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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom – Image Quality Review

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom: Camera

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.  

It shoots videos at up to 1080p at 30fps. The 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, meanwhile, is just as suitable for selfies and video chatting as other, similar price smartphones.
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.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

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