Samsung is known for including impressive cameras in their handsets, so logically the flagship Galaxy S7 is going to pack quite a punch regarding photo and video capabilities. In order to get an idea for what to expect in the S7, we’ll take a look at the Galaxy S6 and make some assumptions about how much progress Samsung can reasonably accomplish in a year.
The S7’s Minimum Camera Specifications
The chances of Samsung taking a step back from the Galaxy S6 are negligible, so we can take a look at its spec sheet for a baseline. Obviously, the S7 will be at least equal with the S6, most likely far superior. The specs for the camera on the Galaxy S6 are as follows:
||16 MP, 2988 x 5312 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, Auto HDR, panorama
||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps, HDR, dual-video rec., check quality
||5 MP, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR
As we can see, this is an impressive piece of hardware, easily outclassing many point and shoot dedicated cameras currently on the market. Enormous pixel density in still shots, superb quality at high frame rates for video, the camera on the S6 is impressive to say the least.
Can Samsung push the envelope even further?
Galaxy S7’s Rumored Camera Improvements
Based on last year’s flagship from Samsung, we can make a few educated guesses on how the S7 will perform with photo and video. With Samsung’s focus on feature-rich hardware and software, most of the capabilities will probably be carried into the latest handset.
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) will be present, but may exist in either a true hardware-based OIS, or a sort of faux-OIS handled within the camera software. Either option has tradeoffs, but it will be implemented in one form or another.
Automatic focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, and panorama are all standard across most of today’s smartphones, so they should be considered given. High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging is present in most phone cameras, and will be in the Galaxy S7 to some degree. It may be included as a sort of Auto HDR, but we’ll see if that is implemented as a manual toggle.
Other than those standard inclusions, expect slight to moderate improvements across the board. Photos may be slightly higher resolution than 16 MP, but that was ahead of its time on the S6. Samsung could probably be safe with keeping the 16 MP camera, but there is talk of increasing it to an unprecedented 30 megapixels. Such an enormous MP count is nearly unheard of, outside of niche devices.
If Samsung does elect to include such an impressive camera, expect some absurdly crisp pictures. Video will almost certainly be improved, probably rocking 4K video and definitely improving the framerate of all resolutions supported in the S6. Where 1080p could be recorded at 60fps in the S6, expect the S7 to record the same resolution at 120fps or possibly even 240fps. Video recorded at 720p will almost definitely be 240fps.
In general, there is no doubt that the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7 will be great. The company is known for its fabulous camera hardware and software, so whatever they create will be awesome. However, don’t expect anything leaps and bounds better than the S6. Samsung is unlikely to make huge sacrifices elsewhere on the device just to push the camera to an unparalleled extreme. The S6 was already at the front of the pack, minor improvements should do plenty to keep it there.
UPDATE: Samsung has reported it’s latest Camera technology code-named “BRITECELL”. Could it be in the new Galaxy S7?