How To Fix Camera, Screen Rotation Problems on Samsung Galaxy S5 [Part 1]

More camera-related questions have surfaced after Android Lollipop was rolled out several months ago so this post is dedicated to helping our readers having this problem. Below are some of the issues that are commonly happening in S5s around the world. We expect to add more posts about this topic so keep watching for more!

S5 camera

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply contact us by email at [email protected] and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

When describing the problem, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start.

TheDroidGuy has social network presence as well so you may want to interact with our community in our Facebook and Google+ pages.


Problem #1: Gift Samsung Galaxy S5 has 5MP camera instead of 16MP and won’t read SIM cards

Hi. I got given a Samsung Galaxy S5. I am not sure if it is fake or not the only difference I can spot is that it has a 5MP camera not the 16MP. It also will not read the SIM card or any SIM card. It connects to Wi-Fi and can use the Internet.

 Thank you. — Candice

Solution: Hi Candice. A genuine Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 16MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera so the device you have may be a well-built knockoff. Below are some of the things that you can do to check further is your device is not the real deal:

  • Check if a fingerprint scanner on the Home button or a the Heart Rate Monitor below the LED flash are present. Fake S5 phones do not have these expensive sensors.
  • Check how photos your phone’s camera fares with a genuine S5. We notice that some fake S5s have missing camera features as well like the built-in real-time HDR or Selective Focus.
  • Some pre-installed Samsung apps that include ChatOn, S Health, SideSync 3.0, Samsung Content Viewer, or S Health may be missing. This is true despite the fact that your phone may still have the Google Play Store app.
  • Verify if some of the unique features of an S5 like Smart Stay or other smart features are present. If they are missing, then you have a fake one.

Problem #2: Samsung Galaxy S5 showing “camera failed” error after an update

Hi. I hope you can help me. I recently purchased my S5 and it has been running fine up until recently. When on browser sometimes I cannot scroll down so I have to delete all open applications and then go back on browser. It has also been lagging when making a call as it starts ringing before showing on screen.

However, after doing a few updates a couple of days ago…now my camera keeps saying ‘camera failed’.

I have restarted my phone, cleared cache, etc with force stop, checked in Safe Mode if it may be a corrupt app update or any app itself if the camera works in safe mode but still nothing. I did use 360 boost and a trojan was detected which was disabled apparently by this 360 app.

From what I have read on your page I only have one more option to see if the camera will work which is the factory reset but could you please tell me how to save all my messages somehow somewhere with my phone so I can access and put everything back on my phone as before? I don’t mind reinstalling the apps but I would just like to know how to restore my phones messages, contacts, bookmarks, calendar and ( if possible ) logs before I try this as a last option. Can all this be restored once I log into my Google account? If so how can I save everything as it is now first? I don’t know my Samsung account details. I hope you can help me. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and reply. Hope you hear from you soon. — Kiran

Hi mate. I’m having problems with my S5. My camera won’t work and the battery life has recently got very bad.

It all started to happen after I recently  updated it.

I tried to backup all my music and apps to my computer, because i was going to factory reset the whole thing to see if that helps, but when i went to do that it started to upload everything then it stopped and said something about my processor and it can’t send anymore. Also I tried to transfer all my music to SD card but it only transfer about 90 songs then stops.

So what do you think i need to do to get everything backed up? Can the processer on my phone be damaged/can it be fixed if so? And also how do you know if your phone is rooted or not rooted? Would it help my s5 if i had it rooted? — Thomas

Solution: Kiran, we suggest that you proceed with your plan to perform a factory reset. This will not only erase any remaining malware in your phone but will also ensure that you have a clean version of Android afterwards. Be careful when installing apps afterwards though. Doing a factory reset is useless if you will re-install the same exact apps in your phone. Make sure that you only install trusted third party apps.

Now, if you want to keep personal data and messages before doing a hard reset, you can try using Helium – App Sync and Backup. This is a third party app that we are acquainted with and is known to work flawlessly but it’s up to if you want to dig deeper to see if it suits you. We know that it can store messages but you may have to tweak some settings and use the Helium Messenger app temporarily to keep them. We don’t endorse this product so use it at your own risk. It does have a solid rating in Google Play Store and one of  our members in TheDroidGuy has used it without any issues.

One of the reviews from the Play Store has this to say about how to keep messages:

“Worked well. I needed Helium to restore data after performing a factory reset. Helium didn’t restore a few apps, but they didn’t have any special data, so not a big deal. It also didn’t restore any of my voicemail messages, which was an unpleasant surprise. Helium initially didn’t restore text messages, apparently because I restored across Android versions. Then, I found the tip to temporarily change the restore settings to use Helium’s messenger. Suggestion: change the Helium Messenger warning to say “Temporarily switch to Helium Messenger to restore messages correctly” (Dave Buehmann).

Keep us updated if this works so we can help other users who may encounter the same situation in the future.

Thomas, try using Samsung Kies first in creating a copy of your files to your computer to see how it goes. If that won’t work, you can also utilize apps that provides cloud services like Dropbox. Most of these cloud-based apps are not free though so you need to invest in them to ensure you won’t lose your files. You can also use Helium like Kiran’s case but the app may only give you a limited amount of storage space.

As regards the processor question, the answer depends on the error message you are getting. Keep in mind that if there’s a problem with a smartphone’s processor, a device may randomly reboots on its own or may fail to do even the most basic task. Try calling Samsung or the relevant party and consider getting a replacement instead to ensure that you have a good working device.

Problem #3: Samsung Galaxy S5 freezes when trying to take a picture using stock camera

Dear All. From yesterday, I have a problem with my phone (Samsung S5). Apparently this problem is linked to camera of the device. Almost after every attempt to make a photo, the phone becomes frozen. Kind regards. — Emin

Hi. I’m using Samsung Galaxy S5. Recently I have a problem. When I tap on the Camera app, it will show black screen. Need to power off the phone and on it again, then camera app can be used for a while and will back to black screen again. I did go online and search as some said is camera bug and some said is other problem. I did try clear data and clear cache but never solve the problem. I also called up technical support hotline also never solve it too. May I know is there any solution for it? Thank you. — Shan

Solution: Emin, we suggest that you do what Shan had tried initially, that is, to clear the camera app’s cache and data. Just like any other app problem, most camera app issues can be fixed by erasing it’s cache and data. You can also delete the cache partition of the phone to ensure that all other apps that may be affecting camera app’s function are okay.

Shan, performing a factory reset is actually a necessary troubleshooting step that you have go through to isolate the issue. Alternatively, try to boot up the phone in Safe Mode and see how the camera works when third party apps are disabled. Any of them may be to blame. It’ s a known fact that some third party camera apps can hog resources and skew the stock app’s function.

Problem #4: Samsung Galaxy S5 camera lags and slow in opening photos

Hello. I have had my S5 since early last year and it has been a champ until I updated to Lollipop in March. My provider is Verizon. Since the update I have noticed the following glitches:

  • I get popups that say “Unfortunately contacts has stopped” and “Unfortunately Touch Wiz home has stopped.” There was another one that I can’t recall at the moment and the “contacts” popup occurs multiple times daily. They popup randomly when I am using various apps or features of the phone. There does not seem to be a problem with either contacts or TouchWiz that I have noticed.
  • My incoming call ringtone volume raises and lowers on incoming calls. Basically it gets loud and then goes silent and repeats. I cannot find any setting in the phone to change this although I believe there was a setting for this prior to Lollipop.
  • There is also VERY slow performance for some features like accessing photos from the camera. For example, I take a picture and there is a thumbnail of the picture in the bottom corner of the camera screen.  I touch the thumbnail to open it and the phone kind of freezes for a few seconds and then the photo opens. Also, the camera is VERY slow on focusing and taking pictures in many different lighting settings.

I have seen your prior posts regarding the image stabilization setting but my phone does not seem to have that setting for the camera. It does have it for the video camera though and it is off. I have wiped the cache a couple times. I have cleared the cache in the app. I tapped the camera lightly on a counter and the camera worked flawlessly for a few pictures but then slowed down again.  The reason I tapped it is because some random person told me he was having the same issue with his S5 and when he, for no particular reason other than frustration, slammed it on a counter the camera started working again.  Problem with the shutter?  I would prefer not to do a factory reset but do I have any other option? — Mike

Solution: Hi Mike. We have decided to publish your letter under this post because it appears that the main problem has something to do with the camera function. Another reason is that the first two issues can only be resolved by doing a factory reset, which in turn, can be a fix for your camera app trouble. Updating to Lollipop is a major operating system overhaul and has apparently become not as smooth as what Google was hoping for. A lot of many different issues have emerged owing to a lot of factors involved.  There are only two things that you can do to try to resolve the problem:

  • Clear the cache partition
  • Perform a factory reset

Owing to the nature of the problem which is software, restoring the phone to its original settings is the main key here.

Problem #5: How to fix “Server error occurred. Restart camera” error on Samsung Galaxy S5

When I open up my camera app I get a message saying “Server error occurred. Restart camera”. What can I do to fix this? I can’t take no pictures at all. This phone is a Samsung galaxy S5. — Dee

Solution: Hi Dee. This error is a generic one, meaning any Samsung device shows this message when it’s camera app fails to load properly. Here are the things that you can do to fix it:

  • Do a soft reset. Turn off the phone completely and remove the battery for at least 30 seconds. After that, restart the phone and try the camera app again.
  • Clear the camera app’s cache and data.
  • Clear the phone’s cache partition.
  • Boot up the phone in Safe Mode to verify is third party apps may be causing the problem.
  • Try using a different SD card.
  • Perform a factory reset.

Problem #6: How to fix Samsung Galaxy S5 camera rotation problem

Him his. . Just wanted to let you know that I am having the same problem that Mike (another user, not the Mike mentioned above) has about screen rotation. Since the newest update on my phone, my phone screen does not rotate either just as he said of his system. The rotation app is ON,  but no matter what system you are using- text, email, Internet, camera rotation does not work. 

I’m going to go back to the factory reset and this is not the only issue I have  encountered with the latest update.  Others include:

  • an alert when using your car’s Bluetooth that sends message out saying “I am driving now. I will call back you when I get home.” I could not turn it off nor could the Verizon rep.
  • And texting that skips spaces on its own…a couple irritating new features.

I’m beginning to hate this phone again…and I was forced “by phone”  to UPDATE.  I ignored the suggestion till the phone shut  itself off and forced thru the updates. Sometimes, tech updates suck!!

Any suggestions you could make would be helpful. Thanks — Terri

Solution: Hi Terri. Just like the folks above, please try to clear the camera app’s cache and data first before doing a factory reset.

Doing a factory reset will erase the settings and configuration in your apps including the one for your Car Mode. We think that the error “I am driving now. I will call back you when I get home.” may be coming from your Car Mode app so performing a factory reset will also eliminate that nuisance. The problem with your messaging app skipping spaces may also be fixed by it so needless to say, factory reset can potentially cure all the ills in your phone right now.

Problem #7: How to use default Gallery app instead of Camera Roll when sending photos

Dear Sir/Madam. I would like to get rid of my camera roll and make Gallery my Default. For some reason it changed overnight. If I send pictures to Facebook, I get camera roll and not my Gallery where the pictures are. I looked everywhere  for help and I can’t find anything on this topic.  Please help because it’s very frustrating!!!  Regards. — Steff

Solution: Hi Steff. The most recent feature of the Gallery app forces a user to how you describe the problem. It’s a design change which we cannot undo at this time. However, if you don’t like the updated Gallery app features when sending photos, try to uninstall the updates of this app. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Application Manager.
  • Scroll to Applications section.
  • Swipe to the left to go to All tab.
  • Find Gallery app and tap it.
  • Tap UNINSTALL UPDATE button.

Problem #8: Selective focus camera mode not working properly after updating Samsung Galaxy S5 to Lollipop

Hello there, I’m Albert. I have just recently bought a Galaxy S5 and the main reason why I chose this phone over others was due to the camera and it’s features and in particular the Selective Focus mode. I want to make it very clear that I do know how to use the selective focus mode on the S5 and had done so a thousand times while my phone was running the KitKat firmware, but as soon as I updated to the Lollipop firmware my camera has become increasingly frustrating. My selective focus mode does NOT work. Everytime I focus in on an object and take the picture I get an error and I have attached 3 pictures, the first one is of the error message that I get and the second and third one are of the pictures I took using the selective focus without focusing in on anything so basically whenever I try and focus on something and I want to make it clear that when I say focus I do not mean zooming in, I mean just focus the camera on an object/person and I try to use the selective focus mode it gives me an error every single time but if I do not focus and just take the picture using the selective focus it does work but then it does not blur out anything and even if it does it blurs random things. I am literally begging you guys at the DroidGuy to please address my problem and give me a solution. I’m a really big tech geek and I love taking pictures and this glitch in the lollipop update has been a real big pain for me especially after shelling out a lot of money. Thank you. — Albert

Solution: Hi Albert. It must be tough to be in your situation but we do know that Selective Focus feature does not always work as expected. Even us here in the DroidGuy find the feature a bit tricky to use. In shooting under this mode, kindly consider these factors to give yourself a higher chance of success:

  • Ensure that the subject is clearly distinguishable from the background.
  • The subject must be less than 1.5 feet from the device. We tried to capture our subject beyond this limit and we consistently got the unsuccessful message.
  • Plain walls as background do not always work compared to backgrounds with some objects in it.
  • The foreground subject must be still.

We don’t think this is a camera app issue but you can always try to delete the cache and data of the said app to check if something changes.

Problem #9: How to enable  Review pics/videos feature in Samsung Galaxy S5

I purchased a Galaxy S5, model SM-G900WB from Bell Canada two weeks ago. It is running Android version 5.0 Lollipop (which I’m not impressed with).  Here are some of the problems I’ve been having with it since I purchased it that I am looking to resolve:

  • Even though I’ve unchecked all the applicable boxes, the notification LEDs continue to light up even though I don’t want them to.
  • I am unable to change my Call Barring settings because it asks for – but does not accept – my four digit PIN or any of the supposed “default” PINs I’ve found on-line
  • Is it possible to set the phone so it opens to a default group of my choice when I click on the Contacts icon?
  • When I take a photo with the “Review pics/video” feature enabled, the photo I’ve just taken remains on-screen forever; unlike in previous Android versions where you would see the photo for a few seconds before it automatically reverted to camera mode again. Is there a fix for this other than turning off the Review feature altogether?

I appreciate any assistance you might be able to provide. I looked through your site but couldn’t find answers to these issues. — Mchl

Solution: Hi Mchl. The new Lollipop update has been a source of both pleasure and annoyance ever since it was released.  You are not the first to report problems after updating to Lollipop so we understand where you are coming from. Anyway, for your first concern here, we suggest that you go to Settings>Applications>Application Manager> ALL apps>Messages and uncheck the notifications box there. While this only applies to notifications for text messages, you can do the same for any other app you don’t want to receive LED notifications from. We find this effective in killing the blue LED notification.

For your call barring issue, try to remove the SIM card from the phone first and restart the device before attempting a call again. If that doesn’t work, perform a factory reset.

The answer to your third question is no. We tried it on our end but there is no such option to pull up a particular group automatically when you load the app.

Lastly, the new Lollipop camera app does not offer another option to show a captured photo on the screen like the way it was shown in KitKat and Jelly Bean. You have to either turn “Review pics/videos” off or on.

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We are among the very few people who offer free Android support online and we are serious about it. If you happen to have an issue you want to share, kindly ensure to provide details of the problem as well as a short background or the things you were doing prior to noticing it. Feel free to contact us regarding your concerns, questions and problems. If you are getting error messages on the screen, or have observed unusual phone behaviors,  kindly include them in your email. The more information you can provide, the easier for us to assist you.You may reach us at [email protected] or post on our Facebook and Google+ pages.

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