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Samsung launches Galaxy K Zoom with 10x optical zoom

119
The Galaxy Zoom K comes in black, white or blue.

Smartphone imaging components have improved a lot in recent years but the lack of an optical zoom is still a major disadvantage compared to traditional compact cameras. Samsung tried to bridge the gap with last year's Galaxy S4 Zoom but the device ended up being bulkier than its smartphone cousin, the Galaxy S4, without offering the same high-end specification. It also didn't convince us in our smartphone shootout either.  

Now Samsung is aiming to make its hybrid model more attractive to consumers and has launched the second generation of the Galaxy Zoom series. The new model offers a slimmer body than the S4 Zoom (18 vs 28 mm) and most of the smartphone components have been upgraded. The Super AMOLED screen has grown from 4.3 to 4.8 inches which brings it close to the 5-inch displays of many current top-end smartphones. That said, the 720p resolution cannot match the 1080 displays of the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 or Sony Xperia Z2

Android 4.4 is powered by an Exynos 5 Hexa SoC with six CPU cores and 2GB RAM. There are only 8GB of internal memory but it can be expanded, thanks to a microSD slot. LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and NFC are all on board and power is provided by a 2,430 mAh battery.

On the camera module, the most obvious change is the increased pixel count. The 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor now captures 20.7MP images versus the S4 Zoom's 16MP. The 10x zoom lens offers the same 24-240mm equivalent focal range and F3.1-6.3 maximum aperture as the S4 Zoom and comes with optical image stabilization. There is also a xenon flash and a 2MP front camera for the occasional selfie. We're looking forward to getting a Galaxy K Zoom into our hands for testing. 

The Galaxy K comes with a 4.8-inch 720p screen.
The new model is a little slimmer, than its predecessor, the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Key Photographic/Video Specifications:

  • 20.7MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor 
  • 10x zoom, 24-240mm equivalent focal range 
  • F3.1-6.3 aperture
  • Xenon flash
  • 2MP front camera
  • 1080p video

Other Specifications:

  • 1.3GHz quad-core, 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos Hexa processor
  • Android 4.4
  • 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 8GB storage
  • microSD
  • 2,430 mAh battery

  

Comments

Total comments: 119
greengo746
By greengo746 (4 months ago)

good optics is way more appealing than zoom. Put in a good sized sensor with good optic to get razor sharp image and I will buy it. I shot APS-C sensor with prime lens most of the time. My legs are working fine for the zoom I need and I dont intend to shot the moon with a small camera and a tiny lens.

0 upvotes
Ashuaria Lee
By Ashuaria Lee (4 months ago)

Slim..Thin...10x zoom camera phone. Hmm..
Slim is ok. I don't need 10x zoom(24-240 F3.1-6.3).
3x(24-70 F2.8-4?) feels enough for me...

0 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (4 months ago)

Pretty soon camera will be a thing of the past.

1 upvote
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (4 months ago)

I could definitely make do with a bigger sensor and a faster zoom with less reach. I am talking ~F/1.8 the whole way through at the minimum. Reach is not that big of a deal for a cameraphone.

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (4 months ago)

As nice as it would be, its just not reasonably possible, at least not yet. There's never been a compact camera with a lens f1.8 or faster all the way through- I don't imagine we will see the first one on a cellphone.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (4 months ago)

Panasonic lx7 get's close though.
F1.4-2.3.
Good luck putting that in your jeans.
BTW the canon ixus 340hs has an even slower lens with no phone built in f3.6-7. F7!!

0 upvotes
marc petzold
By marc petzold (4 months ago)

Put in a 1" Sensor and 24-70/2.8 or faster Zoom Range, with Galaxy S5 Features, and i guess many freaks would buy it. A smartphone cam might come in handy at times "the best camera is that one with you..." and ordinary, ppl have their smartphones always with them - and so the cam, too...but i wouldn't compare the IQ with a system camera, the sensors
are too small (well, exceptions are the 808 and a few other lumia nokias) the lenses are too slow, and touchscreen photography is a mess, at least for myself unacceptable, but
ppl are different. :-)

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
epdm2be
By epdm2be (3 months ago)

Why doesn't anyone mentions the Nokia 808PureView?

f2.4 Zeis lens on a 1/1.2" sensor. So it IS possible. To have a big sensor and good optics on a smartphone.

Now use that phone, put in a bigger battery and quad core snapdragon + Android kitkat... and I'm sold. I doesn't even need to have a 5inch screen. That 4inch is more than enough (but use a 720P variant)...

Ofcourse you have to keep the same CBD amoled quality :-)

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

My thoughts on the new model:

Samsung's previous dedicated camera model, the Samsung S4 Zoom (S4Z for short), produced, for a small-sensor (1/2.33") "cameraphone", excellent images. It easily beats even the best Android phones WRT image quality. (I've posted quite a few remarks and comparisons on this to http://connect.dpreview.com/post/4485507296/shootout-sonyxperiaz1-vs-nokia1020-vs-lgg2-vs-samsunggalaxys4zoom )

Of course, it was still a small-sensor camera with a slow lens (starting at f/3.1) with 16 Mpixels, which guaranteed it just couldn't have a chance against the 808 in good light (or in any situation where the OIS of the Samsung can't help) and without using a zoom. (When using a zoom, over 3x zoom, it delivers better IQ than the 808, of course - as would any camera with an at least half-decent optical zoom. There's even a direct S4Z vs. 808 comparison at http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/17932_Crossover_smartphones_Nokia_80.php , proving this.)

(cont'd below)

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

(cont'd from above)

That is, I do have high hopes. For anyone wanting to extensively use any kind of zoom in a somewhat decent Android phone, the new model (the Galaxy K Zoom (GKZ for short)) is a god-send, assuming it has at least as good IQ as that of the S4Z (I really don't think it doesn't, given that the lens isn't that much more ambitious, meaning far larger distortion / corner softness / other problems. Unlike with, say, the Canon G1X -> G1X MkII switch with its very-very ambitious new lens, which, at least based on the knowledge I currently have on its IQ, does seem to prove Canon couldn't beat the laws of the physics either.).

Another HUGE advantage of the GKZ is that it starts at 24mm equiv, unlike the 808 (or, for that matter, any current, decent smartphone). This can, to a degree, remedied by hacking the 808 to use its full sensor to shoot 41 Mpixel images.

(cont'd below)

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

(cont'd from above)

(Corner vignetting / blur isn't really a problem – it doesn't really have any vignetting and even these extreme corners are tack sharp. An engineering masterpiece – something that the 1020, sadly, isn't, WRT corner sharpness.) With that, the effective field-of-view increases to around 26mm. Still considerably narrower than 24mm but it's acceptable. (Note that I don't really like CameraPro Qt, the app also allowing for 41 Mpixel, full-sensor shooting. While it works without any kind of device hacking, it's slow, a memory hog and requires exiting before locking the 808 to avoid excess battery usage.)

Of course, when not shooting in situations where the comparative merits (zoom, OIS) of the GKZ can't be used, it produces worse results than the 808. For example, when zoomed out and shooting on a tripod (or in any situation where the OIS of the Samsung can't help) in low light.

(cont'd below)

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

(cont'd from above)
I don't think the GKZ has considerably better DR either (I think the situation is the exact opposite, the DR being worse than that of the 808.) After all, the 808 still has much larger pixels.

I myself surely won't get the new GKZ as:

- the phone part is considerably worse than that of the S5, that is, the current high-end Samsung offering. This (the “Zoom” model heavily lagging behind the flagship model of the time) has always been the Achilles' heel of Samsung's dedicated cameraphone Zoom / K series. Now, with the internals of the S5, even without being waterproof (which is understandably impossible to achieve with a sliding lens mechanism), it'd be a far more appealing offer... even if I, personally, wouldn't really use it as the jailbroken iPhone 5 with several tweaks I've developed myself & the Nokia 808 & the Retina iPad Mini combo pretty much fulfills all my “mobile” needs, and I prefer JB'n iOS to Android WRT communication via phone / Skype

(cont'd below)

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

(cont'd from above)

- I have a 808 and, for my purposes (holiday / travel snaps), it's more than sufficient (and I almost never want to zoom)
- I also have an iPhone 5 when I need to shoot a quick sweep pano without having to do the stitching on a desktop computer (on the 808, Nokia's own automatic sweep pano app produces very bad results and, of course, slow – after all, it's only an armv6 ARM11 CPU...) or do some low(er)-light video (in which it's better than the 808)
- the GKZ doesn't have 4K, unlike the Note 3 (which is more than 9 months old tech!) or the S5 – a major omission and a dealbreaker for me.

1 upvote
SergioMO
By SergioMO (5 months ago)

Nice pics !!!!
1080p 60fps , NFC , ois.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/samsungcamera/14059407934/sizes/o/
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7226/14055774972_46d611eaf4_o.jpg
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2917/14059416724_fa72bbfe97_o.jpg
...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/samsungcamera/14059409764/in/photostream/

0 upvotes
Tuck Loong
By Tuck Loong (5 months ago)

Samsung Galaxy K zoom sample pics

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1398549

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

Thanks! Too bad there only seems to be one image in its original form, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ortega_sg/14071206345/in/photostream/

I've closely scrutinized this ISO100, 1/250s, 24mm equiv image and found the following:

- moderate noise
- excellent resolution in the center
- no annoying oversharpening halo's
- pretty strong CA (see the plate's left and right rim!) - in this regard, it seems to be significantly worse than the 808

Unfortunately, as it's a closeup shot taken from an angle, none of the corners are in focus, which means it's impossible to assess corner sharpness. (At least it doesn't have visible vignetting.)

0 upvotes
Tuck Loong
By Tuck Loong (5 months ago)

Audio & Video
Video Playing Format FLV, M4V, MKV, MP4, WEBM, WMV, 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI
Video Playing Resolution FHD (1920 x 1080) @60fps
Audio Playing Format MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA

Services & Applications
Gear Manager Yes
S-Voice Yes

0 upvotes
Tuck Loong
By Tuck Loong (5 months ago)

Memory
RAM Size (GB) 2GB
ROM Size 8GB
External Memory Support MicroSD (up to 64GB)

Camera
Video Recording Resolution FHD (1920 x 1080) @60fps
Main Camera - Resolution CMOS, 20.7MP
Front Camera - Resolution CMOS, 2.0MP
Main Camera - Flash Yes
Main Camera - Auto Focus Yes

Sensors
Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor

Physical Specification
Dimension (HxWxD, mm) 137.5 x 70.8 x 20.2mm
Weight (g) 200g

Battery
Internet Usage Time (3G) (Hrs) - Up to 7 hours
Internet Usage Time (LTE) (Hrs) - Up to 7 hours
Internet Usage Time (Wi-Fi®) (Hrs) - Up to 9 hours
Video Playback Time (Hrs) - Up to 11 hours
Standard Battery Capacity 2430 mAh
Audio Playback Time (Hrs) - Up to 47 hours
Standby Time (3G WCDMA) (Hrs) - Up to 14 hours

0 upvotes
Tuck Loong
By Tuck Loong (5 months ago)

official specs

Network
SIM size Micro-SIM (3FF)
Infra 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE FDD
2G GSM 850/900/1,800/1,900MHz
3G UMTS 850/900/1,900/2,100MHz
4G LTE B1 (2,100), B2 (1,900), B3 (1,800), B5 (850), B7 (2,600), B8 (900), B20 (800)

Connectivity
USB Version USB 2.0
Location Technology GPS, Glonass
Earjack 3.5mm Stereo
MHL MHL 1.3
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 + 5GHz, HT40
WiFi Direct Yes
Bluetooth Version Bluetooth v4.0
NFC Yes
Bluetooth Profiles DI MAP PBAP A2DP AVRCP HFP HSP OPP SAP HID PAN HOGP
PC Sync. KIES

OS
Android Kit Kat

Display
Technology (Main Display) Super AMOLED
Size (Main Display) 4.8" (121.9mm)
Resolution (Main Display) 720 x 1280 (HD)
Color Depth (Main Display) 16M
S Pen Support No

Processor
CPU Speed 1.7GHz Dual + 1.3Ghz Quad
CPU Type Hexa-Core

General Information
Colour Charcoal Black, Shimmery White
Form Factor Touch Bar

0 upvotes
tabloid
By tabloid (5 months ago)

Ok gentlemen….now lets start tearing the camera phone to pieces …..lol

0 upvotes
GatanoII
By GatanoII (5 months ago)

This is a very interesting cameraphone, slim enough and smart phone enough to be useful, I know who can and will use it, my sister and people like her

She knows nothing about cameras or how they work, but still she takes great photos and videos with her Note(I know because she sends me a lot of photos of my little niece)give her something more powerful like this that she already knows how to use (Android) and she can take photos that were impossible without a zoom phone

If I need to make her a present for some event this is something I know she will appreciate as she already has a camera that is unused for her since phones are good enough, she is the kind of people for which only a better phone can take better photos since the traditional cameras are dead for her.

This product is for the not so casual photographer that knows nothing about how a camera works, but takes a lot of photos with her/his Android phone, next generations could even be interesting for "advanced photographer"

4 upvotes
creosl2
By creosl2 (5 months ago)

I had the old S4 Zoom for a while. For some strange reasons the lens used to move by its own now and then. I could put it on a table and then suddently the lens extraced and move the whole body up in the air. Funny.

The picture quality was ok and the flash not so bad as regular LED flashes. But, when I zoom up to 10x I noticed that the lens made all the pictures blurry...even when I used a stand and time-release.

The old Zoom weighed more than even a big "phablet" android phone like Sony Ultra!

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (5 months ago)

OK, Samsung Galaxy NX is still the best Android camera,
but not so cheap and it doesn't have KitKat ...

Why doesn't Galaxy K Zoom have no less than 1" senzor ?
SONY QX100 seems to be a big competitor ... we can change a phone during the time and to have still a good camera :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

well, you have to carry a big lump of lens if you want to use the QX, it's basically like carrying a spare lens for a DSLR, not everybody's cup of tea when shooting with a phone...

0 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (5 months ago)

It would need to either be an inch thick, or the the lens would have to pop out significantly more than it does now (and would be much thicker and heavier). The best you'll ever see is MAYBE a 1/1.7" sensor, like the Canon S120.

Physics can't be overcome.

Personally, I'd rather then keep the phone slim and use dual smaller sensors with software noise reduction to help overcome the low-light problem. I don't expect that to happen, though.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
kff
By kff (4 months ago)

I prefer to add photo modul with APS-C senzor from bag if I would need ... or system compact like Ricoh GXR (with a new CMOS APS-C senzor and with pancake lens like Pentax DA 40/2.8 XS) ... it mens a good optical quality ... incomparable with the Galaxy K Zoom :)

0 upvotes
Black Box
By Black Box (5 months ago)

Oh for crying out loud! Add the on-screen dialing to the camera already!

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

who's using a phone for calls these days?;)

2 upvotes
DWare
By DWare (4 months ago)

umm ... me. I've been looking for a phone booth to make calls but they seem to be few.

1 upvote
Black Box
By Black Box (4 months ago)

Don't even start me on that! Have you tried sending a telegram lately?

2 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (5 months ago)

For this, I'm more interested in Canon S120 specs than this. 24-120 (5x) with speed and a larger sensor trumps 24-240 (10x) with a slower lens and smaller sensor in this application for me. And, yes, I'd accept a thicker system to get it. It's only something like that which could possibly convince me to start shooting with a cell phone. Until then, I'll carry my compact in the same pocket with my phone.

0 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (5 months ago)

....and with a lense error message on your s120 lcd as a bonus good luck.

3 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (5 months ago)

I think the same thing every time I read about these hybrids. Give me a phone with essentially an s120 or similar crammed in, and you will have my money.

The s120 is eminently pocketable, and its still over 50% thicker than this Samsung, so there's room to grow and still be pocketable. I don't need a huge 5" screen, scaling down a little could help there.

Still, I give Samsung credit- this is a step in the right direction for sure.

0 upvotes
DWare
By DWare (4 months ago)

and good luck making that call with the s120 ... While the canon is a nice pocketable camera with great features you're missing the point/purpose of the samsung.

0 upvotes
DWare
By DWare (5 months ago)

Lot of negativity but photo potential is intriguing as this will likely be a camera that will always be on me. Price will be the ultimate factor.

2 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (5 months ago)

I'd buy one if I needed to upgrade - it would be WAY better than my current phone camera, which is already one of the best (and still terrible).

One sticking point: No Kitkat? If there's a Cyanogen mod release for this, it would make all the difference.

0 upvotes
McCool69
By McCool69 (5 months ago)

Looks like a nice device which will appeal to quite a few people.

I am blown away by all the people wanting features in this thin 'phonecamera' that are barely available in compact cameras that are 3x as thick though. Do you really think those cameras have the size they have just to make them easier to hold?

Optics/sensor size is limited by physical factors. That's why we don't have 200mm f/2 lenses that weigh 50 grams, are 4 cm long and cost 100 bucks. So judge devices like this from what is actually possible and not pure 'what if' fantasies. Please.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (5 months ago)

let's see a 1" sensor in this hybrid...then we'll talk. With the growing numbers of bigger sensors in the market, people are used to much higher quality photos than compact 1/2.3 sensor.

Please retire 1/2.33 from all cameras in all forms. That format been milking the public for way too long.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

with a 1-inch sensor this device will be big, heavy and expensive which means nobody will want to buy it.

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (5 months ago)

By far the fastest growth in photography in recent years has been camera phones, with their tiny sensors (which are fine for many people). So really, the average sensor is getting smaller, not bigger. And as sensor tech improves, small sensors will give better results, so the need for big sensors (again for most people) will be even less.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

"So really, the average sensor is getting smaller, not bigger. "

Not necessarily. Major phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have been releasing flagship phones with somewhat (or, with Samsung, significantly) larger sensors lately: iPhone 5-> 5s, Samsung S4 -> S5 etc.

0 upvotes
MirosIav
By MirosIav (5 months ago)

It may be thinner, but it's much longer and wider than the previous model, which was too large for me anyway. The phones have grown too much in recent years :). Nice of them to keep the line alive. Let's hope the next one will have more than 240mm at the tele end and be a little smaller regardless of thickness.

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (5 months ago)

Sorry to ask this.. does this make phone calls or is it just a camera?

1 upvote
John Driggers
By John Driggers (5 months ago)

See the little green phone icon on the photos of the device. You'll find your answer there.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (5 months ago)

Here is a suggestion how to achieve a large sensor performance in a small size factor: put 16 small sensors (4x4) in a square fashion, each with its own small lens, then in software align and add the images. You get same SNR response as from 16x larger sensor, i.e. a crop factor of 1.4 -- much better than m4/3 and slightly better than APS-C. It would also be possible to use 8 green, 4 red, and 4 blue sensors and get rid of demosaicing.

Now it's in public domain, nobody can patent this idea :-)

3 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (5 months ago)

even if you post it 16x it's will never be a good idea ;)

3 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (5 months ago)

Overall this smartphone is a lot better than my Canon S100 to carry in my pocket without worrying the lense got stuck with "lense error" message on lcd. Plus the zoom is double on this phone.

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (5 months ago)

Yep. the question is how long this thing last.

0 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (5 months ago)

How long it will last.. i'm sure it will last longer I mean a lot longer than my canon s100 with lense extended and stuck in that position with expired warranty of just one year.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (5 months ago)

Well at least Android 4.4 is supposed to allow for raw, wonder if it will happen with this Samsung?

0 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (5 months ago)

It doesn't make calls, and it doesn't make pictures, what is it?

1 upvote
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (5 months ago)

What? It's a phone, so obviously it makes calls. And it has a camera, so yes, it takes pictures.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
dzukela
By dzukela (5 months ago)

F 3.1-6.3 aperture 0_o
typical SameSong product.

6 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (5 months ago)

Trade-offs between portability and photographic capabilities, perhaps?

6 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (5 months ago)

It's a phone... its a kids phone not a dslr. It just happen that Samsung slap a camera on it..a camera that won't have a "lense error" message unto it like my canon s100.

2 upvotes
dzukela
By dzukela (5 months ago)

LOL SameSong devices are known for "lense error". Ask S5 owners :)

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (5 months ago)

I wonder why dont they use the fold-optics like what was found in the Sony T series before.. those compacts were roughly the same thickness of today's phones. Sure, the sensor would still be tiny.. but, you get zoom and optical IS.

3 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

This Samsung doesn't have optical IS? That'd be a big fail on a 10x zoom meant for the general consumer...

Folding optics would be interesting, just looked at the latest Sony T and it's 15mm thick... Even if it doesn't account for protrusions (of which there are few), that's still thinner than this phone whose main lens protrusion puts it at 20mm (even it's thinnest point it's still 16mm, vs the typical <10mm phone, which makes a big difference).

Samsung might not have any experience with that kinda optic tho, or it may take too much internal volume. The whole exercise is kinda pointless anyway, 10x zoom on a phone is a compromise in sensor size/performance as well as phone size/specs... I guess it's easier to market than a larger sensor and better low light pics tho, right?

2 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (5 months ago)

OIS is there already

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (5 months ago)

With 5.62x crop factor the lens is equivalent to f/17.4-35.2 -- probably enough to shoot from 3ft with a flash, but useless for anything else. There is a reason smart phones have fixed lenses with f/2 or so, because even f/2 (FF equivalent f/11) is only good in daylight or with flash.

2 upvotes
Ahmet Aydogan
By Ahmet Aydogan (5 months ago)

You just don't seem to get it. The light gathering ability and the effective depth of field are not related. from the light gathering ability the lens is f/3.2 to f/6.3. From an "effective" depth of field point of view, you are right, the near to far focus is very deep, no isolating "bokeh" from this lens sensor combination.

8 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (5 months ago)

No, Ahmet, it is you who doesn't get it. The real aperture tells the image brightness on the sensor (photons per square millimeter), while the effective aperture tells the amount of total collected light (photons per whole sensor).

Equivalent aperture is a figure that often has a very high correlation with low-light noise. At the end of the day, light is quantized (each photon counts), and the total amount of photons you receive set a hard limit to image quality.

Even further, equivalent aperture tells the diffraction limit of the system (over the whole image, not over a pixel). An f/36 equivalent aperture is incapable of providing an even remotely sharp image (repeat: forget the pixels, this is over the whole image).

Summary: yes, f/2.8 is f/2.8 is f/2.8, but that number doesn't tell the whole truth when comparing different size sensors.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (5 months ago)

Quick, somebody compare it to a dSLR 0_o

9 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

No OVF, no dedicated AE lock button, no 2.8/70-200 lens available - no buy.

15 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (5 months ago)

thanks, the suspense was killing me =D

2 upvotes
roxics
By roxics (5 months ago)

WTF Samsung! No 1080p screen and no 4K video? Why bother?

1 upvote
88SAL
By 88SAL (5 months ago)

No 4k vid? Who gives a sheet - if you are making a film use some real equipment. Yes the best camera you have is the camera you have with you, but, the best possible equipment is the device dedicated to that role.

2 upvotes
roxics
By roxics (5 months ago)

I do. 4K video produces better 1080p. The S5 has 4K onboard and it's pretty darn good for a camera phone. So it baffles the mind that Samsung would put 4K video on their regular S5 and leave it off their dedicated camera phone.

It's not about making a film. It's about recording your memories at the highest resolution available and "with you." Which could be 4K if you have an S5, but apparently not this camera phone.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (5 months ago)

" So it baffles the mind that Samsung would put 4K video on their regular S5 and leave it off their dedicated camera phone. "

Absolutely agreed. The lack of 4K is a major pain in the back.

0 upvotes
joel avery
By joel avery (5 months ago)

Is it splash proof like the new S5?

1 upvote
roxics
By roxics (5 months ago)

I seriously doubt it, but it should be. They need to make an S5 with this zoom. That I would buy. I would switch from my iphone to that.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (5 months ago)

The lens barrel zooms in and out. There's a reason why most if not all waterproof cameras have non-moving external components (internal zooms, internal focusing).

8 upvotes
arhmatic
By arhmatic (5 months ago)

They can do one with lens barrel extending sideways, all inside. There are some older very compact zoom cameras with no external moving parts.

They are a little bulkier, but this is bulky as well. Does not bother me at all, if I get some optical zoom.

And really, no need for 10x zoom, a 4x or 5x max would be great.

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (5 months ago)

I agree that those periscoping designs you see in weatherproof compacts could offer some interesting possibilities in camera phones.

1 upvote
matt_nnn
By matt_nnn (5 months ago)

Why does it get the 720p screen.
If you are into taking pictures you probably want a hifg res screen to view those...

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

Most 1080p screens are at least 5-inch, and this is only a 4.8-inch display, might also have been a measure to keep cost under control. In any case, I don't think the 720p screen is a huge disadvantage for viewing images. Browsing websites is where I most appreciate the 1080p version.

4 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (5 months ago)

Battery life is also a consideration. Higher resolution screens also require more computation power to render.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 32 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

What resolution is your camera's 3" screen? ;) In all seriousness, probably all about cost/power... Personally, in switching from a 720p phone to a 1080p I wasn't blown away by the difference... Secondary aspects about the newer display probably made more of a difference (HTC EVO LTE vs Nexus 5 btw), the newer one has more accurate colors etc.

1 upvote
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (5 months ago)

I think it's quite useful. It might replace my Canon S100 for casual snapshots, while keeping the more serious cameras.

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

It'd pale in comparison unless it's strictly for daylight use... I'd still rather carry a decent P&S like that in my other pocket tho. Better controls, better battery life, better lens, heck, my LF1 even goes to 200mm so I'm not giving up a ton of range. If I don't wanna carry even that, then I certainly wouldn't wanna go back to a 15-20mm brick of a phone like my first EVO. That's just me tho...

0 upvotes
xt1isdabomb
By xt1isdabomb (5 months ago)

I don't want zoom, I want a larger sensor. Give me the biggest sensor you can slam in the thing, and use the best periscoping lens money can buy at a fixed 30 something mm focal length. That's all.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

Don't think you are the target persona for this device :)

10 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

RX100 was released quite some time ago.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
liviutza
By liviutza (5 months ago)

'Periscoping means the sensor would have to be placed perpendicular to the phone body - unlikely given today's phones are 'unacceptable' at 10mm thick. One may also imagine a 45 degrees placement of the sensor in the body but that's overkill from a design POV

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

It's not like this phone is slim anyway, at 15mm on the edges and 20mm on the lens it's nearly like carrying two modern phones... Or a brick. Bad compromise all around.

0 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (5 months ago)

@ impulses So its slimmer than the latest 10x zoom powershot, and its got a phone in there, yet its a brick? I think its impressively slim for what they cram into it. Should fit in most pockets with ease.

3 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

It'd fit into most pockets, sure, question is whether you'd wanna carry it EVERY DAY. I've carried a phone that thick in the past (1st and 2nd HTC EVO), and I still carry something that thick on occasion when I either A) slip a slim battery pack inside the same pocket as my phone while it charges (each have nearly identical dimensions) OR B) carry my P&S (with an f2-5.6 28-200mm lens and 1/1.7" sensor mind you).

It's manageable, but not pleasant as a daily occurrence. Phones didn't get thinner based on sheer vanity and one-up-manship, their current form factor is just a lot more pleasant for most people. Never mind that you're trading the brighter lens you'd typically get with a slimmer phone (close to 30mm f2 on something like the S5 or most flagships) for a slower optical zoom and an inferior phone.

If zoom is that important for you then go for it, just be aware of the very substantial tradeoffs. It's kind of like the classic primes vs zooms debates, except you're stuck with it in this case...

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

Oh and no, I'm not terribly impressed with what they've crammed in, my LF1 is 8mm thicker (I'll grant you that's almost 50% more) and it has a larger sensor and a 7x zoom that's much brighter. Sony and others have made P&S with slower zooms and smaller sensors that are actually THINNER and smaller than this phone.

0 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (5 months ago)

It's amazing how thin they can make these!

7 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (5 months ago)

1/2.3-inch sensor ? Why.. put a 1" sensor in this thing, that way it might actually make sense

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

it would make the device way too bulky and expensive.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (5 months ago)

A 10x optical zoom with 1" sensor would not fit in a smartphone . The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 for smartphones only has a 3.6x zoom with 1" sensor and it's huge.
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/sony-cybershot-dsc-qx100

3 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (5 months ago)

Who needs 10x optical zoom?

0 upvotes
darngooddesign
By darngooddesign (5 months ago)

Smart people who hate digital zoom.

13 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (5 months ago)

Its already bulky..

If not 1" try something like 1/1.2'' or 1/1.5" ...

0 upvotes
agentlossing
By agentlossing (5 months ago)

Yuck!

0 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (5 months ago)

samsung, oh samsung, 20 MP crammed in a 28.5 mm² tiny sensor??

1 upvote
vlad0
By vlad0 (5 months ago)

yeah... I am guessing they had some of those and had to put them somewhere

0 upvotes
lotzi
By lotzi (5 months ago)

Well, a lot of us do use and enjoy the Panny ZS40 / Sony HX9/20/50s of the world. In fact, I do carry the HX9V + Samsung S3 combination with me all the time - this would replace it with a single pocketable device.

2 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (5 months ago)

Less pixels, more pixels, it doesn't matter. If you're aiming for a particular display/print size, IQ will be the same.

If JPEG file sizes are the issue, set the camera to downsample on the fly. Once again it's the same as having fewer pixels on the sensor in terms of the final result.

People need to stop worrying about this.

3 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (5 months ago)

@cainn24
Not quite the same in terms of dynamic range...
Wider dynamic range requires bigger pixels.

1 upvote
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (5 months ago)

Nope...small pixels and big pixels can create about the same DR.

2 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (4 months ago)

@ Lee jay
DR is the room between saturation level (clipped highlights) and acceptable noise level in low light. Small pixels catch less photons than big pixels, thus DR is narrower on the low-light side. If small pixels can create about the same DR as big pixels why is the Sony Alpha 7s, 102400 ISO FF camera, equipped with a 12 megapixel only sensor ?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

Uh huh.

Why do the enormous pixels of the 1Dx produce 11.3 stops of DR: http://sensorgen.info/CanonEOS-1D_X.html

While the itty bitty pixels of the G15 produce 11.5 stops?
http://sensorgen.info/CanonPowershot_G15.html

Simple - when the well capacity goes down as pixels get smaller, the noise floor goes down about the same amount.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (4 months ago)

Sensor technology improves quickly, 1Dx was released in 2011, G15 in 2012 and the amount of photons that hit a pixel also depends of how the light is gathered by what is put in front of the photosites (microlens array, Bayer filter, etc...). Everything being equals (same technology), a bigger pixel has a better S/N ratio than a small one. Doubling the photosite size, doubles the amount of photons it can collect, but the noise level increases less than a 2x factor, because noise is random by nature. So your statement "the noise floor goes down about the same amount" is wrong. Pixel binning is also a trick to increase S/N ratio ( at the expense of resolution, of course) and simulates bigger pixels...

Sources:
http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/camera-sensor-noise/

http://www.photometrics.com/resources/learningzone/binning.php

http://lifeinmegapixels.com/blog/2012/01/pixel-binning-does-it-work/

www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/csc563/notes/ch-05.pdf

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

According to people that design these sensors, the noise floor and the full-well capacity are proportionally linked. I provided evidence of this.

The G12 has 11.2 stops of DR, and it was announced in 2010. And it's pixels are 11.6 times smaller than those of the 1DX. Obviously, pixel size doesn't drive DR.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

If you read carefully the data I provided the links to, you will see that the read noise depends on many factors, including read frequency/speed, sensor layout, etc...and not just the pixel size.
So saying that small pixel can have a lower read noise than big pixel by just comparing the overall read noise of two sensors is just a wrong conclusion...
In other words, a "clean" big pixel with a not so clean electronics to read it may lead to a higher read noise level than a small pixel with a cleaner electronics... Don't forget that DSLRs often feature faster burst rate (thus faster pixel read speed) than P&S. In other words, when the same electronics is used (when possible) to read a small or big pixel, the sensor with the bigger pixel has a lower read noise level. There are laws of physics you know...

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

The bottom line is that rather than there simply being a push for smaller pixels, there is a push for smaller BETTER pixels. Some people would essentially have us believe that some manufacturers are actually pushing things backwards with respect to IQ but this is nonsense. Here is a small window into the process, and the thinking: http://www.imagesensors.org/Past%20Workshops/2013%20Workshop/2013%20Papers/01-4_080-Tian-paper.pdf

So once again I say this: people need to stop worrying about high pixel counts as if it's somehow all very tragic, because it's not.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

@cainn24,
Thank you for the link, as it is grist to my mill... ;-)
I was replying to Lee Jay, and the discution with him is not if it is tragic or not but if bigger pixel means better DR and SNR or not, EVERYTHING ELSE BEING EQUAL The key elements in the document you mention (paragraph 2. 0.9um pixel development) are the following sentence "Without new technology, the reduction of pixel size leads to pixel performance degradation " and figure #3. The writing's on the wall...

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

But even in that worst-case scenario where pixel size is decreased without new technology, we're still only talking about _pixel-level_ performance degradation, and not the degradation of IQ at the aggregate image level when display/print sizes are equalized.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

@cainn24
"we're still only talking about _pixel-level_ performance degradation, and not the degradation of IQ at the aggregate image level when display/print sizes are equalized"
If you mean comparing small prints or small displays, then what is the benefit of a high-pixel -count/small-pixel-size sensor ? High pixel count is useful for cropping/digital zooming, that is to say enlarging at about pixel-level. And then you will see the IQ difference at high ISO...Also, if your sensor lacks dynamic range because of too small pixels and you get burnt highlights or dark shadows you can see it at any enlargement ratio...For sure, there are software tricks to correct noise and narrow DR by stacking pictures. But it is not a panacea as it does not work with moving subjects.

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

1) I'm not saying that there is necessarily always a benefit to cramming more megapixels into a small sensor. I am saying that given equivalent technology and display/print sizes, doing so is basically NEVER to the detriment of IQ, at ANY ISO.

2) Smaller pixels (again, given equivalent technology and print/display sizes) DO NOT EQUAL less dynamic range. It's important to understand the difference between what goes on at the per-pixel level and what goes on at the aggregate image level when print/display sizes are normalized.

Here's a good reference for you: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=706255

You don't need to just take some random forum posters word for it of course. There is a wealth of reference material there that you can peruse for yourself.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

@cainn24,
Sorry, but you brought grist to my mill again. I followed your link and felt on this document :
http://www.imagesensors.org/Past%20Workshops/2007%20Workshop/2007%20Papers/079%20Agranov%20et%20al.pdf
The author, G. Agranov, concludes a 1.75um pixel sensor shows same performance in low light than a 5.6um pixel sensor, given the same technology. But, when I look at the three pictures taken at 3 lux, at the bottom of the document, my eyes can clearly see at normal display size that the picture taken with the 1.75um pixel sensor is noisier than the one taken with the 2.2um pixel sensor. It is even more noticable when zooming in a little bit. And comparing with the 5.6 um pixel sensor is difficult, IMHO, because of the too much different resolution. They should have taken the picture closer to the subject with the 5.6um pixel sensor so that a given area of the subject is covered by the same number of pixels...

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

You missed the point of that comparison. It wasn't between the the 2MP sensor and the 3MP sensor, it was between both of the small pixel sensors and the large pixel sensor.

If you want to ignore the bulk of the paper and draw your conclusions based on some tiny crops instead, fine. But don't then pretend that you're actually making a genuine effort to get to the bottom of this for yourself. You should be looking at the trend; the evidence as a whole, and not isolated inconsistencies.

You wrote: "They should have taken the picture closer to the subject with the 5.6um pixel sensor so that a given area of the subject is covered by the same number of pixels..."

No. You keep trying to make your case based on per-pixel performance. But do you really not understand how normalizing the display/print resolution is important for evaluating the IQ equation as it relates to real-world usage scenarios?

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

@cainn24
Comparing the 5.6um pixel sensor using a picture that obviously looks enlarged at more than 100% is a joke... And you want to ignore that the 1.75um is worse than the 2.2um apparently...
You wrote : "No. You keep trying to make your case based on per-pixel performance. But do you really not understand how normalizing the display/print resolution is important for evaluating the IQ equation as it relates to real-world usage scenarios?"

I definitely not agree with you comparison scenario, because, as I already said it, it cancels the benefit of using a sensor with more - and thus smaller - pixels. Having more pixels on a sensor allows for more details and thus more enlargement. Push to the limit the enlargement you can make with, let's say a 12MP and a 24MP APS-C sensors, and then you are on a per-pixel performance comparison. I do not care comparing these two sensors with two prints of the same size.

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

"Comparing the 5.6um pixel sensor using a picture that obviously looks enlarged at more than 100% is a joke... And you want to ignore that the 1.75um is worse than the 2.2um apparently..."

1) you obviously didn't understand the paper
2) you are, for whatever reason, neglecting to examine the wealth of additional evidence that I just put at your feet

With respect to #2 in particular, why?

This is an opportunity for you to grow your technical knowledge of photography. Really. It's not really your fault that you became attached to a pervasive myth because, well, its pervasive. But what you do with the remedial information and perspective is indeed YOUR choice.

"I do not care comparing these two sensors with two prints of the same size."

In other words, you don't care to remain within the context of the comment of mine that you initially responded to (which specified normalized print/display sizes) or the overarching point of this discussion. So why bother?

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

Your definition of real-word usage is not a universal standard that can be applied to everyone. You have your own usage of cameras, prints and displays. I have mine. Let me give you an example in my real world. Suppose I own a 10MP APS-C (big pixel) body and 300mm lens. I feel the need to push magnification 1.4x further to shoot wildlife. I have the choice to buy a 420mm lens or get a 20MP APS-C (small pixel) body to use with the 300mm lens. To compare what I can get at highest magnification with the 10MP body and 420mm lens on one side to the 20MP body and 300 lens on the other side, I have no choice than comparing two enlargements at 100% to get my subject the same size on both prints. So, it is definitely a per-pixel comparison needed for my real-life usage. And if I discover, in this test, that the 20MP sensor is noisier than the 10MP one, I may consider going with the 10MP body and 420mm lens rather than travelling with a lighter gear. Is it difficult to understand ?

0 upvotes
cainn24
By cainn24 (3 months ago)

I understand exactly what you are saying. But it has nothing to do with whether or not higher megapixel counts are to the detriment of IQ when all other things are equal. That's all I set out to discuss, and that's where this exchange began.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

Not bad.

I always wondered if instead of a normal zoom if they could just add in a (theoretically) simple 2 or 3x TC switched element. Then you have wide + telephoto with nothing in between, but no bulky, fragile, telescoping zoom, either.

I also wonder why not use a periscope zoom like on the Sony TX series. Those are fully internal which means nothing to jam or accidentally power on in your pocket and damage.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 119
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