【Review】Samsung Galaxy Note8 Dual-Cam Live Focus in Studio Photoshoot

As a photographer, dual-camera smartphone is already a must especially if you don't want to carry your DSLR around. Any new and upcoming smartphone with just one camera might find it hard to compare to phone with two 'eyes'. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung phones with two cameras (dual cameras) hence it will able to create the blur background image (we call it bokeh) with the combination of Wide Angle Lens and Zoom Lens. Just like the iPhone 7 Plus and certain Huawei smartphone.

Now the question is, "Is Samsung Note 8 Dual Camera better than other dual-cam smartphone out there?" Just recently I was invited for Samsung Note 8 Mobile Photography Workshop by Michael Yeoh. That's where I got my first hand experience on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 even before it launch in Malaysia.  

 PS: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is going to launch in Malaysia on 21 Sep 2017 with Song JiHyo making special appearance at Pavilion KL!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Dual Camera: Telephoto Camera & Wide-angle camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Dual Camera: Telephoto Camera and Wide-angle camera

The Samsung Note 8 has two different camera lens (Telephoto Camera and Wide-angle camera)  that enable you to take DSLR-like photo with bokeh. Both camera lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) so it is easier for you to take sharp photos. Look at the image above for an idea of Note 8 cameras.

The Note 8 Photography Workshop was held at Metal Bees Production House. The event venue is actually a simple and all-white background studio. There was a makeup corner because invited media friends get to experience fashion photography with Michael Yeoh by just using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Michael Yeoh, photographer speaker for the Note 8 Mobile Photography Workshop
Below are some photos taken using my DSLR to document some moments happened during the event. Studio lights has been set-up at the side awaiting us to have own portrait taken by Michael himself. As usual, Malaysian need more time to warm up (especially myself) hence I was the last few to try out the studio photoshoot session.

With Budiey who dressed up so well for the Note 8 photography workshop

Serena C with her favourite coat

Behind the scene of fashion photography using Note 8

Michael Yeoh was taking photo of Serena C with the Note 8

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Plus vs Samsung Note 8. Which is bigger?

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Plus vs Samsung Note 8

Basically S8+ and Note 8 are similar in size, just that Note 8's screen edge a bit more squarish with a water-resistant stylus hidden in the body. The other difference would be Note 8 has two cameras and a stylus hence it can do much more than S8/S8+.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Plus vs Samsung Note 8 in size almost similar
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Plus vs Samsung Note 8 : Almost similar size

Let's have a look on this Note 8 with the beautiful infinity screen!! I was attracted to the infinity screen (that's why I got myself S8+) and that's why I like Note 8 too.  Less curvy at the edge screen so your hands/fingers won't accidentally touch the screen when you are holding it. I used to have issue operate my S7 Edge (without casing) with just one hand because my hands always touch the side. As long you have a casing on it, you are fine. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Back view: Rear dual cameras with fingerprint sensor and flash

Since I already get used to the size of S8+, Note 8 fits perfectly on my palm too. The dual cameras might come in handy if you do a lot photography (or even videography) and it could be good vlog camera too. I had very little time to review the cameras so I am not sure bout the video quality yet. All I manage  to try was the Live Focus and Dual Capture function. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Bottom view: USB-C Charging port, speaker, stylus and earphone jack

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with stylus

My Mobile Fashion Photoshoot Experience with Note 8 
As a photographer, it is always great  to have another photographer that can help you shoot some nice photos. In this case, I am honored to let Michael Yeoh help me shoot some portrait photos the other day. A day for me to look like a celebrity hahaha! 

There's a miniature buildings model for us to test out Note 8 Live Focus function
Below are all photos taken using Samsung Galaxy Note8 and it is 'Before and After' combination to show you that smartphone nowadays can take studio-DSLR-like photos, and undergo some Lightroom editing to makes it look even better.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera's Main Function: Live Focus and Dual Capture

When you shoot using Samsung Galaxy Note8 Live Focus function, you can actually adjust the blurness and use Dual-Capture function to capture both wide-angle and portrait shot. That's when you can keep and see both world, a wide angle scenery and also zoomed in bokehlicious photo.

I transfer some photos taken the other day to my phone but lose the ability to adjust the blurness/bokeh level in my S8+. Only Note 8 got the built-in function to adjust the blur effect after capture.

You can compare the photo above and below, I was standing at the same distance from the camera but the blurriness of the word "Samsung Galaxy Note8" is different. You can also notice that the wording near my head is not blurred as it might be perceived as part of my hair.

Hipster in the frame (without Live Focus function on)

Shooting Serena C with Note8 Live Focus function, the makeup table light bulbs has been blurred up because of  dual cam

Shooting Serena C with Note8 Live Focus function, the makeup table light bulbs has been blurred up because of  dual cam

Using Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to shoot another Note 8 (focus on foreground)

Using Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to shoot another Note 8 (focus on background)

Fashion portrait shot using Samsung Galaxy Note8 (without Live Focus)

If you've noticed, above and below are comparison photos of Note8 Live Focus features. You can see that the background (photo below) has been blurred out so you can focus more on the 'model'. This kind of effect is usually achievable when using professional camera with big aperture. But nowadays smartphone with Dual-Camera can already achieve this too.

So in near future, photographer might lose their job because their phone can take similar effect photos too. Thankfully there's still strength in DSLR cameras as DSLRs are faster in capturing moments especially during low-light conditions. 

Photography Tips for Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Live Focus Mode

My point is, if you are able to control the lighting indoor (in this case, use studio lights to brighten up the entire place), your smartphone portrait photos can look as good as DSLR. Just make sure that your outfit doesn't look too similar to the background (especially color) so it might blend in with it.

Other than that, you are good to keep your heavy DSLR at home and create nice OOTD easily with your dual-cam smartphone.

Fashion portrait shot using Samsung Galaxy Note8 (with Live Focus)
Courtesy of Samsung Malaysia, I have some nice photos taken the other day. Here's me trying to pose like Tony Leung 梁朝伟 (shoot and art directed by Michael).  Don't scroll down anymore if you are bored with my face. Kthxbye~

Conclusion about Samsung Galaxy Note 8:

Note 7 was a disaster because of the battery incident. Therefore I do hope that Note 8 made a good comeback with a much safer battery design, its signature stylus pen and first ever dual-camera Samsung phone this time. (If you worry about phone explosion, then let others buy Note8 first and observe for a period of time, this way you will be safe) 

Actually S8/S8+ and some other Samsung phone models already have the 'Selective Focus' function to achieve similar blur-background photo effect. It's just that it take longer time to capture the photos and you can't adjust the blurriness. I do use the 'Selective Focus' some times but DSLR is faster and the bokeh effect more natural. 

With the brand new Note8, you can have Live Preview and decide how blur you want your image background to be, Dual Capture that take one shot, get two views (wide and telephoto). If you are a person who love to use creativity in drawing things you like, or even accuracy in edit photos, this latest Samsung Note will suits you the most because it has this powerful stylus to let you do so much more. Oh yeah,  Note8 still has an earphone jack.

For Samsung Galaxy Note8 full specification, check out this page; For Telco offers and comparison, you can check out this page. There are launch promo and Roadshow with Running Man star SongJiHyo coming to Malaysia, for mroe info, check this page.

For the love of Running Man and JiHyo, I shall see you at the Note8 Launch in Pavilion KL!! Feel free to pay a visit to Samsung Experience Store and try it out. You can check price of Note8 on Lazada Malaysia too.

Buy Samsung Galaxy Note8 get  FREE Samsung Wireless Charger, Type-C Cable, 5000 AirAsia BIG Points and 0% Installment on Maybank for 12 months
Buy Samsung Galaxy Note8 get  FREE Samsung Wireless Charger, Type-C Cable, 5000 AirAsia BIG Points and 0% Installment on Maybank for 12 months
Below are recommended Samsung smartphones from Samsung Authorized Reseller and Official Samsung Store on LAZADA, check them out for the FREE GIFTS Detail:

Some people prefer to get screen protector and casing as FREE Gift and some prefer to get the trendy and fashionable Samsung Fast Charger. It all depends on what you need and which worth more =) For me I will put priority on getting the protection for phone first.

Fun Fact: Although Samsung decided to remove the 'space' that separate 'Note' and '8', and rename 'Note 8' as 'Note8', I still think 'Note 8' sounds better. Even Google and YouTube also suggested 'Did you mean Note 8?' 

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