Oct 15th, 2014 publishUpdated   Jan 16th, 2015, 1:17 pm

Camera

Note-4-Camera-HDR-Off-OptionsThe Galaxy Note 4 boasts an excellent 16MP camera along with optical image stabilization and it’s capable of some pretty amazing pictures and video. As with any camera – from Polaroid to DSLR – the quality of pictures largely depends on the lighting and the subject of the photograph. During most of my time with the Note 4 the weather was lousy, which somewhat limited my ability to fully show off the cameras features, but as you can below it’s fully capable of delivering a premium photo experience.

Camera Samples

orioles-heaven

fells-thames

food-sushi

flower-macro1

In low light situations, HDR (high dynamic range) can really help. When not using HDR, though, you have access to a few additional filtering options that Instagrammers will enjoy.

Notice the paired pictures with one zoomed in and one zoomed out? They use a new feature of the Galaxy Note 4 called Advanced Digital Zoom, taking several images and combining them to create a much more clear photo. This happens when you zoom from anywhere between 4X and 8X, the latter of which is the zoom max.

Samsung also added a bunch of Selfie helping modes for its 3.7MP front facing camera:

  • Wide Selfie lets you take a panoramic picture (of yourself) with the front facing camera
  • Wider angle lens than the rear camera (f/1.9 aperture) to assist selfies in capturing more of the people and/or scenery around them.:
  • Press the heart monitor to snap a picture with the front facing camera- convenient!
  • Say “cheese”, “smile”, “capture”, or “shoot” to automatically snap a picture

Again, the quality of the photos will always depend on the lighting and subject matter, but holding all else equal the Galaxy Note 4 consistently matches or exceeds the competition from other smartphone cameras.

Video Samples

The first video is a quickie from Camden Yards where the Baltimore Orioles were playing the Kansas City Royals. You can hear fans chanting Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes which has become (and Baltimore isn’t alone in this) somewhat of a theme/chant song. The batter breaks his bat on the pitch and the Royals make the out at third base. I recorded an awful lot of video and hoped to capture some Orioles magic… but thus far in the ALCS it’s been all blue.

Next up is a pretty awesome video I was only able to capture thanks to the 16MP prowess and zoom capabilities of the Note 4. Walking in Baltimore’s Harbor East I spotted a huge Seagull in the water, devouring something. Obviously it was a fish, but this guy had a unique way of eating it. Or was he playing with it? Either way, Baltimore’s harbor water is pretty disgusting, so there’s no way that fish tasted very good.

Did you hear how windy it was in the above video? It was shaking the trees like crazy. I used it as an opportunity to record a slow motion video of the leaves waving in the wind and then recorded a fast forward video of part of my walk home. The latter you should watch at your own risk, it’s completely dizzifying.

There’s also a Smooth Motion setting that records at 60FPS and plays at normal speed. Slow motion 1/8X speed is 240fps and 1/4X speed is 120FPS.

I was definitely impressed with the Galaxy Note 4 camera and can safely recommend it as one of the best smartphone cameras on the market.

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