mobile photography technology, culture and community

Some Samsung Galaxy S5 units shipped with defective camera


The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with an impressive camera specification for a smartphone. With a 16MP ISOCELL 1/2.6-inch sensor, F2.2 aperture, 4K video, reflector integrated LED-flash, water-resistant body and hybrid AF system, Samsung's latest flagship model looks like a great choice for mobile photographers.

However, the S5's camera module keeps causing trouble. First there were concerns about problems in the manufacturing process of the S5's new 6-element lens, now Samsung has confirmed that an unspecified number of the flagship phones have shipped with defective cameras. A company spokesperson told Reuters:

“We have discovered that the issue has been seen in a very limited portion of early production Galaxy S5 units and was caused by complications in the ROM (Read Only Memory) component which stores the information necessary to operate the camera.”

Samsung also says it has taken measures to prevent the issue in new shipments. In practice, on affected units the rear camera does not work at all. Users see an error message saying, "Warning: Camera Failed." A factory reset or installing third party camera apps doesn't fix the problem either. 

If your Galaxy S5 is one of the faulty units you should contact Samsung’s customer service or your wireless carrier to find out how your phone can be replaced. 

Via: Petapixel



Total comments: 21

It's great that Samsung admits the problem and are exchanging phones. Great products and great customer service is what will make them a very successful phone company.

I've had a S3 and have a Note 2 and have not had one single issue in years. Great products that keep getting better.


Most of the camera problems are plagued in Verizon phones.


The ads r extremely misleading eg the jumping kid with shallow dof.


Cameras must have been made by Nikon


People seem to think that trashing a competing brand by saying something funny somehow makes raises the specs of their inept device. It doesn't work like that.


Plastic fantastic = Samsung premium.


Samsung - "better expect nothing"


These things are probably so tightly integrated, they just crush the ones that come back. There goes Samsung's profit margin.

1 upvote

Ehh, the camera module is usually a discrete part, I doubt they'll crush a bunch of phones whole like that... Even if it's already soldered into the same PCB as the SoC and too much hassle to bother replacing, the display and all sorts of other parts are still usable (even if it's in the repair/refurbished/parts chain).

A phone is actually not much more integrated than a modern laptop with a sealed battery and no access door (some even have soldered RAM and/or proprietary storage connectors for SSD)... And Samsung's are some of the few that have external storage and removable batteries so there's that.

I've never owned a Samsung phone and there's little I envy in them btw, outside of having some degree of water sealing on their current flagship... This isn't the first time they have a widespread QC issue either. First Galaxy line ever had a notoriously shoddy GPS and it was never properly addressed, at least they're on top of this.

1 upvote

The camera module is indeed relatively easy to replace.

1 upvote

SameSong fail again :(


Just be thankful it's not Nikon. Samsung has already admitted there's a problem and that's a huge first step.


What else might be defected, it cost a premium while its quality far from that !


This is why it always better to wait a few months before buying a flagship smartphone, that way you usually get it much cheaper plus and problems are usually sorted out by then to.

I bought a Samsung Note 3 in December it was £200 cheaper than it was when it first launched & has been perfect no defects.


I would be more impressed if you said it had a 2 megapixel camera with the same sensor size. Some of us are not impressed when they cram way too many pixels on a tiny sensor.


You must not be impressed by the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 then.

1 upvote

Those don't use a tiny sensor.

1 upvote

The S5 (1/2.6" sensor at 16MP) has about the same pixel density as 1020 (8.8 x 6.6mm at 40MP).

The fact is you can always down sample to 2MP and reduce noise. I'm not impressed by the so called "Ultra Pixels" from HTC.

Lars Rehm

Good point. The one phone that actually uses a low pixel count, the HTC, does not appear to offer any IQ advantages over the higher resolution competitors.

1 upvote

Are you *really* not impressed, or are you just letting your pre-conceived notions and pre-determined biases make the decision for you? Frankly, I am very impressed with the image quality I'm getting from my latest smartphone, the LG G2. It has a 13mp camera, and it shoots pretty darn good photos.

I think you should really re-evaluate your bias. Check out this:

You really have to be anal and have a side-by-side comparison to even try to figure out which camera shot which photo. But viewing each photo on it's own, you'd never think that one was shot by an iPhone.


Should have just bought camera modules from Sony.

Total comments: 21
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