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I tested the new Samsung Galaxy Note8 after almost 10 years on an iPhone -- here's what I thought of the camera

Samsung are so confident in the new Samsung Galaxy Note8, they’ve gifted one to a lifelong Apple iPhone user – Kate, Business Insider Australia’s Commercial Editor. This is her journey from having never touched a Samsung, to a Galaxy Note8 advocate.
How hard can it be? Photo: Danielle Brandy. Compressed for publication.

Let’s start with a confession: until a month ago, I had never used a Samsung smartphone.

It’s not that I had anything against Samsung smartphones, or the Android system. I’m just a creature of habit, and when I started working full time I was handed an Apple iPhone as part of the job. I’ve since changed jobs, but the only time I’ve changed my phone was to upgrade to a newer iPhone model.

I’ve now been using the Galaxy Note8 for a month for everything from working remotely to tracking exercise. There are a lot of little differences, but the big one I noticed straight away is the camera quality.

Having a camera on us at all times is a luxury we take for granted.

Even though I’m not much of a photographer, since converting to the Samsung, I can see why they are the industry leaders.

Once you get the hang of the different tricks and shortcuts (i.e. double tap the power button to launch the camera), the camera on the Galaxy Note8 is amazing.

The quality of the images makes you want to take more photos. My camera roll is no longer just an endless stream of screenshots.

I road-tested the Galaxy Note8 camera on a bush walk from Taronga Zoo to Manly (via Spit Bridge) – it’s an 18km walk that should take up to 6 hours. Here’s how the it

Camera: The images are incredibly sharp. On the ferry to Taronga from Circular Quay, the camera performance didn’t suffer from low light or the moving vessel.

The Opera House from Sydney Harbour. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Old sites, new technology. This walk takes in the best of Sydney – stunning harbour views, some heritage and quiet coastal trails full of wildlife.

Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Camera: We met quite a few Eastern Bearded Dragons on the walk, and as I didn’t want to scare them off by getting too close, I got to try out the functionality of the camera.

Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Camera: This is from the same position, using 2x optical zoom. The dual lens allows you to zoom without compromising the quality of the image.

Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Camera: This image is using the 2x optical zoom and the live focus, to sharpen the focal point of the photo. Great for Instagram!

Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Colour: The colour looks amazing on the Galaxy Note8, but disappointingly this didn’t translate when I uploaded the images to my older desktop. If you’re viewing this on a Galaxy Note8, lucky you – it was a spectacular day in Sydney.

Unfortunately, compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Colour: Not even a sneaky little lace monitor could get away… Can you spot him?

He’s right there… Compressed for publication. Photo: Kate Prince
Ta da! This is the zoom from the same image. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Lighting: As someone with very little skill when it comes to photography, I rely on the device I’m using to get the best from the image. I rarely adjust the light or focus options. The Galaxy Note8 adjusts itself to harsh lighting.

Photo of Manly Wharf taken on the Note8. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Lighting: Most older devices couldn’t handle the glare off the water.

Photo of Manly Wharf taken on the iPhone 6s. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Tracking: Although both of my devices were in a backpack, the step tracking was pretty accurate. The Galaxy Note8 puts your activities into great summaries including steps, distance, time and calories.

Apple Health App vs Google Fit. Picture: Kate Prince

Photos at night: After 5 hours of exercise, we decided to treat ourselves to a seafood platter at one of our favourite restaurants. I snapped a quick picture with both devices. This is my old device.


Photos at night: The Galaxy Note8 wasn’t even on Food Mode (yes, that’s a thing), and the lighting was poor, but the image quality speaks for itself.


Lighting at night: This was taken walking home, across the bridge. I love the city lights, but a phone camera doesn’t usually do it justice. This is on my old device.

City skyline from the Bridge, taken on an iPhone 6s. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

Lighting at night: This is the Galaxy Note8 – and I actually shared this one straight to Instagram…

Taken on the Note8. Compressed for publication. Picture: Kate Prince

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