Written by Eva

Samsung Galaxy S8 (Plus) camera review

The fact that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have a good camera is something you can read everywhere. When I got the chance to try out the S8 Plus myself, I immediately went out to test it. Nothing and no one could escape my camera's all-seeing eye; every flower, ray of sunshine, drop of water, and person that came near me was captured. In this article, you can see the results and read what I think about the camera. Since the S8 and the S8 Plus have the exact same camera, everything I talk about here applies to both smartphones.

In short

  • The smartphone takes beautiful, sharp photos in any kind of light.
  • You can create fun depth-of-field effects.
  • Because the phone is waterproof, you can also take fun photos underwater or in the rain.
  • The camera app has all kinds of options for editing the photos you've taken.
  • When you zoom, the quality of the photo decreases significantly.

Daytime photo

What do you see?

My coworkers enjoying lunch in the sun.

What do I think?

I took this photo to see the quality of photos in sunlight. I think the colors on the photo are truly beautiful. The warmth of the sunny day really comes across, but the bright sun hasn't led to overexposure. The contrast between sun and shadow is clear too, without making the shadows too dark. Even the black jeans worn by my colleague Maarten can clearly be seen in the shadow.

Nightime photo

S8 Plus photos in the dark

What do you see?

A photo of Breda's city center when it's dark. The lighting reflects beautifully of the water, although not all of the lights themselves are equally in focus.

What do I think?

After sunset, lighting near water can make a very pretty picture. It's often difficult to capture this in photos, because the contrast between the dark areas of the photo and the lighting is very big. The Galaxy S8 Plus does it quite well. The ambience in the photo gives a good representation of reality, although the lights are a little out of focus.

Backlit photo

S8 Plus backlit photos

What do you see?

This photo was taken into the sun, but you can still clearly see the green color of the tree leaves.

What do I think?

Backlit photos often don't turn out very nice, because the things in the foreground tend to look like a black silhouette. These types of photos will never be perfect, but the S8 Plus delivers fine quality. For instance, the color of the leaves still looks nice and green. In other backlit photos I took, the objects in the foreground can be seen clearly as well. The background does tend to get a tad overexposed.

Concert photo

S8 Plus concert

What do you see?

An orchestra and a singer entertaining the audience with music from famous movies. On a stage with spotlights of course.

What do I think?

This is one of the first photos I took with the S8 Plus and I was impressed straightaway. Never before did I have a smartphone that was able to clearly capture a scene like this. The rays coming of the lights, the screen in the background, and the artists are all lit differently, yet they all come out well in the photo. Remarkable!

Photo with depth-of-field effect

Depth-of-field effect

What do you see?

A photo of a Godzilla in focus and less sharp Coolblue mugs in the background. In other words, a photo with depth-of-field effect.

What do I think?

I really like to play around with depth-of-field effects. This is one of the many photos I took with it. You can also use the effect the other way around, so with Godzilla out of focus and the Coolblue mugs in focus. These effects let you clearly show what's important in a photo and what isn't. Do you really need this feature? No. Is it fun? Definitely.

Underwater photo

S8 Plus underwater

What do you see?

A photo of me, taken underwater.

What do I think?

In order to test the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus' water resistance, I went swimming with it. At the same time, I checked if the camera works underwater. It does, quite well in fact. You can clearly see I'm underwater and I'm in focus. Even the quickly moving bubbles that I'm exhaling are captured clearly by the camera.

Detail photo

S8 Plus detail

What do you see?

This is a wet leaf of the strawberry plant on my balcony. You can clearly see the veins in the leaf, even through the water droplets. The minuscule hairs at the edge of the leaf are clear enough to count them.

What do I think?

I'm impressed by the details that are visible in the photo. If you enjoy nature photography, or like taking detail photos of other subjects, the S8 (Plus) is highly recommended.

Zoomed photo

S8 Plus zoom function

What do you see?

On this photo, I zoomed in on an ad poster across the street from my third floor balcony.

What do I think?

I'm disappointed with the quality of the zoomed photos, particularly because the unzoomed photos are so very sharp. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S8 (Plus) uses digital zoom instead of optical zoom, which means there's a big loss of quality. I recommend taking your photos up close, without zooming in.

Motion photo

S8 Plus camera

What do you see?

Someone has just jumped in the pool. Water is still flying. Even though this is all happening very quickly, the S8 Plus managed to capture a razor-sharp photo of it.

What do I think?

Capturing motion in a photo is tricky. Often the things in motion end up blurry. That's not the case when you take the photo using the Galaxy S8 (Plus). Both the big wave caused by the cannonball and all the splashes and drops it caused are captured clearly in the photo.

Selfie

S8 Plus selfie camera

What do you see?

My coworkers Amber and Jonna and me, with a fun filter from the camera app.

What do I think?

Of course, the quality of the rear camera is better, but the selfie camera takes nice photos as well. The upgrade to 8 megapixels and the addition of autofocus make a difference: I can clearly see every freckle on my nose, without the filter over it anyway. You no longer need Snapchat to take funny pictures of you and your friends.

Editing after

S8 Plus photo editing

What do you see?

An edit of a photo of a blue Coolblue mug. I just removed the mug's blue color.

What do I think?

The camera app has all kinds of options to edit photos. In this example, I played around with the colors, but I could've changed the lighting, perspective, or proportions. Adding effects, stickers, and texts is also possible. Personally, I rarely use these options, but they're there for people who like to get creative with them.

Conclusion

When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 (Plus)'s camera, I have to say I'm excited. The smartphone takes beautiful photos in all conditions. Do you also use your smartphone as a camera and do you want high-quality photos? In that case, I recommend the Galaxy S8 (Plus).

Want to know what I think of the rest of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus? Check out my review. Are you interested in the Samsung Galaxy S8? Read what Maarten thinks about the phone in his review.


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