Did I get a lemon or were my expectations too high?

vocalist

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I'm new to Android and have been wanting to give it a shot for a while as I've been annoyed with every little Apple update causing issues; losing music, losing ringtones, battery draining, etc. I had my 4S for a little over 3 years and last Thursday, my husband and I upgraded and I chose the G3. The pictures were amazing, loved a lot of the features - although the menus were a little daunting - and absolutely LOVED the camera. I got some awesome shots of my baby girl and awesome low light shots, too. I played around with my Dad's S5 and liked the feel in hand and thought the pictures were comparable, though a bit over saturated with color, in comparison. Fast forward to last night and I swapped the G3 out for the S5 and am hating it. Every picture I try to take is grainy or blurry and everything seems much slower. Sometimes I try to zoom in on text and nothing happens. I do use the front facing camera because I take shots of me with my kids (3.5 months and 3.5 years) and the front camera is atrocious and I feel like everything looks distorted.

So my question: Did I get a bad phone or were my expectations never going to be met as I had already tried the G3? I won't go back to the G3 as I found myself afraid to leave it anywhere or to even put it in a bag because it felt so fragile. I've been looking at phones since early November (S5, M8, G2 and Note though it might be a bit large?) and just want to get something that suits my needs and be done for my sanity and for my husband's sake as he no longer wants to hear about any of this. I really don't know what to do next. If this is the wrong place for this question, I apologize. I don't necessarily find myself missing Apple but I do find myself unhappy. Thanks for the help :)
 

Skimmt

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camera on my G5 sucks as well. I was also hoping for more....not sure if I got a lemon or they're all like that but you shouldn't get a phone just because of its camera, thats what you get a camera for.
 

P_Devil

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I think your expectations were a bit too high. The front facing camera is bad but that holds true for almost every flagship smartphone out there. It all depends on the lighting too. I have taken decent shots with the front facing camera and others were just too grainy because they lacked a light source. As for the rear camera, you have to play around with the settings. Low-light shots can be a tad harsh (though they are better than my iPhone 5 was) but properly lit shots are just fine.

You have to manually enable HDR mode as well as anti-shake mode for when you want to take shots in extreme low-light conditions (like a concert). I recently went to my local zoo at night (they decorate everything with Christmas lights, I'm not going to say "holiday" lights because we all know they're Christmas lights) and took some great shots with my S5. They weren't as good as my compact mirror-less 20.1MP digital camera (also made by Samsung) but they weren't bad for a smartphone. My digital camera took much better shots but I also had a small tripod for it so I could hold still to really capture those low-light conditions. That and my digital camera is a dedicated camera. Even my older 10.1MP Sony point-and-shoot takes better pictures than the best Android smartphone on the market (also better than an iPhone and all other smartphones except for that one older Windows phone).
 

wookiee2cu

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The front camera is pretty bad but I feels most front cameras on phones are. Are you sure you removed the protective plastic piece on the rear camera? The easiest way to take it off is get a piece of scotch tape and press it firmly on the rear camera and peal it off. My protective film has center circle punched out that seemed to fit the lens perfectly so it was hard to tell it was on there. Also in the camera settings try turning off picture stabilization, face detection and selective focus. I find with these settings off the camera is more responsive.
 

vocalist

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Thanks for the tips! They have helped so I'm starting to feel better and I'll keep testing things out and see what results I can get. As for the plastic around the lens - I removed mine but then noticed a review where someone had a toast case which had a cut-out for the lens. Was it there to protect the glass around the lens from scratching or is that something I'll need to worry about?

I have 2 great cameras that I bought when I hanging around a lot of friends who were very into photography. Unfortunately distance and kids happened and I haven't had the time to really learn to use them. And honestly, as much as I would love to say I'm going to use a dedicated camera, my smartphone is the easy option with a baby and a toddler so I can capture what's happening in front of me. I appreciate the help.
 

Jon Jackson

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I'm new to Android and have been wanting to give it a shot for a while as I've been annoyed with every little Apple update causing issues; losing music, losing ringtones, battery draining, etc. I had my 4S for a little over 3 years and last Thursday, my husband and I upgraded and I chose the G3. The pictures were amazing, loved a lot of the features - although the menus were a little daunting - and absolutely LOVED the camera. I got some awesome shots of my baby girl and awesome low light shots, too. I played around with my Dad's S5 and liked the feel in hand and thought the pictures were comparable, though a bit over saturated with color, in comparison. Fast forward to last night and I swapped the G3 out for the S5 and am hating it. Every picture I try to take is grainy or blurry and everything seems much slower. Sometimes I try to zoom in on text and nothing happens. I do use the front facing camera because I take shots of me with my kids (3.5 months and 3.5 years) and the front camera is atrocious and I feel like everything looks distorted.

So my question: Did I get a bad phone or were my expectations never going to be met as I had already tried the G3? I won't go back to the G3 as I found myself afraid to leave it anywhere or to even put it in a bag because it felt so fragile. I've been looking at phones since early November (S5, M8, G2 and Note though it might be a bit large?) and just want to get something that suits my needs and be done for my sanity and for my husband's sake as he no longer wants to hear about any of this. I really don't know what to do next. If this is the wrong place for this question, I apologize. I don't necessarily find myself missing Apple but I do find myself unhappy. Thanks for the help :)

If you're really wanting a phone that takes awesome pics get the Note 4. It's the only phone in the world with Optical Stabilization.20141215_132253.jpg
 

AZgl1500

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On my S5, I have turned off HDR, image stabilzation, flash, Face Detection, Selective Focus, Effects.

I have turned ON, Tap to take a pic, Center Weighted Media Mode.

I have no issues with taking good pictures in almost any reasonable amount of light that is comfortable for my own eyes.

Flash is only good for a very few feet in front of you, and it has a side effect of making the background go dark. but, that is true for any camera regardless of type. It takes a hell of a strong flash to wake up the background in most pictures, and NO cellphone is going to have a flash that powerful.

I think you have the settings "misadjusted" and you are expecting way too much from a phone.
If you want "perfect" pictures, you must use a very good dedicated camera.

The S5 has just about never messed up a picture for me. I know what to expect from having used a DSLR for over a decade and that one only had a 7 megapixel sensor on it. Even so, 7 mPx makes for a great picture with a good telephoto lens in front of it.

In outdoor light, I can zoom all the way in on something more than a 1,000 yards off, and the S5 still takes great shots w/o any blurring at all.

Dim light? Set the S5 on a rock, turn on HDR and wait for it to finish the shot. You will be amazed if you leave that darned Flash turned off.
 

vocalist

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I was wrong, seems apple does have it....

So does the G3 which is probably why I was thrilled with the images I was able to get - especially without blowing out the white balance on windows and in low light. I'm not expecting DSLR quality or even true camera quality but I had seen enough reviews that I thought this camera was going to be better than what it seems to be. The other option I have that's as small as the S5 with Optical Image Stabilization is the G2 but at this point, I might simply go with the iPhone 6 and call it a day. I'm just not sure I really want something larger then a 5.2" screen.
 

Jon Jackson

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So does the G3 which is probably why I was thrilled with the images I was able to get - especially without blowing out the white balance on windows and in low light. I'm not expecting DSLR quality or even true camera quality but I had seen enough reviews that I thought this camera was going to be better than what it seems to be. The other option I have that's as small as the S5 with Optical Image Stabilization is the G2 but at this point, I might simply go with the iPhone 6 and call it a day. I'm just not sure I really want something larger then a 5.2" screen.

From what I have read on the internet people seem to think the Note 4 edges out the iphone 6 in picture quality....just by the smallest margin....I dunno...I am getting great pics...my S5 was meh...
 

Seremedy

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You may have a lemon. Just take it back and swap it out for a new one. My note 2 camera wasnt great but ive used my dads S5 and his camaera was 15X better than my old note 2 and each oicture was clear. I am using my dads S5 and everytime i zoom in it zooms in. It doesnt have your problem where it wont zoom in.

Posted via my Samsung GALAXY NOTE 4
 

P_Devil

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Maybe you should post some sample shots that you think are bad. That way we can take a look at them, try to take shots in similar lighting conditions with our S5s, and see how things compare. I've been getting great shots with my S5 but I do adjust the camera settings for the situation I'm in. It's not an automatic process but that holds true for any smartphone or any camera.
 

mayconvert

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I agree with you Jon that the Note 4 camera is awesome, but OIS is on Lots of phones.
Nokia has been using OIS for a Long time.
while I don't feel like looking up all the android phones with it, the note 4 isn't the only android phone with it.

:)

NOTE 4 = best phone ever. its Not too big, so easy to use one handed.
 

vocalist

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Maybe you should post some sample shots that you think are bad. That way we can take a look at them, try to take shots in similar lighting conditions with our S5s, and see how things compare. I've been getting great shots with my S5 but I do adjust the camera settings for the situation I'm in. It's not an automatic process but that holds true for any smartphone or any camera.

As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I can certainly do that. It's been a big shift from using an iPhone for 5 years to using Android. There are many things I really like and many I'm still getting used to and am having a little trouble figuring out. I'm also a little nervous because my deadline to make a decision is next week and I really don't want to go anywhere near the mall at that point :-* I've been playing around with camera settings so I can try to post some pictures later today.

A screen question: When I look at some posts on FB or websites, some of the reds look more toward the fuchsia side of red which makes Santa look quite interesting. Is this something about settings or is this part of the Amoled display? It also seems that when I use the little pull down menu and adjust the brightness that I still have to go into the main settings menu and adjust the brightness. I'm just trying to figure things out so I can make the best decision. You've all been super helpful so far and I really appreciate it!!
 

AZgl1500

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A screen question: When I look at some posts on FB or websites, some of the reds look more toward the fuchsia side of red which makes Santa look quite interesting. Is this something about settings or is this part of the Amoled display? It also seems that when I use the little pull down menu and adjust the brightness that I still have to go into the main settings menu and adjust the brightness. I'm just trying to figure things out so I can make the best decision. You've all been super helpful so far and I really appreciate it!!

The AMOLED screen in the Samsung has more color saturation than "normal".

Personally, I really like it because I am Pastel Color Blind.

I can see bright colors, but those faded out pinks and greens are just trashy wasteland to me.

for me, the S5 is the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread. I love it, and I just got off the phone with Verizon and ordered up a "pre-owned $99.00 " S5 for my wife as a replacement for her old LG flip phone. I think she will really enjoy it.

I currently have her using my original Galaxy S which is 4 years old now, but at least it is pushing her to learn Smart Phone techniques.
 

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