other manipulation has been carried out.

Note 3 camera with flash

Note 3 camera without flash

As you can see from these pictures, the one without flash looks marginally better than the one with flash! However, neither show very much detail in the shadow areas.

I also tried with the Note 1 (N7000).

Note 1 camera with flash. The dark areas are marginally better, but the lighter ones are blown out.

After looking at the pics, I decided to fetch my 7D and the Canon 430EX flash (it was in the bag with the camera, so I didn't bother looking for the 520EX). Unfortunately, as anyone who knows cats will attest to the fact that cats are never willing play along with you. She had to be coaxed back to the sunny spot and then get "comfortable" again.

Canon 7D in M-mode 1-stop underexposed (ISO 200 1/800s F/6.3) with 430EX flash

Canon 7D in M-mode 1-stop underexposed (ISO 200 1/400s F/6.3) with 430EX flash

As you can see from the pics, the results from the 7D are in a different class to those from the phone camera.