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Australia by Telstra: testing the Samsung Galaxy S9’s camera

Devices

Posted on April 6, 2018

5 min read

We decided to put the camera in Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, to the test by giving the new phone to five Telstra staff members in the most beautiful parts of Australia.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is out now, and from the outset Samsung has put the camera front and centre in the promotion of its latest handset – ‘The Camera Re-imagined’, they’ve called it. That is a big claim, but with the S9’s 12 megapixel rear camera using a revolutionary dual-aperture lens, could Samsung have a winner on its hands?

To test those specs, we decided to the put the new camera to the test. We sought out five Telstra staff members with an interest in photography, and supplied them with either a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+. Their mission: to field test the camera and get landscape photographs for a collection we’re calling Australia by Telstra.

The results are impressive.

Chris Marks, Telstra State Media Manager (SA): “The quality of the camera on the Samsung S9 is amazing – the best I’ve seen. It offers a range of pre-set automatic options for quick shots and also has the Pro option which lets you have full control over speed, exposure and focus- just like my old SLR.

“However, the auto setting is the one for me on most occasions – it delivers great results every time, especially if you are in a hurry”.

Barry J Polden, Telstra Professional Services Technician (TAS): “As a DSLR user I only occasionally use a smartphone as a camera. Having said that, I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the results (even in auto mode) and the range of settings available (especially in pro mode). It would make a great little camera, even without the added smartphone.”

Kat Bampton, Telstra Business Specialist (QLD): “I love using the camera’s ‘Pro’ feature, particularly for the clarity of shots like my sunrises, but my favourite to play with was the focus feature and depth of field. I love taking photos of flowers and plants, and the S9 works amazingly.”

Annemarie Gallard, Telstra Communications Advisor (NSW): “The S9+ has an awesome dual camera, offering 2x optical zoom and a live focus feature that automatically blurs out the background to increase the depth-of-field in your photos. I love nature and taking wide landscape shots, so naturally I played around in Panorama mode. I really liked that it automatically captures a video at the same time as a still panoramic photo!”

Rick Andrews, Telstra Senior IT Domain Specialist (QLD): The S9 has the option to automatically and manually switch between an aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4, which provides great low light performance. In daylight, the S9 delivers beautiful crisp photos that look impressive on the AMOLED display of the device.

“The standard camera app that comes with the S9 is very versatile, providing a simple and intuitive point-and-shoot capability plus a “Pro Mode” that lets the photographer get in and have more advanced control of the camera settings to change the look and feel for those more creative photos. So with the Samsung Galaxy S9 at hand the saying “The Best Camera Is The One You Have With You”, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of the photos that you take.

Our top tips for Galaxy S9 photos

We also asked our camera testers if – having trialled the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ – they had any top tips for anyone lucky enough to already have a S9, or those considering buying one.

Chris – “Look for good light. Morning or late afternoon are the best. I would say, crop out the clutter on the sides of images if they distract from your focus and when in doubt shoot lots of photos and keep the best one.”

Kate – “I am not sure if I have top tips, but I suppose when getting a new smart phone it’s brilliant to first play around with the camera features and get a feel for what works best when. That way if you play first, when those moments in life come up, you don’t want to miss the perfect snap. You’ll already know what setting is going to work best for it.’

Barry – “As far as a tip for taking photos with a smartphone, my top tip – if you are taking anything more than a quick snap and are trying out the many pro settings – is to set as many of the settings as you can before composing the shot. This is particularly important in very bright sunlight where it can be quite hard to see the screen – even move to a darker spot if necessary, set the phone up, and then move in to the sunlight to take the shot.”

Rick – “Don’t rush the photo. Take an extra second to make sure that the composition is good, and scan the background to avoid those nasty surprises that distract from the main subject of the photo.”

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are both available from Telstra now.