Before we had a multi-camera system, before smartphones had periscope lenses and NPU technology, the only way smartphones could zoom was to use digital and often had poor results because they had a resolution sensor. low awards (except for a Nokia, but that’s another story).
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a special phone that has chosen the “classic” way to perform zoom – it’s using a lens that can change the focal length. Seen from the back, this device is almost indistinguishable from conventional point-and-shoot cameras.
However, from the front, it is clearly a mini Galaxy S4. S4 Zoom is not the first phone hybrid camera, it’s not even Samsung’s first such model, but the W880 AMOLED 12M (yes, this is actually the name of the device) released in 2009.
The W880 AMOLED 12M is a 3G phone with a 12MP camera with a 3x zoom lens and a xenon flash (and of course, an AMOLED screen). Later in 2012, Samsung launched the Galaxy Camera running Android, but the device was unable to make calls.
S4 Zoom, though launched in mid-2013, is one of the first Android phone hybrid cameras. Social networks are still in its infancy (especially on mobile devices), but the advantage of combining the superior image quality (and zoom capabilities) of point-and-shoot cameras With smartphone applications, this is a promising land.
The lens of the device can change the focal length from 24mm to 240mm, 10x optical zoom. And it’s also a smooth transition, unlike the telephoto cameras on modern smartphones with fixed focal lengths and the “jump” between zoom levels and the use of digital zoom for intermediate step.
This is why Samsung chose the name “Zoom” for the device, and until now there is no smartphone that can be compared to the 240mm focal length of S4 Zoom.
Zoom Galaxy S4 had a fairly large 16MP sensor at the time, 1 / 2.33 inches. For comparison, the Galaxy S4 has a 1 / 3.1 sensor, while the iPhone 5s is a 1 / 3.0 sensor. It also has optical image stabilization, a feature that didn’t exist before – the Nokia Lumia 920, released a few months ago, was the first phone with OIS.
Samsung’s smartphone also has a xenon flash, a rare feature when the phone is designed to be thinner and thinner. But that’s not a problem for the S4 Zoom, with the mechanical lens, which is up to 15.4mm thick.
The camera interface is borrowed from the Galaxy Camera. This interface mimics the rotation on DSLR lenses and Samsung has done well, making controls become intuitive and fast.
In fact, this phone also has its own lens ring. It can be used to zoom in and out, it also serves as a quick launch shortcut, allowing you to select specific modes instead of searching in the settings menu.
You can change the aperture of the lens, at 24mm, you can set the aperture of f / 3.1 or f / 8.8, at the longest focal length of 240mm, your options are f / 6.3 and f / 17.8.
Of course, you also have control over other parameters like shutter speed and ISO, etc. Samsung has detailed explanations in the menu to help newbies get familiar with the parameters. S4 Zoom can never replace a DSLR camera, but it is still a pretty good compact camera.
If you do not want to adjust your hands, there is Auto mode for taking snapshots.
The Remote Viewfinder feature allows you to connect to the Galaxy S4 Zoom via Wi-Fi and control the camera with another phone.
The S4 Zoom’s image quality benefits from its large sensor and good lens quality, but it’s not too spectacular. However, the ability to zoom in is unrivaled. It even offers a Quiet Zoom feature, which allows you to zoom in and out freely during video recording without having to worry that the lens engine sound will also be recorded.
Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom: 1x to 10x zoom
Those are noteworthy points about the S4 Zoom’s camera, but what about the phone itself? Obviously the front design has similarities with the S4 mini and the same screen – S4 Zoom also has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 540 x 960px. Great sunlight visibility is really helpful with outdoor photography.
Inside, however, the S4 Zoom is powered by another chipset, with dual-core Cortex-A9 CPUs, which is slower than the Snapdragon 400 processor on the mini version with dual Krait 300 cores. The Mali-400 GPU is also quite good compared to the Adreno 305 on the S4 mini.
Battery capacity is also different between the S4 mini and S4 Zoom, and S4 Zoom has a bigger battery with 2330 mAh. 1900 mAh of mini. Larger capacity is needed because Z4 Zoom has a mechanical zoom mechanism and a xenon flash.
The rear protruding lens makes it quite difficult to hold like a regular phone, but the grip makes it comfortable to hold like a camera. There’s even a place to mount the tripod, obviously S4 Zoom is more like a camera than a phone.
It comes preloaded with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (and later upgraded to 4.4 KitKat), with the TouchWiz interface, so every smartphone feature is at your fingertips and compared to point-and-point cameras. If you shoot, you also have an advanced image editor and video editor. And if you’re not happy with what Samsung has pre-installed, of course, you can download more from the Play Store.
Samsung also continues the successor versions of the S4 Zoom, such as the Galaxy K Zoom (based on S5) and Galaxy NX, an Android-powered mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor and interchangeable lenses with a mount. NX. However, the Galaxy NX is more similar to the Galaxy Camera legacy device because of the inability to make calls.
Finally, Samsung has abandoned the hybrid camera phone line. We cannot say with certainty why the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom and similar phones have failed. Is it due to bulky hardware? Or is the smartphone camera growing so fast? Or finally, users are not very interested in a point-and-shoot camera running Android with a function of calling?
Reference: GSMArena, Engadget