Samsung Galaxy S5 camera review
Lars Rehm | Published: Jul 9, 2014 at 19:49 UTC84
Recording video on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a straightforward affair. Press the video button in the camera app to start recording. Once in video mode you can pause, stop or capture a still image while recording.
In the settings menu you can choose from a range of modes, including slow motion and a 60fps mode, and activate the digital video stabilization and HDR capture. Under the Video Size option you can set the S5 to record 4K video with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio.
In the gallery app you'll find some very basic video editing options for cutting and clipping but if you are planning to do some more comprehensive edits of your video footage you are best off with a third party video editing app from the Google Play Store.
Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light
This video was shot in good light using the Samsung Galaxy S5's 1080p 30 fps video mode and digital image stabilization. As you can see the video is well exposed, with smooth motion, good detail and decent sound. The digital stabilization helps reduce camera shake but cannot compete with the optical systems in the Nokia Lumia models, HTC One or LG G2. When recording fast moving subjects we experienced the occasional focus "jump" but generally the S5's AF in video mode is pretty stable.
Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light
This video was shot in low artificial light with the Samsung Galaxy S5's 1080p 30 fps video mode and no stabilization. Color is still good, with smooth motion but when viewed at full size noise and compression artifacts are clearly visible. AF is still stable though and overall the Samsung's video mode is performing well in low light.
Video sample 3: Slow-motion video
The Galaxy S5 shoots slow motion video at speeds between 1/2 and 1/8th of the original speed which are all recorded in 720p resolution. Motion is very smooth and the modes work well but at the slowest speeds it appears that the original footage is recorded at a lower resolution than 720p and then upscaled. If viewed at full size you can see that the video below is slightly pixelated with some compression artifacts.
Video sample 4: HDR video
The Galaxy S5 offers an HDR video mode that is doing a decent job. In the backlit scene below the mode helped lift the shadow on the engineering equipment in the foreground and make the video more usable than it otherwise would have been. It appears you cannot use digital stabilization and HDR mode at the same time but if you can live without stabilization there is no reason not to activate HDR in high contrast scenes.
Like its phablet cousin, The Galaxy Note III, the Galaxy S5 is capable of recording 4K video at 30 frames per second. The motion is smooth but as you see in the grabbed video frame below there is a lot of compression in the image, resulting in some unsightly artifacts. Of course you'll have to watch the footage on a 4K capable screen to notice.