Question Camera performance

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I'm really enjoying the macro mode.

P.S. I know I have to clean the controller
 

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Wagnerian

Member
Oct 3, 2015
31
2
So I have a problem that the video on the phone is not as sharp as it should be, relative to other phones which offer 4k. It seems to be due to low bit rate of the file\format itself and not a hardware problem. I can also see it on all the review videos. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
 

beserker15

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2009
536
298
Can you post night mode in darkness on main cam vs stock with some fur like textured products?
Stock night mode will always have an edge on being able to bring in more light in less time. With that said, its biggest weakness would be color accuracy. These photos are taken in complete darkness with just a laptop screen providing light, handheld rather than using a tripod. Stock takes 5 seconds to capture, merging however many frames with an exif exposure of 1/3 seconds.

20210412_202307.jpg

GCam does the same 1/3 second exposure. Not exactly sure of the frame count but it took about the same amount of time. It's much darker, but also more color accurate and detailed
PXL_20210413_032343973.NIGHT.jpg

Now if you take that same GCam photo and boost brightness to match stock, you get a brighter image with more noise, but still has more details.
PXL_20210413_032343973.NIGHT~2.jpg



And lastly, if you got more steady hands and time, you can turn on Astrophotography mode and use longer exposures. Here is my handheld 1 second exposure with 10 frames (so total of 10 second capture time). Cleanest photo with the most detail. If I used a tripod, I can of course increase the amount of exposure time and frames.
PXL_20210413_032742803.NIGHT.jpg
 

50w

Member
Mar 17, 2021
24
39
Stock night mode will always have an edge on being able to bring in more light in less time. With that said, its biggest weakness would be color accuracy. These photos are taken in complete darkness with just a laptop screen providing light, handheld rather than using a tripod. Stock takes 5 seconds to capture, merging however many frames with an exif exposure of 1/3 seconds.

View attachment 5277571
GCam does the same 1/3 second exposure. Not exactly sure of the frame count but it took about the same amount of time. It's much darker, but also more color accurate and detailed View attachment 5277573
Now if you take that same GCam photo and boost brightness to match stock, you get a brighter image with more noise, but still has more details. View attachment 5277575


And lastly, if you got more steady hands and time, you can turn on Astrophotography mode and use longer exposures. Here is my handheld 1 second exposure with 10 frames (so total of 10 second capture time). Cleanest photo with the most detail. If I used a tripod, I can of course increase the amount of exposure time and frames.
View attachment 5277577
For me, I personally prefer the S21U pic.
You mention the gcam has more detail, but I don't see it, even when looking on a laptop.
I can't comment on the colours Vs actual life, but these all look very similar.

We all see things differently, so I'm just giving my own personal view (maybe my eyes need testing! 😕)
 
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beserker15

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2009
536
298
For me, I personally prefer the S21U pic.
You mention the gcam has more detail, but I don't see it, even when looking on a laptop.
I can't comment on the colours Vs actual life, but these all look very similar.

We all see things differently, so I'm just giving my own personal view (maybe my eyes need testing! 😕)
Haha it's completely understandable and the reason why Samsung processes pictures the way it does. You normally can't see the difference unless you zoom into the details, and often Samsung might actually look better because of the increased sharpness and contrast. Just know that the dragon and tiger drawing is on a solid purple background and it is drawn with white chalk... so should be no other colors except purple and white. Here's a zoomed in comparison to what I mean.


GCam above and stock below. This is the dark GCam picture where I brightened up so both took about the same amount of time to capture. See how smudgy the stock photo is since it tries hard to remove the noise and also how it doesn't really get rid of the color noise?
Screenshot_20210414-043900_Photo Compare.jpg


And here is the GCam picture that I used a longer exposure for. There's a slight difference in focus so the dragon isn't as sharp as the previous picture, but see the difference in processing?
Screenshot_20210414-044036_Photo Compare.jpg
 
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fdomi

Senior Member
Haha it's completely understandable and the reason why Samsung processes pictures the way it does. You normally can't see the difference unless you zoom into the details, and often Samsung might actually look better because of the increased sharpness and contrast. Just know that the dragon and tiger drawing is on a solid purple background and it is drawn with white chalk... so should be no other colors except purple and white. Here's a zoomed in comparison to what I mean.


GCam above and stock below. This is the dark GCam picture where I brightened up so both took about the same amount of time to capture. See how smudgy the stock photo is since it tries hard to remove the noise and also how it doesn't really get rid of the color noise?
View attachment 5278677

And here is the GCam picture that I used a longer exposure for. There's a slight difference in focus so the dragon isn't as sharp as the previous picture, but see the difference in processing?
View attachment 5278681
For me the real question is: If you have to zoom to find these details, is it really necessary to be so picky? I find more than acceptable the photos that the stock S21 cam does. Of course there is still room for improvement, and we all report and hope that Samsung will make it better with next firmware updates. But to me, it is really not worth it to install a separate cam app to take photos. If I want to reach near perfection then I would buy a reflex camera.
 
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PhilMorin

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2017
60
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For me the real question is: If you have to zoom to find these details, is it really necessary to be so picky? I find more than acceptable the photos that the stock S21 cam does. Of course there is still room for improvement, and we all report and hope that Samsung will make it better with next firmware updates. But to me, it is really not worth it to install a separate cam app to take photos. If I want to reach near perfection then I would buy a reflex camera.
I'm with you there but still installed gcam and use it for 2 specific cases so far:

1- taking a 10x pic. It often produces a much clearer picture than stock even when looking at it on the phone without zooming in (using snapdragon March update, just installed April update will have to test again)

2- taking an action shot where I want zero shutter lag

For all other cases, I tend to stick to stock as I'm very happy with the results. Haven't done much testing indoor et with low light though.
 

beserker15

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2009
536
298
For me the real question is: If you have to zoom to find these details, is it really necessary to be so picky? I find more than acceptable the photos that the stock S21 cam does. Of course there is still room for improvement, and we all report and hope that Samsung will make it better with next firmware updates. But to me, it is really not worth it to install a separate cam app to take photos. If I want to reach near perfection then I would buy a reflex camera.

See, I'm not trying to convince others to use one or the other. If you like the results with stock then that's great. I only posted the comparison because a person requested it.

The main reason I use it is because I like the more natural processing and the ability to use zero shutter lag that makes it easier to take pictures of animals (there's no small pause in the viewfinder after taking a photo so you can more easily track something moving). Also there's a more significant difference in indoor photos with faces, where stock smoothens faces a bit too much and you won't need to pixel peep to see the difference.

And lastly, it doesn't really cost anything to install a third party app. The reason I use Android is because I can use third party apps and not forced to use stock everything, otherwise why not use iPhone right? I do have a really good Sony full frame that I'm using less and less because the pictures I get out of this phone are getting better and better as I get more familiar with it.

PXL_20210414_022956181.jpg

PXL_20210411_224702809.jpg
 

50w

Member
Mar 17, 2021
24
39
Haha it's completely understandable and the reason why Samsung processes pictures the way it does. You normally can't see the difference unless you zoom into the details, and often Samsung might actually look better because of the increased sharpness and contrast. Just know that the dragon and tiger drawing is on a solid purple background and it is drawn with white chalk... so should be no other colors except purple and white. Here's a zoomed in comparison to what I mean.


GCam above and stock below. This is the dark GCam picture where I brightened up so both took about the same amount of time to capture. See how smudgy the stock photo is since it tries hard to remove the noise and also how it doesn't really get rid of the color noise?
View attachment 5278677

And here is the GCam picture that I used a longer exposure for. There's a slight difference in focus so the dragon isn't as sharp as the previous picture, but see the difference in processing?
View attachment 5278681
Ok, I see what you are referring to now. I must admit I did zoom in a couple of areas, but they were closer to the camera, like the Angry Bird and the green box to the right.
I must admit I tend to view a photo and if it looks good on the phone, then nine times out of ten it looks good on a large screen TV. I don't tend to look for imperfections, unless they are really obvious.
However, I get why you were doing it here, as you are specifically testing out the differences between stock and the gcam.

Like you, if I could use gcam, I would definitely give it a go if it's going to give me a faster shutter speed.
 
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