First impressions Samsung Galaxy S5: HDR comparison (with the Nokia Lumia 1020)

I've been working with the Galaxy S5 for just about a day now, and I think that as far as its photography goes, it super easy to use HDR functionality will become very popular on this device.

As I've shown in my first  comparison, the way Samsung managed to implement HDR in its camera is  impressive. Normally you'll have to hold still and make a sequence of two or three shots - not so on the Galaxy S5: you'll even see the result in your screen before you make the shot.

This is just a very quick comparison test to show you what the effect of HDR is, compared to using a dedicated HDR application in the Nokia Lumia 1020. The scene is from a church, partly in the sun, partly in the shade - quite ideal for HDR shots like these.

First, I'll show you the Lumia 1020, focussed on the bright part of the scene, the sunlit tower - you'll see it's the best shot so I'll use it as reference.

Nokia Lumia 1020 1

In fact, I'm surprised by what I got from the Lumia 1020 in this case - it didn't look as detailed on the phone itself when I captured the scene - I did expect the windows in the shadow to be hardly visible.

Next, you'll see what happens if you focus on the dark part of the scene: that becomes must more visible of course, but you'll burn the sky.

Nokia Lumia 1020 2

Now this is how the Samsung Galaxy S5 captures the scene with its settings on auto. And it's not bad at all in fact: you can still make out the details in the shadow.

Samsung Galaxy S5

But this is what happens if you use HDR on the Galaxy S5, which is extremely easy (just an onscreen button to switch it on or off).

Samsung Galaxy S5 HDR

Now of course, this look unnatural, but that's what HDR often looks like, isn't it? Most important in this case is that you'll even the dark parts of the shots become a lot more visible. If it really adds to the atmosphere is not the issue here: I just want to show what it can do - with one single click...

To conclude, I used the HDR application on the Nokia Lumia 1020, to make a sequence of three shots. You'll have to hold very still of course, and afterwards the application need time to allign the shots etc. You'll have the choice to make the HDR effect much stronger, but this is what I got from the application without changing anything in the original HDR result.

Nokia Lumia 1020 HDRThis concludes my first impressions so far - I have tons of more shots to make this weekend (with the Galaxy S5, the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520, and I think I'll even bring the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact), but I thought the extremely user-friendly way to use HDR function on the Galaxy S5 was something you'd like to read about.

I won't come as a surprise you may find all the original shots in a dedicated set on the PureViewClub photostream on Flickr. I'm sorry I don't have time to do some serious pixel peeping at this moment, but be my guest if you fee so inclined :-)

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