Samsung has opted to use the superb 16MP Sony IMX240 sensor in the Galaxy Note5, coupled with f/1.9 lens. That's the same excellent setup that's found in Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.
One of our favorite features is the quick launch - double press the Home key from anywhere in the UI and the camera pops up in less than a second.
The camera UI is pretty simple and most settings are available on the viewfinder. The selection changes as you go between the different shooting modes. You can download new shooting modes, but currently only Sports shot is available.
Pro mode lets you control the focus manually, adjust exposure compensation and ISO, white balance too. You can save the current manual settings into a preset for easy recall later.
The color adjustments are very advanced - you get several presets (like color effects), but you can make your own. There are sliders to boost shadows and reign in highlights, adjust the contrast and saturation, the temperature and tint. With these you can create Instagram-y filters or make the best of the camera's dynamic range.
Samsung Galaxy Note5 can also capture images in RAW format. The latter allow those with a knack for post-processing to really get creative with their images.
Live Broadcast is a hot new feature that debuted alongside Samsung Galaxy Note5. The feature is built right into the camera interface and allows a user to share live feed with the world via YouTube. The feature requires the user to sign in with a Google account. The setup is quick and easy.
Overall, thanks to the powerful hardware on tap, the camera of Samsung Galaxy Note5 felt fast and responsive at all times. The shooting experience it delivers is one of the best in the business.
We can say the same thing about image quality. The images have plenty of detail, excellent colors and dynamic range and the sharpness is among the best we've seen on a mobile phone. Low light photos also came out great.
Camera samples by Samsung Galaxy Note5
The HDR mode does a great job of lighting up the shadows so image exposure is good even in high-contrast scenes. Thanks to the Live HDR mode you can see the result of the HDR mode even before you've snapped the image.
HDR samples by Samsung Galaxy Note5: Off • On
The Galaxy Note5 is equipped with a 5MP front-facing camera, which has a similar F/1.9 aperture and offers Live HDR and color filters as well. It has a 120° WideSelfie mode, so it can easily capture group selfies. You can snap selfies with a tap on the heart-rate sensor on the back of the phone.
Front camera sample taken by the Samsung Galaxy Note5
And below you can have a detailed look at the Samsung Galaxy Note5 in our picture compare tool. The tool offers a pixel level look at the resolving power of the Galaxy Note5's sensor and optics and allows you to compare it to other phones. Enjoy!
Samsung Galaxy Note5 in our Photo Comparison Tool
There's no dedicated video mode because most settings work for videos too. Even Pro mode, though you can't adjust the settings during recording and the autofocus will override your setting as soon as the video starts.
Anyway, the Samsung Galaxy Note5 tops out at 2160p resolution, but it can also do QHD video, 1080p at both 30fps and 60fps and 720p video at up to 120fps (that's handled by the Slow Motion mode).
The 120fps video needs slowing down via a video editor such as the one on board the Note5 or one on your computer. The frames are all there, it's just that it's not slow-mo.
The front camera shoots only at 30fps, but it can shoot QHD video to match the phone's screen.
HDR and color effects are available for video, though choosing the 2160p recording mode disables these effects, as well as the option to take pictures while shooting video, the tracking autofocus and the additional software stabilization.
Video recording quality is nothing short of exceptional. We've uploaded a 2160p and a 1080p video to YouTube, so you can see the video quality yourself.
You can also directly download the following videos straight out the phone: 2160p@30fps (62MB, 10s), 1080p@60fps (35MB, 10s), and 720p@120fps (60MB, 10s).
And last you can have a look at our in-depth video compare tool. There you can see how the Samsung Galaxy Note5's 2160p video handles compared to its toughest competitors and if you scroll down in our list of tested devices you can find the Samsung Galaxy Note5's 1080p video as well.
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