Samsung Galaxy S4 video is shakier than rivals in test

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a great camera for still photos, but how does it compare to the competition for video? We find out.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 is an undeniable powerhouse of a phone, boasting a Full HD screen, a wildly fast quad-core processor and a host of Samsung software. It has an excellent 13-megapixel camera too, but how does it cope with capturing video?

To find out, I've pitted it against the other smart phone top dogs, the iPhone 5, HTC One , Nokia Lumia 920 , Sony Xperia Z and Galaxy S3 to see which is best for video.

Before I begin, a quick note on the video examples. All the phones shoot video at different frame rates. While you won't see much difference when you watch them individually, putting them all into one video to show quick comparisons means the frame rates have to be the same -- this changes the original video. As such, we're presenting all six videos in their original forms, alongside one showing them all to help show colour differences more easily.

To test, I strapped all the phones to a metal bar, set all their settings to their defaults and went for a good walk around in the sun.

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The S4 has shown itself to be an excellent digital camera alternative, providing rich, crisp, well exposed shots in most scenes. While its video is similarly crisp, it suffers rather a lot from hand-shake, giving a rather juddery video overall. The Lumia 920 however, with its optical image stabilisation gave a much smoother shot.

The Lumia 920 also provided the richest colours. The blue sky was very deep as was the red bus later in the video -- at times it's bordering on being oversaturated. The HTC One gave more balanced, natural colours. The iPhone 5's colours were quite neutral too, but at times it was noticeably darker than the rest.

Walking next to the bus, the S4 seemed to struggle a lot with lens flare. This could be just a chance occurrence due to the angle it was on, but it's certainly worth bearing in mind. The S3 seemed the least impressive overall, providing shaky footage with both exposure and colour appearing worse than its competitors.

While the S4 took the top spot for its photography skills, its shaky footage means it's not quite as impressive when it comes to video. The Lumia 920's stabilisation was very impressive and its rich colours looked good too.

Which video do you prefer? Is the S4 too shaky to be useful or are you happy to strap it to a tripod? Let me know your thoughts in the comments beneath the videos.

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