Samsung is preparing to present a new line of smartphones Galaxy S21 this week, or rather it will happen on January 14, in this regard, did not want to make the usual review of the current flagship S20 Ultra. Therefore, this text will be almost entirely devoted to the camera of the device.
A little about the characteristics
The Galaxy S20 range of smartphones was presented on February 11, 2020. The line includes four flagship devices, among which the S20 Ultra is the most top-end with support for fifth generation networks (5G). Specifications:
- Processor: eight-core 2.73 GHz
Screen: 6.9 “Dynamic AMOLED 2X 3200 x 1440 (Quad HD +) with 120Hz support
Memory: 12/128 GB + support for microSD memory cards
The Galaxy S20 Ultra features a massive four-lens system that’s hard to miss. The sensor resolution is as follows: 108.0 MP + 12.0 MP + 48.0 MP + VGA. As for the aperture ratio, the lenses received the following f-number: F1.8, F2.2, F3.5 and F1.0. The main camera has support for an optical stabilization system. The telephoto lens provides 10x hybrid optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, which I’ll explain below. It is worth noting the availability of the ability to shoot video in UHD 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) at up to 24 frames per second, as well as slow motion in HD with 960 frames per second and in FHD with 240 fps.
The front camera received the following characteristics: resolution – 40 MP, aperture – F2.2 with autofocus support.
The first thing I always pay attention to is the possibility of simple shooting in standard mode. If it allows you to take a decent shot without digging into the settings by pressing the shutter button, then the manufacturer has paid enough attention to the shooting process and technologies, and the S20 Ultra has complete order with this, since it is ready to please with juicy shots right out of the box.
Photos in order: shirik, standard, and then zoom. Images in order and without correction. The site compresses the quality, so links to pictures from the photo post without compression will be at the end of the text.
Nevertheless, I recommend adding some useful improvements to this mode. First, it’s a good idea to turn on Auto HDR, which will expand the dynamic range, allowing you to capture more detail in highlights and shadows. Go to the settings by clicking the gear icon in the upper left corner of the viewfinder, here in the “Useful functions” section, activate the “Auto HDR” option.
Secondly, if you are an unassuming user and do not like to bother, then be sure to try the “Frame Optimization” option, which is also located in the settings. I also recommend turning on the grid display – it makes framing and composition easier. Another interesting feature worth mentioning is the ability to save photos in the highly efficient HEIF format. Images in it take up less space compared to the usual JPEG, but it should be borne in mind that some applications and services do not know how to work with it.
At the bottom of the viewfinder, above the mode switch, there are three lens change buttons: super-wide, standard and zoom. Note that changing lenses takes place literally on the fly, the magnification works smoothly.
As for the quality, up to 10x the zoom does not particularly affect the picture, there are no large artifacts and noise. This is thanks to the hybrid optical zoom system. If you start to enlarge the picture even more, then digital zooming is connected, which immediately makes itself felt by the loss of detail. Thus, I came to the conclusion that the 10x zoom remains quite working, and everything higher is a reason for entertainment, since I have not found the use of this opportunity in the usual scenarios.
The night mode in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra camera is called “Night” and this is another advantage of the device, which allows you to take pictures in almost complete absence of light. Despite the fact that the standard mode works out quite well at dusk, I recommend using the night mode whenever possible in any scenarios with insufficient lighting, both indoors and outdoors.
Photos in order: shirik, standard and zoom.
“Night” automatically inserts the exposure time depending on the lighting level. In other words, the darker, the longer the smartphone takes the frame, and during this process you need to try to keep the device as still as possible. The resulting shots are natural and detailed with fairly accurate white balance.
Super wide angle
The ultra-wide angle lens became the standard for mobile photography in 2019 and is now used in almost all flagship devices. To be honest, I really don’t like using this sensor, as the resulting photos come out with a distorted perspective. There are times when “shirik” helps out, for example, when you need to capture as much space as possible in the frame. Switching to wide-angle can be as quick and smooth as with zoom. The “width” button is located above the shooting mode switch.
The standard camera of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a PRO mode, which allows you to take full control over the main shooting parameters. You can manually select ISO values, adjust shutter speed, focus, and adjust white balance. Photos taken in PRO mode are saved in RAW format, which gives you more opportunities for further post-processing. It is worth noting that in the camera settings you can activate the ability to simultaneously save in RAW + JPEG formats.
Shooting in Live Focus mode allows you to select the focus point on the finished shot. In other words, you can choose focus on the foreground or background, and also edit the bokeh effect.
Such pictures are edited in the standard gallery by clicking on the “Change background effect” button. Here you can select a regular blur and adjust its level, as well as set the shape for the lights. Live Focus provides ample space for creative portraits and product photography.
Other features and videos
Other modes include Food and Panorama. The first function sets the optimal settings for shooting various dishes, blurring the background around, focusing directly on the food. The second mode allows you to create wide panoramic shots. It is useful for taking pictures of landscapes and architectural ensembles.
In terms of video, Samsung’s standard camera app lets you shoot in fully automatic mode. The settings allow you to select the desired resolution: 8K (7680 x 2160, 24 FPS), UHD (3840 x 2160, 60 FPS), UHD (3840 x 2160, 30 FPS), FHD (1920 x 1080, 60 FPS), FHD ( 1920 x 1080, 30 FPS) and HD (1280 x 720, 30 FPS). For video shooting, a professional mode is provided with the ability to manually adjust parameters, including the option to select a microphone, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and focus.
There are also three interesting modes that deserve attention: Video with Live Focus, Super Slow Motion and Hyperlapse. In the first case, you can create videos with a blurred background, which can be useful for recording vlogs. Super slow motion produces interesting creative experiments, for example, rain, fountain, blizzard or bird flight on video at 960 FPS look impressive. Hyperlapse allows you to shoot fast-paced videos, this mode can be used to convey an epic change of events, for example, sunset or sunrise. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has Night Mode Hyperlapse Capture and Speed Adjustment options.
Instead of output
The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera delivers impressive results for both video and stills. Auto HDR dramatically expands the dynamic range of your photos for more detail. The resulting images, without processing, reproduce natural tones and rich shades. The hybrid zoom opens up new dimensions of shooting, allowing you to get access to previously inaccessible angles. “Night Mode” is definitely one of the strongest points of the S20 Ultra and is capable of impressive results. In terms of taking photos, the smartphone leaves a generally pleasant impression, and sometimes surprises.
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