Clearly the camera is the most important feature, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom camera is a really impressive performer once you get to grips with all its features.
The 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor main camera is equipped with a 10x optical zoom equivalent to 24mm to 240mm. There’s a Xenon flash to help shoot in low light conditions and a built-in Optical Image Stabiliser to reduce blur and generally keep things steady. There’s now a massive 25 Samsung ‘Smart’ scene modes that should make it almost impossible not to take a decent picture.
Shot using macro mode
The main camera offers Automatic, Smart, and Expert options to take pictures. Automatic mode takes all of the tinkering out of stills shooting. Smart mode gives you a selection of shooting options. If you’ve used a Galaxy smartphone or camera before you’ll recognise modes like Best face and Best photo, but ‘Smart mode suggest’ is new. This analyses your surroundings, taking into consideration lighting levels, then recommends the best Smart mode to apply.
For photographers demanding more manual control, Expert mode lets you alter ISO sensitivity, shutter speed and Aperture amongst other things to give you more control over the picture-grabbing.
In Automatic mode, some shots can look a little washed out and slightly dull - see the shot below. Select the right Smart mode, however, and the level of detail, quality of colours and exposure is up there with decent quality compacts.
The Smart modes do a really great job of applying the right setting to take a great picture. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear, but the subtle differences in sharpness and clarity are noticeable when you look at the photos on a bigger screen.
Shots in automatic mode can look a little dull and washed out, but the Smart modes fix this.
But the standout feature is the optical zoom lens. It really pays off for long distant shot where a standard, fixed-lens smartphone camera is useless.
Twisting the ring around the lens lets you hone in closer to objects in the distance and the results, unsurprisingly, are considerably better than the digital zoom you’ll find on most smartphones.
The S4 Zoom also yields great results in low light, too. The macro mode is ideal for close-up shots, with impressive detail and vibrant colours.