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Here are the 8 best camera features of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Nowadays, it’s expected that every new phone will deliver substantial updates to the camera. It isn’t so easy to identify the ways the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge better the Galaxy S5; the new Galaxy iterations both have a 16-megapixel rear cameras, just like the S5. But pixels alone won’t make a killer camera.

Samsung’s new flagship handsets deploy plenty of innovative features that impact photo quality just as much as resolution – eight features, to be exact, that look to rival the best camera phones in the biz.

Related: Our complete guide to Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

1. Higher aperture on rear camera

The f/1.9 aperture is the highest on any mainstream flagship device, and it’s the big story of Samsung’s revamped camera. The higher aperture makes it possible for the camera to capture more light and take brighter pics, especially in low-light conditions.

2. The ultra-fast quick launch

The S6 and S6 Edge cameras are on standby all the time. Pressing the home button twice will automatically open the camera in less than a second. It’s a nifty feature that streamlines the smartphone camera process. Quick launch will even allow you to deploy the camera when running another application.

GS6 quick launch  feature

Samsung / YouTube

3. Fast-tracking autofocus will lock on subjects and offer high degree of customization

Samsung debut a new feature called fast-tracking autofocus that’s designed to accurately track kids, cars, or basically anything that’s in motion. The feature locks on moving subjects and allow for a better, less blurry photos. Great for action photos. It’s a feature common in high-end cameras, but it’s now making an appearance in smartphones.

4. Optical image stabilization on rear camera

We’re seeing more flagship phones incorporate an OIS element into their rear shooter. The S6 and S6 Edge have followed in the footsteps of the Galaxy Note 4 by including an OIS system that’s designed to counteract the subtle movements that naturally occur when shooting by hand. OIS should help reduce blurred photos and create a clearer photo.

5. An updated selfie camera

Galaxy S6 Front Camera
YouTube / Samsung

Fear not, selfie lovers, Samsung has you covered with the front-facing camera, which now has a 5-megapixel camera (up from the S5’s 2-megapixel cam), and a 120-degree wide-angle field of view.

6. HDR selfies

The S6 and S6 Edge pack more than just pixels into the front camera. It can now shoot high-dynamic range (HDR) photos, which capture three photos at different exposures and assemble the best parts of each image for the an enhanced photograph. There are plenty of granular controls on Samsung’s revamped photo app that allow you to play with lighting and filters, too.

7. More sensors

Infrared technology isn’t just for night vision anymore. The rear camera has an infrared sensor that can better detect light levels to automatically discern between outdoor and indoor environments, and adjust the camera accordingly.

SG6 infrared sensor

8. Brand new camera modes, including Pro

Among the best new features in the S6 and GS6 Edge cameras are the granular controls. Samsung has included a handful of brand new camera modes that enable users to fine-tune the camera. Portrait mode and collage mode are two examples of modes that allow users to edit images directly from the phone. Professional mode offers control over lighting and shutter speed (much like advanced cameras). And one of our favorites is the GIF mode that allows you to create an animated GIF directly in your camera.