Today I've spent quite a lot of time viewing high-res Galaxy S8 camera samples. There are plenty of them on the web right now and many phone reviewers are doing a comparison to see how the Galaxy S8 primary camera matches the S7/S7 edge, LG G6 and iPhone 7. In this post I want to share with you my opinion on the image quality in general and see how the S8 rear camera compares to the that of the Galaxy S7 edge, iPhone 7 and LG G6 and to see whether we should be excited about the S8 camera or not. Just one thing, the sample images that I was viewing on the web where taken with a pre-production engineering sample. So the hardware and software might be different than the final product. That being said, for me, these sample images can give me a good understanding what to expect from the S8 camera, I don't believe that things are going to change quite drastically in the final version.
I would go over each source and linked to it, so you can visit that website yourself and check out its Galaxy S8 test photos. I will add my own side notes as well.
soyacinau.com - this websites has 13 Galaxy S8 sample images. First of all, the texture details are good but not great. I was still able to spot noise in dark tone areas even in low ISO photos. The dynamic range seems for some reason to be higher than the Galaxy S7 edge images. You can see that the S8 shadow areas are brighter, revealing more details in the dark tone areas of the image. Even images taken in low-light look brighter and with better details in underexposed areas in the S8 than in the S7 edge pictures. In some of the images the S7 edge look brighter, but this is because of the different intensity of light that the light meter was reading. In the image with the "NYP License Plates Only" sign, you can clearly see that the S8 is doing a better job and it's much less noisy.
phonearena.com - phone arena compared the Galaxy S8 primary camera versus that of the LG G6, iPhone 7 and S7 and S7 edge. I really liked the colors that the S8 main camera produces, vivid, bold yet natural-looking colors. What I didn't like is the heavy barrel distortion. The rear camera of the Galaxy S8 features a F1.7 aperture lens with 77-degree field of view. Center objects look good, but just shifting a bit to the sides and you can see some heavy lens distortions due to the wide-angle lens. Of course some lenses can deal with it better than others, but in this case the S8 seems to underperform compared to the LG G6 and iPhone 7. There are also some blown highlights which aren't apparent in the LG G6 and iPhone 7 pictures. In the park images, the green are rendered too strong (oversaturated) for my taste. It's more visible in that image because there is a lot of green (grass) in that image, in other images it was less disturbing. A toned down vividness could made the image look more natural in my opinion. This is the same processing as the Galaxy S7. The iPhone 7 for example is much more toned down and produce more natural looking images. The S8 did produce considerably sharper images and better texture details compared to the S7 edge, iPhone 7 and S7 in my observation. It isn't extra sharpening, I know how to distinguish between texture detail quality and one that was done with extra sharpening in-camera. Some sources said that the S8 has the same rear camera as the S7, but the latest news is that it isn't and now I really doubt that these the S8 has the same camera module as the S7, at least judging by those sample images on phone arena.
After going over plenty of sample images, not just the ones above, I can say with quite confident that the Galaxy S8 was able to outperform the S7 edge, iPhone 7 and the LG G6 primary cameras, in some aspects by quite an impressive margin, like when it comes to sharpness and image details. I didn't like the prominent lens distortions and it's slight tendency to overexpose. I don't know what the S8 doesn't offer any in-camera distortion correction, at least an option to do it in-camera. There are some really amazing algorithms for correcting lens distortions, and it was nice to have it as an optional feature in the camera settings.
So based on my observation, I am super pleased with the image quality of the Samsung Galaxy S8 compared to the competition, which in this case, it includes the LG G6, iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7/S7 edge (both the S7 and S7 edge have the same camera module). This is why I put this comparison in the "Advantages" section, because as you can see, the S8 has, in many aspects, an edge over its competitors, at least when it comes to its primary camera performance.