The latest additions to Samsung's Galaxy family - the Galaxy S8 and Gear 360 - may not have achieved the highest DxOMark score of all time, but that doesn't mean they aren't loaded with cool features perfect for capturing those Summer memories in all of their glory. There are even some entirely new tricks to the devices to make it even easier to preserve those family barbecues, vacations, and other activities or moments. In any case, with summer now here in full force, there's no better time than the present for a refresher course.
First up on the list are a couple of ways to make launching and snapping with your camera app quicker and easier with Samsung's newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8. It may or may not come as a surprise but the device actually has a Quick Launch feature built into the power button. Double-pressing the button twice in rapid succession will take users straight to the camera so there's not fumbling around for the camera app icon. That can save a considerable amount of time since the app's icon may be buried in the app drawer or could require several taps to get to even if it's been placed on the home screen. For those that love taking shots at a wide variety of different angles, there's a setting option to make that easier too. By activating the "floating" camera button, which operates like an in-app floating widget, users can drag the capture button around on the screen to a more convenient location before tapping it to take the shot. Beyond ease of use, selfies are getting a facelift too, since the front camera features face-tracking and face beautification software is in place - to make sure everybody's in focus and to help deal with any unsightly mid-summer blemishes. Furthermore, enhancements have been made to the software in the form of multi-frame image processing to keep selfies clear and "crisp." Samsung has also included a selective focus mode thanks to its dual sensor camera, allowing users to adjust the depth of field of pictures after they've been taken. There's even a food mode that builds on that. Selective focus in food mode puts a sharper emphasis on color and balance - so that whatever is on your plate looks as appetizing in photo form as it did just before you devoured it. As is to be expected with a modern flagship, there are plenty of filters to check out in preview mode before taking an image, as well, to provide the perfect ambiance to any photo.
Meanwhile, the Gear 360 is a camera almost in a class of its own that can capture content at a full 360-degrees. First of all, it is 4K-capable, so videos and images are captured with almost life-like precision. Users can also stream live content to Facebook at a spectacular 2K resolution so that even those who can't attend a summer activity or get together can get in on the fun. Beyond that, there are five different viewing modes to choose from so that content can take on a life of its own to match exactly what is being captured. That includes a view for capturing the scene at a full 360 degrees around the camera and a "round" view for capturing just about everything - perfect for an evening of fireworks. It also includes stretched, dual, and panoramic view for capturing more direct scenes.