Disclaimer: This is not a professional review and all the findings and opinions are based on my own experience only.
Part 1: Hardware and Features
Part 2: User Interface
Part 3: Limitations
Part 4: Shooting Mode
Part 5: Scene Mode
Part 6: Summary and Conclusion
The front facing camera has a lower megapixel count than S2, i.e 1.9MP vs 2.0MP. However, the new FFC is also equipped with a BIS and the output quality is much better than S2. The lower of 0.1MP count equates to better quality pictures, it's considered as an upgrade for me.
The Burst Mode can take up to 20 pictures at 3.3fps, that means it takes 6 seconds to take 20 continuous pictures. The Burst Mode will require the user to tap on the screen until all 20 pictures are taken or the user can lift their finger as long as he/she thinks that the number of frames is enough. While in Burst Mode, there is an option to select the Best Photo function.
When to use?
- Fast action scenes when you need to capture every moment that is happening.
- Doesn't have time to filter the pictures on the spot and want to pick the best picture later.
- Make sure the camera has prefocused at the correct position to avoid disappointed images where the camera focuses at the wrong place.
- Try avoid panning with Burst Mode in low light. Anything shot in low light requires slower shutter speed. Any movement of the camera or the subject will result in a blur image.
- Recommended when have good lighting.
When to use?
- Instead of a set of similar pictures, you just need one best image. Saving storage and time to manually delete the pictures one by one.
- Wanna take a portrait in low light but afraid of hand shake? It helps reducing hand shake because you just need to tap the shutter button once and choose the best one later.
- Wanna camwhore by taking 8 continuous pictures? Use best photo and save all the 8 pictures. Why use Best Photo instead of Busrt Mode? Because Burst Mode requires your finger to be on the shutter button during the whole capturing process, which is inconvenient for posing.
- Make sure the camera has pre-focused at the correct position to avoid disappointed images where the camera focuses at the wrong place.
Some social features such as Share Shot, Buddy Photo Share and Face Tagging are some convenient features that can be used to improve the user experience.
Share Shot enables you to share the pictures taken by you to other Galaxy S3 users via Wifi-Direct connection setup prior to it. Meaning to say, you can setup the Share Shot via Wifi-Direct with your friends or family who owns a Galaxy S3 as well before a party or a tour. Any photos taken by you will be automatically shared to their phone as long as the Wifi-Direct connection is active, and any photos taken by them will also appear in your phone as well. This eliminates the process of sending the photos later on after the party or tour. Everything is happening at the same time as the event. No more meeting up later to review pictures and wait for turns to send via bluetooth or cloud storage.
When to use?
- Going to an event or a party with a gang of friends who have Galaxy S3 as well and would like to share all the pictures taken on that time without the trouble of sending it manually at a time later.
Buddy Photo Share is a feature where the phone will allow you to send the picture to the people within the picture via any method available, i.e. email. It will detect and try to recognise any faces within the picture and then prompt you whether it is the correct person tagged. After confirmation, then options will be available under the face tag to share the picture to those respective people.
When to use?
- When you want instant access to sharing via email. It's a short cut to send pictures directly to the people within the picture. Not a feature that I will use often.
Face Tagging is another feature where the phone will try to detect faces and tries to recognise the identity of the person tagged via the past history of matching the face with people within your contact list. The Face Tagging feature can be disable manually if you dislike your pictures appears with ugly yellow boxes around people's faces.
When to use?
- Tagging and addressing friends within your contact list to facilitate other features like Buddy Photo Share.
Voice Command is another useful feature here. Instead of tapping on the shutter button, users can use Voice Command like "smile", "cheese", "shoot" or "capture" to order the phone to take a picture. This feature can be enabled in Settings > Language and input > Voice cmd. This features comes in handy in some occasions, I used it a lot when I'm afraid of handshake during low light, or I can use my voice as a remote control during a group shot, where the phone will be place away from me. Instead of setting the timer and wait for 10 seconds, I simply asked everyone to say cheese and the camera snaps! Then comes the moment of pride when everyone has a shocking expression on their face as if they just witness magic!
The Voice Command also helps a lot in camwhoring mode, where I believe girls will like it a lot. The front facing camera is often used by girls to self portrait and often they faced a problem to tap on the shutter button while holding the phone due to the lack of a physical shutter button. Often they have to risk dropping the phone by holding the phone with two fingers and tries to tap the button with another finger, or simply use two hands in order to self snap, which will destroy their posing. The Voice Command gives an advantage to them because they just need to simply shout out the command and the phone will take a picture for them after 1 sec, which is enough for them to re-pose their mouth expression (if any!).
However, the Voice Command is a hit and miss feature due to the clarity of our voice. For example, my cousin wanted to try out the Voice Command, but when she said "shoot!" a few times but the phone did not respond, then she mumbled "shit you!" then it snaps! So, make your voice command clear!
When to use?
- As a remote control during a group shot instead of using the 10 second timer.
- Avoid hand shake from tapping the shutter button.
- Camwhoring mode where you can pose freely with another hand.
- You need to speak clearly or any command that your phone recognizes after you are familiar with it.
- You need to wait 1 second after the phone gets your command. This enables reposing in 1 second for those who need it.
Proceed to Part 2: User Interface