Among the mobiles available in Spain, few ranges have the trajectory and fame of the Galaxy S. The most iconic range of Samsung will soon turn 10 years in which they have tried to achieve the best that a smartphone was capable of in each one of their generations.
Since its first generation, the Galaxy S have tried to have the maximum power, the best multimedia capabilities and the best possible experience in photography. Although in this last section it seems that the company has recently lost prominence as it is an area in which companies like Huawei or Google innovate wildly, it is still among the best.
The South Korean company has reviewed its great innovations in each generation of Galaxy S. These innovations are from Samsung’s perspective, but they are interesting to remember a little history about one of the longest-lived ranges of Android.
Samsung Galaxy S: Panoramic Photography
Today it is in practically all camera applications, but in 2010 it was not a feature that was present on all mobiles.
Galaxy S2: Led Flash
Fortunately at this time it is not necessary for photography (but very useful as a flashlight) but at that time without a flash it was practically impossible to get a shot in the dark. The flash is not that it helped improve the quality, but at least it allowed you to take a photo.
Galaxy S3: Burst Shot
Holding down the capture button and taking 20 pictures in a second was a demonstration of ability in its day, a feature that continues to be useful today to increase the chance of getting a perfect shot for moving targets.
Galaxy S4: EffectPicture in Picturein photographs
Although Samsung has highlighted the possibility of taking a photograph with the front and rear cameras simultaneously as the great innovation of the Galaxy S4, the truth is that this function no longer exists in the Samsung camera (and if it exists, it is so hidden that I can’t even find it).
Galaxy S5: Rich HDR mode
One of the biggest limitations of mobile photography is in the ability to take light, but thanks to the power of mobile processors and the ability to take several images at different exposure levels almost simultaneously, the software is capable of get the most out of mobile cameras. HDR mode has been around for a few years, but it was still in its infancy compared to today’s standards. The Galaxy S5 was among the first to use advanced HDR photography modes.
Galaxy S6: Photos in less than a second
Samsung added a quick access to access the camera and take photos in less than a second. For how good this camera was in its day, it’s strange that Samsung highlights such a decaf feature.
Galaxy S7: Fast and accurate autofocus thanks to Dual Pixel technology
Although Samsung innovated in the use of this technology, it was not until the following year with the Pixel 2 XL that we discovered the true potential of Dual Pixel technology, which Google was able to take advantage of for portrait mode photos without the need for a depth sensor.
Galaxy S8: Algorithms for the image signal processor
The ISP, or Image Signal Processor, is an increasingly important component in mobile photography. Samsung took advantage of the improved power of this processor to take several consecutive captures and select the best of them.
Galaxy S9: Variable focus to improve night photography
One of the most curious innovations of Samsung and that we liked the most was the camera of the Galaxy S9 and its ability to switch between focal length 1.5 and 2.4 depending on the ambient light. When we have a lot of light it uses the lens with f / 2.4 to capture more detail and in bad conditions it uses f / 1.5 to capture more light.
This year they also introduced ultra slow motion recording at 960 images per second and AR Emoji which did not convince us.
Galaxy S10: Super stable video and ultra wide angle camera
2019 was the year that Samsung signed up for one of the most popular photography modes when it comes to having a second sensor, and that is wide-angle photography. Apart from photography, they also introduced a new super stable video recording mode that, although limited to 1080p, achieves phenomenal stabilization.
Galaxy S20 Ultra: Space Zoom up to 100x
It is curious that for the generation of the Galaxy S20 the company highlights a feature that is exclusive to the most expensive model, although it is remarkable as it is the first mobile with a periscope lens from Samsung. Through a sophisticated optical zoom and software, it is capable of achieving up to 100 zoom increases, being able to photograph things from very far away.
In practice, the 100 magnification has turned out to be an overkill (and indeed, with the Note 20 Ultra they took a step back by reducing the magnification to 50). The first ones did not arrive (Huawei and Oppo were ahead of the previous year) but the result is satisfactory compared to the rest of the companies.
Galaxy S21: Artificial intelligence applied to photography
Samsung is late in the battle of AI-enhanced photography, where Google and Huawei have a clear advantage and where Apple and even Xiaomi are achieving great results. However, it is never too late if the result is worth it, but to assess that we will have to wait a few days to be able to test the latest from Samsung more thoroughly.
The entry This is how the Galaxy S camera has evolved since 2010 appears first in The Free Android.