Update: The Samsung Note 10's camera takes great photos, and we'll test it out over the course of a 72 hour day by snapping a few low-light photos with its Multi-lens setup. It's among the best camera phones in 2019, as you'll see from the newly updated photo gallery below. Set your crosshair to 'stunned' for some of these Note 10 photos.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10's cameras instantly stand out with the best camera phones in 2019, or at least that's the conclusion I'm drawing before TechRadar in Friday's full review. We close on the result now that the chamber has been tested.
I have already unpacked the Note 10 and have offered details on dimensions, performance and some camera samples. Now it's time to reveal the full gallery and demo of the versatility of four lenses plus an exclusive depth sensor.
The Samsung Note 10 is equipped with a regular 12MP lens with a variable f/1.5, and an f/2.4 aperture. Explain that very briefly: the amount of light it absorbs varies depending on the number of lighting conditions. It's quite complex for a smartphone.
What stands out more is its 12MP f/2.1 telephoto and 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lenses. They offer photos from different perspectives. I was shown scenes in a new way: up close without distortion through the 2x telephoto zoom lens, and cramming more into the frame with the wide angle lens - without getting everything back in the frame.
After a week of testing, I'm ready to share the good, the bad, and sometimes slightly out of focus. Here is our ongoing Note 10 camera review.
10 different 10 scenes filmed
The above are the first Samsung Note 10 camera samples I broke and they remain my favorite because they show how the three rear cameras depict scenes in very different ways, especially with the 16MP resolution and wide angle lens.
With an ultra-wide-angle lens, you can see, familiarize yourself with 42nd Street and New York City's iconic yellow taxi cabs in two other photos. There's an obvious fisheye effect, and this means that tall buildings don't posses a kink, but that's part of that special focus of 10 Camera Charm and makes the city rightfully seem intimidating.
The street and all the chaos of Manhattan is not included in the other two photos using the regular and telephoto lenses. But if you want the Chrysler Building on its own, the telephoto lens is there to get the best shot of it perched gargoyles.
My second favorite Note 10 photo camera is one thing, and it shows once again how useful an ultra-wide-angle camera can be in certain situations.
In the first photo you see here the "finished product"; it was taken with an ultra-wide-angle lens, and had some changes - some basic Adobe Lightroom applications for color correction (just using the basic slider tools) and cropping. I used an ultra-wide angle lens because the regular Note 10 lens doesn't do this reflection justice (photo 2) - the building is cut off at the top, and at the bottom in the reflection.
Because I don't want you to get caught in traffic (you can see a bunch of yellow taxis barely looking at me), I didn't have enough time to go back and rethink the shot. With a quick switch to the ultra-wide-angle camera (photo 3), I was able to snap a more inclusive photo and crop it later (photo 4); The image was then edited to produce Photo 1, which makes me a lot happier in the end.
Color Dot was my favorite camera mode when viewing the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, and the filter made its debut on the Note series Note 10.
This makes the background and foreground portions in back and white, but keeps the main theme in color so that the person or object really pops out of the scene. This is not always suitable - you can see that some of the red tomatoes are in color, and some are not, and the glass is also in color. A couple of adjustments from the Taker's price and a few tries to be safe (just hammer that shutter button while it's running) usually fixes these problems.
It's a really fun way to capture the stage, and Samsung does it better than anyone else (especially Motorola, which has already tried the same thing with bland results).
Here's another great example of a color dot image mode along with an all color regular photo. I don't want people in the background of the shot (sorry guys), and the current focus mode's point color makes them a lot less distracting.
All colors shot at f/1.5 aperture (it's a bit dark in a restaurant) and in black and white Photo-points. Interestingly, the color point mode (and all video focus modes) allows you to switch between a regular lens and a telephoto lens (the latter is always the default).
It's… more testing is needed. I used Samsung's fairly new night mode on the Note 10 (turned out to be the S10, S10 Plus and S10e via a software update after these phones launched).
The first photo shows the Samsung cameras in low light conditions - they will increase the impact, and smooth, smooth, and smooth again. It looks like my skin has gone through an old school, family portrait-editing session. Samsung's night mode (photo 2) further increases the exposure, but grain can be seen everywhere, especially on the curtains. It's definitely brighter.
I uploaded 3 photos from my phone to Google Pixel of the famous night mode sight. It does a better job of holding the piece and tamping down the grain, but it's also noisy after all. These are dark photos, which means the Note 10 camera needs more testing in bars. "Drink, please!"
With the help of Samsung Note 10 night mode outside, we certainly get a brighter picture. The camera likes to do the following:
- Increasing brightness (especially in low light shots)
- Punch colors with more saturation
- Everything is smooth in plain sight, like a steamroller (again, especially in low-light photography)
This works quite well in some situations, though you might argue that Pixel 3 Compare Shot provides a more moody, more-true-to-life scene. We will continue to test the night mode leading to the full Note 10 plus commentary on Friday.
I said to highlight the good, the bad, and sometimes slightly out of focus. Trying to get regular and telephoto lenses to focus on a subject in color dot mode can be difficult, but that can also be the case with regular snaps as well, as you can see in the shots above. I gave myself permission to eat a donut for this test. One donut was not harmed in the making of this post 10 Photo gallery.
The color dot gets all the attention, and for good reason. This is Samsung's best new camera mode, and it's the first time we've seen it on a Note phone. But there are other live focus modes besides this one.
There's a spin (photo 1) and a zoom (photo 2), a normal blur effect, and a new Big Circles filter that makes the lights in the background blurry and bulbous in shape (seen in the next photo set).
Here's a good example from the Big Circles mode using the 10 megapixel front camera - and an example shot taken remotely using the S Pen's Fire Shutter.
Samsung's Pen has always been a useful stylus, but it became a Bluetooth camera remote shutter release with last year's Note 9. This feature returns, along with other gesture controls for swiping through the camera's menus, zooming in and out. A colored dot appears in (photo 2) along with a cropped selfie (photo 3), as the front of the Samsung camera auto-crops against a wide selfie (uncropped version, photo 4) that you can choose from.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 camera tests and beyond
I tested the Note 10 camera all weekend and most of Monday. It's not enough to stamp a comment, but I'm closer in 72 hours (well, a little longer after writing and uploading a photo - Samsung's photo transfer software leaves a lot to be desired, which I'll nitpick in a review).
Didn't do a deep analysis. Too often comments don't take into account the video capabilities of smartphones, and that's what I'll be doing on Monday and Tuesday. In the Samsung Note 10, image stabilization has been improved, according to Samsung, and I check that out in a side-by-side comparison. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week and note 10 flexes of his multicameral muscles.