Android Marshmallow made significant improvements to the camera that comes with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Whether you’re an avid photographer looking for ways to take pictures on the go without lugging equipment everywhere or someone who just wants to take decent pictures, you can take advantage of a variety of new features and functionality when picking up an S7.
Let’s look at how to use the camera on the Galaxy S7, along with some of the improvements to the camera system in Android Marshmallow.
What to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Camera
The S7 took a step down from the 16 MP camera you find in the S6 and S5 flagships. Samsung made this choice to help improve the low light functionality of the camera which many consumers highlighted as one of the worst issues with the phone’s previous incarnations.
The S7 and S7 Edge utilize a 12 MP camera with more low light functionality than before. Couple this with changes to how the stock camera works, Android Marshmallow, and hardware improvements, the S7 and S7 Edge camera can compete head-to-head with the iPhone 6 when taking pictures.
Here are the Galaxy S7 camera specs:
- Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7. 26mm, phase detection auto-focus, LED flash, OIS
- Front Camera: 5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm, auto HDR, dual video call functionality
Here are some of the features of the Galaxy S7 camera you need to know about:
- Dual pixel sensor, offering 100% phase-detection autofocus
- f1.7 aperture lenses, letting more light in allows for better low light pictures
- Shooting modes, including pro mode, selective focus, slow motion, food, hyper lapse, and more
- Easier access to change default pictures options, such as ISO, aperture, white balance, and more
How to Use the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Camera
Just like previous versions of the phone, you can click on the “Camera” icon to get started.
By default, you’ll be in the standard shooting mode but can quickly change that by clicking “Mode.”
Under Mode, you’ll find a dozen modes pre-loaded on your device. You can download more at the top through the Galaxy App Store.
Here’s what you need to know about each mode:
- Auto: This is the stock photo taking mode. Nothing fancy about it. Just point and shoot.
- Pro: The pro mode automatically adjusts things such as aperture, ISO, and more based on where you focus on the screen. You can also adjust each item individually if you understand how they work for a better picture.
- Selective Focus: This allows you to focus on a specific area of a picture easier than the auto or pro modes.
- Panorama: As the name suggests, this allows you to take panoramas.
- Video Collage: This allows you to tape video snippets and link them together without third party software. This feature is great for creating Vine videos.
- Live Broadcast: This links up with the YouTube Live Broadcast feature and allows you to broadcast from your Galaxy camera versus something like Periscope.
- Slow Motion: This mode allows you to capture video in slow motion, which is great for action video to capture more detail.
- Virtual Shot: This mode is pretty cool, allowing you to take a 3D picture by circling around your subject matter. It does take some time to get used to.
- Food: We all knew a food mode was coming to cameras sooner or later. This mode, as the name suggest, helps you take better food pictures by changing the way the focus and background operate when snapping a picture.
- Hyperlapse: Like the Slow Motion mode, this is the opposite. It allows you to take a time-lapse video to highlight your subject as it changes over time.
If you’re just using the camera out of the box, Auto will be your default mode. From here, you can change several settings on the top bar, including the use of flash, HDR, the timer, and you can add effects.
In Auto mode, click “Effects.”
This will open an effects window that shows you in real time, before you take the picture, what each effect will make the picture look like. If you’re going for a specific look, such as monotone, you can use that filter to take the picture.
If you want to take better pictures and don’t understand how to, using the Pro mode as your default mode is the best way to get the most out of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge cameras out of the box.
You’re able to get the Effects from the above instructions by clicking “Standard” and applying a filter where necessary to pictures taken in Pro mode.
The default Android settings still exist within the Galaxy S7 camera as well; you can access those by clicking the “Gear” icon in the top left-hand corner of the camera when open.
These options allow you to change key settings, such as video size, location tags, where you store photos and more. We recommend changing your default storage location to an SD card so you never run out of the room taking pictures on the go. You’re also able to change whether the volume buttons take pictures for you, which was a useful feature in previous versions of Android.
With the S7 camera, you might want to take pictures through the app’s controls to get the most out of the camera’s settings.
Heading out with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Camera
I’m the first person to admit they’re not a photographer despite the amount of pictures I take and post on Instagram. With the Galaxy S5, I was frustrated I could never take pictures in low light without them coming out horribly.
This was due to me not knowing how to use my camera. Eventually, I purchased an app to help me change how the settings of my S5 camera worked and things became better when I took pictures in low light.
However, now that I have the Galaxy S7, I don’t need my third party app anymore. The Pro mode allows the S7 to change key settings based on the focus, giving me an easier option for taking low light pictures. I am still surprised by how well moon shots come out, even at dawn and dusk.
They key for me with the Galaxy S7 camera was getting used to the different modes and playing around with them, especially the Pro mode. All you have to do in Pro mode is choose the right focus area, and the camera does the work for you.
While photographers will scoff at that, for those of us who just want to take pictures of life, this camera allows us to do it without getting frustrated by how our pictures turn out when going through them.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge camera, coupled with improvements in hardware and Android Marshmallow, is a solid camera and can compete with the best phone cameras on the market. If you’re looking for a phone capable of taking good, solid pictures, you should consider the S7 and S7 Edge as strong contenders in your hunt for a new phone or upgrade.
Featured image: Samsung