THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S3 has an 8MP camera, falling short of expectations for a 12MP rear-facing imager. However, Samsung claims it's not all about the megapixel count and told crowds that it's one of the best cameras ever to feature on a smartphone, so we decided to put it through its paces.
First off it's worth noting that there are a lot of features built into the Galaxy S3's camera application. As well as taking single shots, you can set the camera to capture images in burst - 20 shots in about 10 seconds - high dynamic range (HDR) and panorama shot modes, with the last a feature we thought was much more impressive than the one found on Sony Xperia smartphones.
Sure, these fancy features are all well and good, but "how is the picture quality?" we hear you asking. In short, it's fantastic. In daylight, pictures are full of detail and colours are rich, although they can look slightly over-saturated when photos are viewed on a larger screen. Snapshots taken in poor lighting are pretty impressive too, and the LED flash on the back of the handset manages not to make photos look washed out.
So far, one of our favourite features of the Galaxy S3's camera is a neat addition called 'Best Shot'. Shown off at the Galaxy S3 launch event with little success, this feature, once switched on, sees the camera taking several photos in quick succession and then suggesting the "best" one out of the lot.
Another feature is the ability to take still images while capturing video by a simple touch on the screen, which worked seamlessly on the Galaxy S3 thanks to its speedy quad-core processor. It's worth mentioning though that this feature is also available on the HTC One X, and works just as well on that handset too.
We were disappointed not to see a dedicated camera key on the Galaxy S3, as when walking around Soho with bags of shopping booty, we found it difficult to both hold the phone and manage to tap the screen to take a photo.
Check back later this week for our complete Samsung Galaxy S3 review. µ