Original topic:

Inconsistent Camera Quality from S21 5G

(Topic created: 06-24-2021 09:05 PM)
Galaxy S21

So I've had MANY Samsung devices in my day. It's a bit of a love/hate relationship with the brand. Sometimes there are hits and other times there are straight up misses.

I bought a S20 Ultra in 2020 and the camera glass cracked, developed a hole, and condensation eventually killed the device. Instead of paying the insane price of repair, I was so dissatisfied with performance of the camera in that $1400 device, I chalked it up to a paperweight and got a Pixel 3a XL. When I tell you that the $350 Pixel produce more consistent and better quality photos than my Galaxy S20 Ultra, I mean it. So I rocked the 3a XL for about a year until the S21 was announced. While the camera performance was spectacular, the device was slow and annoying. So, instead of going all in like I did the Ultra, I decided to get a S21 5G instead. 

While the 120Hz OLED is beautiful, performance is mega, and the hardware is gorgeous, the camera generally disappoints. The images are inexplicably blurry, the shutter speed snaps photos much later after you press the shutter button, and zooming in on photos only shows graininess and lack of sharpness. And don't get me started on the selfie camera. It still tries to "beautify" my face, even with the effects and filters turned off.

I thought I was misremembering my experience on my Pixel, so I pulled it out for some comparison shots and turns out, I wasn't. The photos from the Pixel 3a XL were much more pleasing out of auto-mode than on my S21 5G. Not just sorta better, but NOTICIBLY better. I was also more easily able to whip my phone out of my pocket, take a shot, and assume it was fine, than immediate reviewing it on my Galaxy to see if I needed to take it again, and maybe again, to finally get a usable shot.

It is frustrating listening to the marketing hype and show that Samsung puts on every year only to be outperformed by a $350 device in this area ESPECIALLY since Samsung likes to use marketing photos that are seemingly DSLR-like quality.

That's all to say, what am I doing wrong with my S21 in auto-mode to make the photos experience so challenged?

10 Replies
Galaxy S21

Honestly, when it comes down to the camera and comparing the 3 main top cellphone brands ( Samsung,iPhone, Pixel) I realize it all comes down to preference anymore. Some people prefer the richer colors and brighter greens of the Samsung s21.....while other people prefer the lod and darks of the iPhone. So one or the other isn't really better they are the same