Take a look at the 50MP camera of the new Samsung Galaxy A54, and find out just how well it performs!
Samsung Galaxy A54 : 50 MP Main Camera
The Samsung Galaxy A54 is the marquee mid-range smartphone for 2023, and it comes with a triple camera system at the back that consists of:
- a 50 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture,
- a 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera, with f/2.2 aperture, and
- a 5 MP macro camera, with f/2.4 aperture
The 50 MP camera is a “downgrade” in megapixels from the Galaxy A53’s 64 MP camera, but image quality is better because it is built around the Sony IMX766 image sensor used in phones like the realme 9 Pro+ and Xiaomi 12.
The Sony IMX766 is a larger 1/1.56″ sensor, which offers a 25% larger pixel size of 1.0 µm (compared to 0.8 µm). The larger pixel size is important as it means each pixel can receive 25% more light, delivering better images, especially in low-light conditions.
In fact, that is why the Galaxy A54 defaults to the 12.5 MP resolution, combining four pixels into a much larger 2 µm “bucket” to collect more light. The 64 MP camera in last year’s Galaxy A53 also does the same thing, combining four pixels in one to deliver 16 MP photos.
This 50 MP camera supports PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), and its lens has a wide f/1.8 aperture for better light intake. If you like to record videos, you will be glad to know that it features VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilisation) and improved OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) offering a wider OIS angle.
In this review, we are going to take a look at the photography capability of Galaxy A54, and show you just how well its 50MP main camera performs!
Samsung Galaxy A54 : 50 MP Camera Review!
The Samsung Galaxy A54’s 50 MP camera takes 12.5 MP photos by default, with a resolution of 4080 x 3060 pixels. Each JPEG photo using the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format, each photo is about 2.5 MB to 5 MB in size.
Without HEIF, the file sizes are much larger, so please remember to turn on the HEIF file format to save space.
- Open the Camera app
- Go to Settings > Advanced picture options
- Turn on High efficiency pictures.
As this photo sample shows, the 50 MP main camera of the Samsung Galaxy A54 offers a nice bokeh, thanks to its wide f/1.8 aperture.
However, that wide aperture presents a problem too – a narrow depth of field, as this sample photo of star anise shows.
If multiple objects are present at different distances from the camera, only some of them will remain in focus, while the others will be out-of-focus.
That makes for nice portraits, but if you do not tap on the area or subject you want to be in focus, the camera may auto-focus on the wrong area or subject, and you will end up with an out-of-focus shot.
As this shot of pineapples show, only a small area of the right edge of the pineapple on the left is in focus. That’s because I intentionally tapped on that part.
Otherwise, the camera would naturally focus on the nearest part of the pineapple (its centre, which is located to the far left of the photo) and this photo would look really out-of-focus.
In most cases, the colour reproduction is pretty accurate, even if it’s indoors.
But in some cases, you can end up with pretty dull-looking photos under artificial light.
You need to be careful with close-up shots though. This isn’t a macro camera, and so it has trouble focusing if the subject is too close.
The problem is – the Samsung camera app does not warn you if the 50 MP camera cannot focus properly on the subject. It may look like it is focused properly in the camera app, but when you open it up later, you will see that it’s completely out-of-focus.
I definitely recommend you tapping on the subject to “force” the camera app to visibly try to focus. If it fails, you know that you are much too close. It’s also a good habit to tap to focus anyway, as this 50 MP camera has a narrow depth-of-field.
There is no need to worry about the “loss” in resolution from 64 MP to 50 MP. In most cases, you probably won’t even realise that the camera defaults to just 12.5 MP!
Even at 12.5 MP, there is more than enough detail in the photos that the Galaxy A54’s 50MP camera delivers, even if you want to zoom in.
But that does not mean that its 50 MP sensor is pure marketing. You can use it to take 50 MP shots, but you will have to live with significantly larger file sizes.
The full 50 MP resolution isn’t needed for 90% of the photos that most people take, but it is useful for long-distance shots. The Samsung Galaxy A54 does not have a telephoto camera, so taking photos in 50 MP effectively gives you a 4X zoom capability.
For example, if you need to take a faraway shot of a bell tower, you can switch to 50 MP before taking the photo. Then you can zoom into the 50 MP photo you took and crop out a much closer looking shot of that bell tower without using software or digital zoom.
Samsung Galaxy A54 : 50 MP Camera Summary
I’m glad Samsung switched from the 64 MP camera to a 50 MP camera in the Galaxy A54. The “loss” in megapixels is more than made up by the larger and better Sony IMX766 image sensor, with 25% larger pixels.
This improved 50 MP main camera performed well in our tests, generally delivering good photos with accurate colours in most cases. It has a good level of detail, even at 12.5 MP.
The biggest problem I have with it is its minimum focus distance. The camera seems to work best with subjects that are at least 50 cm away, or so. If I get too close to the subject, the shot ends up out-of-focus, especially if I tried to let the camera auto-focus by itself.
This is not readily apparent in the camera app, so you need to tap to focus. That triggers the camera to seek a better focus. That’s when you can see whether it can really focus properly. Even then, I sometimes end up with out-of-focus shots, because I was simply too close to the subject.
For most people, this won’t a problem if you are taking the usual photos – people standing at a distance, landscapes and buildings at a distance, etc. Just keep this in mind if you are taking close shots of products or food, etc.
Samsung Galaxy A54 : Price + Availability
The Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone is available in three main colours with a glossy finish :
- Awesome Graphite
- Awesome Violet
- Awesome Lime
The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, with the option to add a microSD card in the hybrid SIM tray. It is covered by a 2-year warranty, with the following launch prices:
- 8 GB + 256 GB : RM1,899 / US$449.99 / £499 / A$697 / S$648
Here are online purchase options (we may get commission from your purchase) :
- MY : 4 colours | 4 colours | 4 colours | 4 colours
- SG : 4 colours | 4 colours | 4 colours | 4 colours
- US : Graphite | Violet | Lime
- UK : Graphite | Violet | Lime | White
- AU : Graphite | Violet
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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