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4/28/2014
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Galaxy S5 Camera Problem: Samsung Eats Crow

Just one day after releasing an ad touting the GS5's camera over the iPhone's, Samsung must replace some devices due to faulty cameras.

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There's something to be said for karma. In a commercial on April 24, Samsung compared the iPhone's camera unfavorably to that of the Galaxy S5. On April 25, word broke that Galaxy S5 owners are being forced to return or exchange the GS5 due to camera problems. That's gotta sting, Samsung.

Most of the 60-second ad (below) boasts about the GS5's features, such as the 5.1-inch HD screen, water resistance, and, of course, the camera. Comparing two images side by side -- one taken with the GS5 and the other with the iPhone -- Samsung says the GS5 "snaps photos with twice the resolution of the iPhone." That is correct -- the GS5 features a 16-megapixel camera, while the iPhone 5s has an 8-megapixel camera.

But, as most photographers will tell you, megapixels aren't everything when it comes to cameras. A multitude of factors play a role in creating a good image, including the sensor, the size of the pixels, focus, the lens elements, image processing, and so on. Samsung didn't lie in its commercial, but choosing only one aspect of the camera for comparison certainly isn't telling the whole story. (Technically, Samsung could say the GS5 takes photos with four times the resolution of the HTC One, which has a 4-Ultrapixel camera.)

[Want more on Samsung's latest smartphone? Read Samsung Galaxy S5: My First Week.]

Just 24 hours later, Samsung had egg on its face. Galaxy S5 owners are reporting problems with the camera. Support forums indicate users are seeing an error message, after which the camera crashes and cannot be reopened. The rest of the device functions fine, but once the error hits the camera app, it cannot be fixed. Restarting or resetting the Galaxy S5 does not resolve the problem.

"Samsung is committed to providing the best experience for customers," the company said in a statement issued Friday. "We have learned that a limited number of Galaxy S5 devices may have an issue that causes 'Camera Failure' pop-up error message. We ask that customers affected visit their carrier for service under Samsung's standard limited warranty." Owners of defective Galaxy S5s can exchange them for new handsets at their carrier store. The return/exchange should be fairly straightforward, since most units have been in the market for less than 30 days. The devices in question were distributed mostly in the US and Canada.

"We have discovered that the issue has been seen in a very limited portion of early production Galaxy S5 units," Samsung explained Monday, "and was caused by complications in the ROM (Read Only Memory) component which stores the information necessary to operate the camera." Samsung did not say how many units were involved, and it did its best to downplay the issue.

Have you experienced a problem with the GS5's camera? Let us know.

Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and we offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators. Read our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue today.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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barkway
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barkway,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2014 | 10:35:57 AM
Re: I have another issue with camera output
I too have the same problem. Out of the blue, a dark, round shadow has appeared in the center of the lens in both pictures and video. What is Samsung doing for us if we have this issue? I did not my buy my phone from my carrier. I paid retail for an unlocked phone at a Brandsmart.
AnthonyE494
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AnthonyE494,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/3/2014 | 3:37:13 AM
Re: I have another issue with camera output
Hello there.. i have exactly the same problem. . Just out of the blue the black dot appeared at the exact centre of the screen.. did you manage to sort this out? Did resting the phone fixed it? I am really disappointed with Samsung
Sanchezmo16
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Sanchezmo16,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/16/2014 | 2:31:35 PM
Re: I have another issue with camera output
Hi, did you find a way to solve it?
pjckmen123
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pjckmen123,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/2/2014 | 5:44:39 AM
Re: Samsung nipped problem in the bud

Very interesting post. really informative. of all the blogs I have read on the same topic, this one is actually enlightening. friv 2
CarolynV755
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CarolynV755,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2014 | 7:37:22 AM
galaxy S5
I had this phone for 2 weeks and am already on a replacement. First my phone blacked out. I was given a replacement and now I lost all my contacts in my cloud and device. Tech support has been so busy that 20 minutes waiting still hasn't gotten me any help.
anon5691288167
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0%
anon5691288167,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/21/2014 | 7:20:09 AM
Re: I have another issue with camera output
I am having the same issue...... After using my phone for about 2 months now with any issues, I now see a large darker circle at the center of the image/video. Don't know how to get rid of it. I rest the camera but that didn't help. Even when I use the Google Camera, I am getting the same problem.
SakthivelP175
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0%
SakthivelP175,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2014 | 4:33:27 AM
I have another issue with camera output
I have another issue with camera output where it creates large darker circle at the center of the image/video. Somebody suggest me the solution? This handset was bought in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, India
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2014 | 9:34:55 PM
Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera Failed on TMobile
Such kind of failure must be repaird and it's not something tolerable. Camera is one basic functionality of smartphone. A high-end product does not simple mean a bunch of new features and high price. The essential core is quality, quality and quality. 
GermanInTI
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GermanInTI,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/4/2014 | 1:39:01 AM
Re: Hold up there, Apple Fan boy.
How much Samsung pays you for cleaning up their mass on the net?

We discuss Samsung's failure not some bloody Apple's defect...

I have the camera failure problem and it is really not a good feeling paying a thousand and running behind the FK TMobile, please empathy but sure you still wont understand...
JasonK228
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JasonK228,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2014 | 7:11:32 PM
Re: Hold up there, Apple Fan boy.
They were just "not so responsible" to me...not owning the problem and accused me of not knowing how to clear my camera cache.   Apparently, it matters what rep you get. 
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