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Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. Galaxy S6: who takes better photos?

By Liu Hongzuo - 19 Mar 2016

Overview & Playground: Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S7 - page 1

Note: This article was first published on the 29th February.


Samsung Galaxy S6 (left) versus the Samsung Galaxy S7 (right). Which device does a better job at taking photos? It's not as obvious as it sounds because the older device sports a 16MP sensor, but the newer device uses a 12MP sensor. Read on for our findings!

With the Singapore variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7 arriving at our office, we took it upon ourselves to see the difference in photo quality and camera performance between the new flagship and the Samsung Galaxy S6, which received outstanding praise for its camera performance in our earlier review.

In case you missed out on our hands on preview, we've explained that the new Galaxy S7 is significantly different from the Galaxy S6. The millions of photosites that make up the image sensor of the Galaxy S7 camera has a size 1.4µm each, while the older S6 had photosites that were 1.12µm in size. This means that the S7 and S7 Edge can capture 56% more light on its image sensor. Since there's a finite area for a camera sensor on a phone, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices sacrificed pixel count in favor of larger photosites to help capture more light - as such, the effective maximum image resolution of the rear camera is 12 megapixels with a brighter F1.7 aperture on the lens with Smart OIS (optical image stabilization). This is a significant change from the predecessor's 16-megapixel, F1.9 aperture rear camera.

The photos taken in this gallery were captured entirely in auto mode, with settings completely unaltered to ensure maximum possible automatic performance for each phone. We also shot at the maximum megapixel count allowable on each device. This means that the Samsung Galaxy S6 shot its images at the default maximum of 16-megapixels resolution, giving us wider 16:9 ratio images. The 12-megapixels resolution Samsung Galaxy S7 camera gave us 4:3 ratio photos. We also used the same focal points for each shot.

Photos are arranged with the S6's attempt coming first, followed by the S7 equivalent for comparison. Click on each image for its original resolution copy.


Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S7. 

It's worth noting that these playground photos were taken at around 6 P.M., with the evening sun as its natural light source. The Samsung Galaxy S6 provided a brighter and more vivid overall image, but the Galaxy S7 did better in terms of reproducing more accurate hues on the subject against the naturally warm evening sun, even if the end-result was not as lively.

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