Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) Review: Stride Across: Camera

By 08:15 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 Comments


Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) capturing camera department is built much like that of the excellent Galaxy S6.

It starts off with a downgrade - the sensor has 13MP resolution (and it's 4:3 instead of 16:9). Other than that, the capturing camera boasts the same colorful f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization. And like on the S6 you can just double tap the Home key to quickly launch the camera.

The A7 offers Pro mode, but it's nothing like the one on the S6. It only gives you White balance, ISO and Exposure compensation. Essentially, the settings most phones have, but in a more accessible arrangement.







Samsung capturing camera UI

HDR is split off into a separate mode instead of a toggle on the viewfinder like on the S6 (this means no HDR Auto mode).

A rare Anti-fog option corrects the reduced contrast you acquire in misty weather.

The 28mm field-of-view of the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) capturing camera isn't as wide as the Galaxy S6 camera, but it does give some extra vertical room.

The dynamic range is surprisingly fine but processing differs from the S6 and detail in the shadows and in the highlights is harder to see. There's a bit more noise, but photos are rich in detail. At 100% magnification, you can see more detail in S6 photos than in the Galaxy A7 (2016) photos.

Shot-to-shot time is okay, but when taking multiple photos in quick succession the A7 feels a bit sluggish.






Camera samples: Galaxy A7 (2016) • Galaxy A7 (2016) • Galaxy S6 • Galaxy S6

A 5MP capturing camera with f/1.9 aperture rivals the S6 for selfies. The Galaxy A7 (2016) selfies have some noise, which reduced the resolved detail, but the quality is better (marginally) than what the S6 produced. Part of that is that the focus point is more appropriate for selfies - photos from the S6 capturing camera were slightly soft at an arm-length distance for some unknown reason.

A wide selfie mode is available when your friends are with you. It's essentially a panorama for selfies.




Selfies: Galaxy A7 (2016) • Galaxy S6

Here are the HDR samples.



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HDR samples: Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) • Samsung Galaxy S6

There's a regular Panorama mode too, though it proved disappointing. The images came out with a vertical resolution of around 1,200px, while the Galaxy S6 goes up to 3,000px. The stitching looks good, but the Galaxy A7 (2016) panorama shots just don't have enough resolution.





Panorama: Galaxy A7 (2016) • Galaxy S6

While both phones have colorful f/1.9 apertures, the bigger sensor handles the blacknoticeably better. It's not a matter of resolution, really, and even the noise levels are quite similar. Still, by the time the noise reduction has done its job, the Galaxy A7 (2016) photos have lost much of their detail and sharpness, especially compared to the Galaxy S6.




Low-light samples: Galaxy A7 (2016) • Galaxy S6

The Galaxy A7 (2016) continues the head-to-head comparison over at our Photo quality comparison tool, where conditions are better controlled.





Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) in our Photo compare tool

Video camera

The resolution drop for photos isn't a gigantic deal, even the Galaxy S7 is rumored to go back to 12MP. It's videos where the lack of resolution is felt more. Even if you don't shoot 4K (don't have a UHD TV or just for storage considerations), you will miss the 1080p @ 60fps option when you shoot a fast-paced scene.

In terms of resolved detail and sharpness, the Galaxy A7 (2016) is slightly behind the S6. The advantage in resolved detail only grows bigger when you flip to 4K mode. We noticed the A7 refocuses quite often, even when there's no need for it.

Anyway, white balance of the A7 tends towards a warm yellow. Dynamic range is essentially equal.

Even for selfies, the Galaxy A7 (2016) is behind on video resolution - the S6 capturing camera can do QHD (1440p) while the A7 tops out at 1080p again.

You can download a Galaxy A7 video sample - 0:16, 32Mega Bytes (MB) - and find additional samples of the A7 capturing camera and compare it against others in our Video quality comparison tool.





Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) in our Video compare tool


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