The smartphone cameras nowadays are better than ever. In fact, it’s so good that it has practically rendered the standard point-and-shoots obsolete. Yes, that is a very impressive technological milestone but that hasn’t stopped tech giant Samsung from trying to raise the bar even further.

The existing trend when it comes to judging smartphone cameras has always been very 1-dimensional. Basically, people think the higher the megapixel count, the better the quality. It does not take into consideration the other factors that make for great cameras such as aperture, shutter speed and fast auto-focus, just to name a few. Since almost all smartphone manufacturers think the same way, seeing a real difference when comparing camera quality can be quite difficult. However, Samsung is poised to stand out by putting its camera to the ultimate test – Can it replace a professional DSLR camera?


Yes, it sounds extremely ambitious to say a smartphone could ever compete with a DSLR but that’s exactly what Samsung was able to do in its one-night photo gallery called “Dark Blue” at the Green Sun last Friday, May 13. 

The gallery was divided into 2 exhibits placed on opposite sides of the room. The first was called Own The Night, a low-light, neon-themed shoot by BJ Pascual with Georgina Wilson-Burnand as the muse. Taking a cue from the low-light feature it showcased, the exhibit was barely lit, making the high-fashion and colorful shots of Georgina really stand out. The second exhibit, Into The Blue, features an ethereal underwater shoot by Mark Nicdao with the beautiful Solenn Heussaff.  The area was beautifully accented with a soft, blue light, creating a somewhat underwater feel.


More than just unveiling a photo gallery, there was a bigger, more impressive story behind each of the images. Samsung commissioned two of the country’s top fashion photographers, BJ Pascual and Mark Nicdao, to push the phone to its limits by mounting photoshoots, one in low-light and one underwater, using just the Galaxy S7 edge.

Even if the photographers and muses were absolutely excited by the concept of full shoots using just a phone, this definitely didn’t come without skepticism.

“I was both hesitant and thrilled when I was first offered the project,” said Mark. “First, I haven’t done an underwater shoot, and second, I’ve never done a fashion shoot with just a smartphone. Combining the both was a real challenge.”

Even Solenn, who is no stranger to underwater shoots and a long-time Samsung loyalist, had her doubts.

“I’m a water baby and so I was super excited upon hearing the concept. I’ve done an underwater shoot before but with just a smartphone? I honestly thought people would just take behind the scenes with it, I did not expect the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge to be used as the main camera for campaign materials because you’d always need the specs to be really high for these things,” says Solenn.

Mark Nicdao, BJ Pascual & Georgina Wilson

While most professionals would balk at the idea of a mobile phone replacing DSLRs, BJ Pascual and Mark Nicdao dared to go beyond all the conventional notions of their field, breaking barriers in the process.

“There’s a lot you can do with a camera phone, given the right conditions, combined with a great eye, an understanding of the basics, and knowing how to frame an image,” asserts BJ Pascual. “But I have to be honest that I was really skeptical at first because I’ve never done a professional shoot before with just a smartphone and what added to my hesitation was that the set-up had to be dark and photos can get really grainy. But I’m really happy I took on this project. It’s a source of pride for a first-time feat.”

Mark Nicdao was similarly impressed by the phone, saying, “There’s this unprecedented shift that’s happening in photography that’s driven by more people having access to the tools that allow them to find their voice. If smartphone brands, such as Samsung are able to help them find their passion and tap into their talent, it’s at least worth putting their claim to the test.”

BJ Pascual & Georgina Wilson

As the photographers and models saw the shots they were able to take using the Galaxy S7 edge, all the initial hesitation they felt quickly dissipated, turning into pure amazement and disbelief.

“Thanks to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, I think it’s about time that we take smartphone cameras seriously,” says BJ Pascual as he and Mark pour over the quality and sharpness of the images. 

“It’s a very different process since it was faster and simpler,” Georgina narrates. “But more importantly, I think it gives skeptics, like some of our friends, a chance to see that Samsung knows what they’re talking about.”

“It’s not something you’d consider doing with a smartphone and so I’d consider this stunt as revolutionary for Samsung, and I’m just proud to be part of it,” says Solenn.

With this awe-inspiring stunt, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge has delivered on its claim that it would make us rethink what a phone can do.

“Quality is important, but so is enthusiasm to explore new things. This was certainly a daring move and a new experience for us, but it just highlights how technology can really be a game changer. Capturing a great picture using a smartphone is no less rewarding than if you had taken it using a DSLR,” states Chad Sotelo, Corporate Marketing Head of Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation. (PR)

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