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Samsung Galaxy S6 camera review and tips

We take an in-depth look at the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge’s spangly new cameras, with some tips and tricks to get the best possible pics.

Samsung has upgraded both cameras for the new Galaxy S6 flagship phone – and its slightly weird sibling the Galaxy S6 Edge – and what you get is some of the best optical tech ever found in a smartphone. Here’s a run-down of the best features of the 16-megapixel rear camera and the 5-megapixel selfie snapper found on both phones.

Quick launch

Few first world problems are more frustrating than witnessing some hilarious bout of spontaneous shenanigans, which is all over by the time you yank out your phone, bash in your PIN and desperately pound the camera app icon.

Well no worries, as Samsung has you covered with the Galaxy S6’s quick launch feature. If you spot something worthy of a Facebook post, just grab your phone and double-tap the home button. This launches straight into the camera app, on full auto settings. Note that you can’t switch modes or fiddle with manual controls unless you actually go back and properly unlock the handset.

All you need is auto

The default camera mode is auto, and it’s all you need to shoot everyday snaps. On auto, the Galaxy S6 will detect the lighting conditions and take a bright, clear, detail-packed shot 99 times out of 100.

If you find that you’re shooting in a mixture of bright and dark conditions and your contrast levels are a bit wonky, try switching HDR mode on with a tap of the icon (it’s sat on the side of the screen next to the other manual settings). This usually helps with exposure, to brighten up dull-looking shots. You can also manually lock the exposure point by pressing and holding your finger on the screen until a circle pops up.

Smoothly does it

If you fancy yourself as the new Peter Jackson, make sure you check out the video settings before you shoot any home movies. Tap the cog icon and then go to ‘Video Size’, and you’ll notice that there’s a Full HD 60fps mode, which shoots super-smooth high-def footage.

You can also bump up to 2k and even 4k resolution, although in both cases you have a five-minute time limit on clips – firstly to keep you from filling up your phone’s storage and secondly to keep the handsets from overheating.

Stop the shake

If your video footage is a little shaky, there’s a nifty feature called Video Stabilisation that will help you out. Tap the cog icon to get into the settings and then scroll down to find the option and turn it on.

Video Stabilisation works by using points of reference to digitally keep your shot steady, trimming the edges to remove all of that horrible blur and judder. You’ll notice when you play back your footage that it appears slightly ‘zoomed in’ as a result, but also with most of the shake eliminated.

Lemme take a selfie

Samsung’s 5-megapixel front-facing camera is a great way to take selfies, proving more than capable in low light conditions so you can show off your club style for the whole world to see.

You can take a selfie in a few different ways, our favourite being a quick tap of the heart rate sensor on the back. However, you can also use gesture recognition like the LG G3, once you activate it in the settings (tap the cog icon, then turn on Gesture Control). Now just raise your palm when you want to take a selfie and the lens will recognise your mitt and start a countdown.

If you can’t quite fit in your whole crew, then just tap ‘Mode’ and then ‘Wide Selfie’. You’ll be asked to move the phone around as the phone takes a number of photos, which it then stitches seamlessly together into one massive selfie shot.

Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S6 in-depth review, and our Galaxy S6 Edge in-depth review.

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