The Samsung Tab 3 8.0's main camera can capture stills of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels and 720p videos, while the one on the front takes 1.3MP pictures and VGA video.
The user interface features a virtual shutter key and a capture video button that are always available, so you don't have to switch modes. However, this is certainly not the most convenient solution as, if you're shooting full resolution 5MP photos, you'll have to frame your videos using a 4:3 viewfinder.
The Mode button brings up a carousel with different shooting modes, each mode comes with a descriptive image and text. When you get familiar with those modes, you can switch to the grid, which drops the descriptions but is faster. Unfortunately, unlike the smartphones, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 slates offers only six modes - Auto, Beauty Face, Sound and Shot, Panorama, Sports and Night. There is even no HDR option.
There are more settings in the top left corner, but they won't be used very often. Still, there're a number of interesting options here like the setting for the volume rocker to act as a still shutter key, a video shutter key or a zoom lever. Another interesting option is contextual file names - the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 will name photos with your location (the GPS needs to be on for this to work).
You can customize the shortcuts available here, but most people will probably stick to the Mode selector.
There are relatively few manual settings, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 just gives you an ISO setting, white balance and exposure compensation. You can also use color effects too.
The actual image quality is pretty good for a 5 megapixel camera. There's lots of fine detail and the noise levels are kept under control. Colors are accurate and the all kind of fringing is almost non-existent. That being said the Tab 3 8.0 is by far not the most comfortable device to take out and about and shoot a lot of photos with, but it still does an excellent job when you need to take pictures.
Check out these camera samples:
And here is a panorama sample.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 faces off with some of the other 5MP tablets flagships in our Photo quality compare tool. You can also pit it against the last generation of flagships using the upscale and downscale features of the tool.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 stores the 720p videos in MP4 files with a bitrate of 12Mbps. Stereo audio is recorded at 120Kbps and a sampling rate of 48kHz. You can't take picture while you are shooting a video, but you can pause and resume capturing.
Touch focus during recording is available though there is no way you can return to autofocus mode once you use the touch focus.
720p videos are nothing impressive in this day and age and the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 samples aren't all that impressive either. Clips lacks detail and the colors look bland even in well-lit environments.
Check out this 720p video sample we shot with the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0:
You can also download the untouched video sample - 720p@30fps (10s, 13.3MB).
Here is a 30s sample we've uploaded on YouTube:
You can also take a close look at the quality of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 videos in our Video quality compare tool.