Samsung Note II – Photo Processing Comparison


The previous post drew a few compliments for the quality of the photos.

Well, gosh . . . it’s obviously my immense talent, vision, dedication, and overall niceness as a human being that gets them there results.

Although . . . the equipment helps. Yup, I’m about to sing the praises of the Samsung Note II camera.

By the way, the photo above is one of the grass photos from the previous post processed through Snapseed, and then Pixlr Express (one of their Creative Effects options).

But, I’m not here to show you grass . . . I’m here to show you cars. That’s right; four-wheeled monsters of the road, guzzlers of limited resources, and the bane of modern society.

What I plan to do is show you three versions of each photo:

1) the photo as shot by the Samsung Note II camera
2) the photo as processed by Snapseed and then Pixlr Express (in-phone apps)
3) the photo as processed in Lightroom, onOne Suite, and Lightroom finish

Here we go.

As shot
As shot
Processed in phone
Processed in phone
Processed with Lightroom and onOne Suite

Now, if you click on any of the photos, they will open in a new window or tab. They will also be larger (maximum dimension of longest side will be capped at 1280 pixels).

Also, it’s a pain typing the caption on each one, so the sequence will always be the same; original, Snapseed Pixlr Express mods in phone, Lightroom onOne on PC. I assume most of my readers are smart.


I usually crop photos, and the reason is that I shoot larger because a) you can’t see the screen clearly in full sunlight, and b) often I adjust the level of the photos, and that gives me room to frame something like I want to.  Not always (the first shot was not cropped), but usually.

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Oh, yeah . . . because they are edited on two different machines, the cropping will not likely match.

Note, also, the in-phone processing – I opted for a more dramatic look, so it’s not a perfect color comparison, but it does give you an idea of the amount of work I sometimes do.

Well, actually, the ‘drama’ filter is something I seldom use, but it looked good for these cars.

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Yes, yes, I know . . . I be a master of composition, of presenting the subject, etc. etc.

. . . please, hold your adulations until the end.

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One of the reason I opted for the ‘drama’ postprocessing is that the originals were fairly bright.

The post-processing in Lightroom ends up with a brighter shot . . . I used my favorite processing sequence, and it might not have been the best choice for all these shots . . . but it was expedient.

Now, the above shots were taken at the YMCA’s parking lot. That’s right; I work out. I’m on my way to becoming just another big bundle of muscles, but with a brain.

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Some people I know pride themselves into not cropping . . . well, I ain’t them.

Also, very difficult to get the shot you want with a fixed wide-angle lens such as found on most phone cameras.

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Keep in mind those are three versions of the same photo, and not three different photos.

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Once again reflections on the window keeps us from a clear shot at the interior.

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You know, it’s difficult for me to pick one version over another. I can see plusses and minuses in each.

OK . . . on to the next car, this one in the parking lot of the local post Office.

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Now, this was a more overcast day, and the cropping is less extensive since I could see what I was shooting at.

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Also, you know, the window was rolled down . . .

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I found the wipers interesting and probably ineffectual.

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Now, you notice there are only two versions of this photo; the one processed from the phone is missing.

That’s because I did not process this one on the phone. I meant to, but I didn’t.

Instead, I will give you the full-resolution original (all the previous originals are resized to 1280 pixels; this next one is the same size as shot. Click on it, and then zoom in to the various parts to see the resolution and quality of the photo straight from the phone.


This next one is presented as shot . . . no cropping.

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OK, so maybe you are now one of them who thinks this phone camera is pretty good.

It is, but . . . 

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The weather has been cold, and the moisture of a few days ago dumped a bunch of snow on Pikes Peak . . . 

The mountain is not that far, and from where this was shot (the parking lot at Costco) it seemed as if you could just reach out and touch it . . . 

. . . not that you can tell from this photo. 

Therein the limitation of a phone camera stand naked and exposed.

“Mine’s got zoom!”

Oh, you foolish dreamer . . . yours has digital zoom. Basically an in-camera crop. You might as well do what I did; take the full picture, and crop close in processing . . . either way, you’ll get this:


If you click on it, you’ll see it’s not very good . . . digital zoom does not gather any more data than the original, so when you crop – unlike full SLR photos with true zoom – you’re basically enlarging, and the more you ‘zoom’ (enlarge), the worse the photo will look.

Mind you, shown that small it’s almost passable, and on a phone screen it will probably still look good.

But, this is what you can get with an SLR . . . click on it, and then zoom into the various parts – it’s 9,031 x 2,260 pixels (125 inches by 39 inches). You can also use the sliders to navigate.


While they may eventually get there, phones have a long way to go.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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