There are two snappers bundled with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - an 8MP one around the back and a 1.9MP camera facing the front. Eight megapixels may not rock your world if size matters, but if quality does, you've come to the right place.

The camera is extremely capable, comprehensive and intuitive. Firing it up is super quick - even quicker if you put a shortcut on your lock screen, so you can swipe into it from a standing start.

The camera is constantly seeking a lock to focus automatically - but you can alter that point with your finger by tapping anywhere on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

The flash is extremely strong, just like on our Samsung Galaxy S3. We found ourselves in the rather hilarious situation of being in a dark bar with friends who were all snapping with their iPhones.

When we fired the flash up on this, the comments were unprintable. It actually is blinding if you're not expecting it - but the beauty is that it is also very good at what it does, and can match some point and shoots in that respect.

Lots of headline features from the S3 have been brought across. They're really quite intuitive and include elements such as Best Photo (which identifies the best out of several taken in quick bursts), Face Detection, a very good Panorama (contrary to iOS 6 fans' belief, Apple did not invent panorama), Smile Detection and Buddy Share (which identifies commonly viewed friends and will even send pictures featuring them on to them).

See how the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 fares when put up against the new iPhone 5 in our side-by-side camera comparison video.

If you're a tinkerer, you can also change a plethora of detailed settings, such as ISO and exposure. Most people won't bother - but for the more discerning snapper, it's nice to be able to do it.

On top of that, you have several scene modes, which enable you to tailor the look of your photos. Included are things such as Negative mode, which we seem to see on phone after phone yet can't understand - do people actually take photos in Negative mode? And if so, why are they not in some kind of special jail?

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Although it's nice to have these customisation options, we're not that fussed, considering apps such as Instagram give us even more anyway.

Taking photos itself is an easy affair - you can take two per second if you're in a hurry, but there is the issue that the shutter speed can't keep up. So if you're trying to get an image of your dog running around or your child on the trampoline, you're more likely than not to end up with a bit of a blurry mess.

That won't be fun when you're digging out childhood pics to embarrass them with, come their 18th birthday party.

The golden rule here is to take photos of inanimate objects. Stick to trees and lampposts and you'll be fine.

One other gimmick we liked - if only for boasting reasons - is the fact that you can take photos by simply talking to the camera. We never tire of saying "cheese" and seeing the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 do the leg work. But it only worked 90% of the time, and usually failed when we were trying to put iPhone-toting friends back in their iBoxes by showing them how cool we were (read: uncool when it doesn't work.)

The quality of photos yielded was brilliant. We were really happy with the results. In daylight and perfect lighting conditions, they looked amazing.

Even in darker conditions, the flash gave them that extra bang that was needed. And with that huge display for a viewfinder, it made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
In perfect light, images are spot on and beautiful.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
Unfortunately, the zoom is optical, so not ideal.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
You can use the inbuilt effects to enhance the warmth of your pictures

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You can use the inbuilt effects to enhance the warmth of your pictures, make them look cooler in temperature or simply play with them to make them look a little more cartoony or funky.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
Just moving our hand around fairly quickly led to blur. The shutter speed isn't perfect.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
Normal

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
HDR mode

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HDR mode works - but we found that a lot of pictures didn't need it, because they look so good anyway.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
There is even an effect to make your photos black and white except for certain bits.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
The Galaxy Note 2's front snapper is good, but no match for the one round the back.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
The flash lights up pitch black situations well.

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