Samsung Announces Galaxy S4 Zoom - 16 MP, Zoom, Makes Callsby Brian Klug on June 12, 2013 4:35 AM EST
Samsung's Galaxy camera came out almost a year ago, and it roughly mimicked the specs of an international SGS3 but included a unique camera system and body. Although the device couldn't make phone calls, it included cellular connectivity and was arguably the best in the first of a limited number of connected cameras competing with it. After many whispers, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S4 Zoom, an updated version of its connected camera line with a display and front face emulating the SGS4 but topped with another 16 MP camera system.
|Camera Emphasized Smartphone Comparison|
|Samsung Galaxy Camera (EK-GC100)||Nikon Coolpix S800c||Nokia PureView 808||Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom|
|CMOS Resolution||16.3 MP||16.0 MP||41 MP||16.3 MP|
|CMOS Format||1/2.3", 1.34µm pixels||1/2.3", 1.34µm pixels||1/1.2", 1.4µm pixels||1/2.3", 1.34µm pixels|
|CMOS Size||6.17mm x 4.55mm||6.17mm x 4.55mm||10.67mm x 8.00mm||6.17mm x 4.55mm|
4.1 - 86mm
(22 - 447 35mm equiv)
21x zoom + OIS
4.5 - 45.0mm (25-250 35mm equiv)
(28mm 35mm equiv)
4.3 - 43mm
(24-240 mm 35mm equiv)
10x zoom + OIS
|Display||1280 x 720 (4.8")||854 x 480 (3.5")||640 x 360 (4.0")||960 x 540 (4.3")|
|SoC||Exynos 4412 (Cortex-A9MP4 at 1.4 GHz with Mali-400 MP4)||ARM Cortex A5(?)||1.3 GHz ARM11||1.5 GHz Exynos 4212|
|Storage||8 GB + microSDXC||1.7 GB + microSDHC||16 GB + microSDHC||8 GB + microSDHC|
|Video Recording||1080p30, 480p120||1080p30||1080p30||1080p30|
|OS||Android 4.1||Android 2.3.6||Symbian Belle||Android 4.2|
|Connectivity||WCDMA 21.1 850/900/1900/2100, 4G, 802.11a/b/g/n with 40 MHz channels, BT 4.0, GNSS||No cellular, WiFi 802.11b/g/n(?), GPS||WCDMA 14.4 850/900/1700/1900/2100, 802.11b/g/n, BT 3.0, GPS||WCDMA 21.1 850/900/1900/2100, 4G LTE SKUs, 802.11a/b/g/n with 40 MHz channels, BT 4.0, GNSS|
It appears Samsung's biggest emphasis with the follow up to Galaxy Camera was thickness, as the S4 Zoom is 15.4mm thick, compared to 19 mm for Galaxy Camera. Display gets a bump down from 720p LCD to qHD LCD, and oddly enough SoC goes from the quad A9 Exynos 4412 to dual A9 Exynos 4212, though Samsung includes the usual "AP differed by market" caveat, so there's a possibility the LTE variant includes some similarly classed Snapdragon SoC. As usual it isn't really easy to find out until all the different model numbers and band combinations are in the open.
Last time around Samsung made things easy by supplying the sensor size, it's easy enough however to verify that the S4 Zoom is using the same 1/2.3" 16 MP sensor by going off of crop factor (5.64 crop factor for a 1/2.3" format sensor * 4.3 mm focal length, gives us their own published 24 mm focal length in 35mm-effective numbers). Likewise the availability of some photos published by a few websites with access to the hardware makes it easy to verify the same captured photo size of 4608 x 3456. I'm not surprised that Samsung kept sensor the same size given the desire to get the package thinner, but I find myself wishing that this did include a larger one for better indoor and low light sensitivity. There's thankfully still OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) onboard. The change in thickness also accordingly comes with a slightly higher F/# at the widest and most telephoto points, from F/2.8 to F/3.1 wide open, and F/5.9 to F/6.3 at telephoto. There's no way around the fact that on paper the S4 Zoom is a bit of a step down compared to Galaxy Camera, but it is thinner.
Of course, the real benefit is that it's a connected camera running Android 4.2 and including GNSS, 802.11n dual band WiFi, BT 4.0, NFC, and a 1.9 MP front facing camera. The biggest change of course is that unlike the Galaxy Camera, Galaxy S4 Zoom is capable of making voice calls directly. I could see myself sticking a SIM in Galaxy S4 Zoom and using it as a hybrid smartphone plus point and shoot device for sure, I just wish it was a step up over Galaxy Camera on the camera side of things. For that we'll have to wait and see if a Galaxy Camera 2 appears.
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vezance - Sunday, July 14, 2013 - linkYep. That sentence refers to the previous generation Samsung Galaxy Camera. The person above you is talking about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom which has all the functionalities of an Andriod smartphone.
vezance - Sunday, July 14, 2013 - link(No editing, Anandtech? I meant to say Android not Andriod.)
Guarulhos - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - linkYou posted wrong information !
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom And Samsung Galaxy Camera No Use CMOS Format 1/2.3", 1.34µm !
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom And Samsung Galaxy Camera Use CMOS Format 1/2.3", 1.8µm !
And Why End, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom No Use Exynos 4212... Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Use Exynos 4210 !!!
Impulses - Friday, June 14, 2013 - linkI agree with others... It's an average to mediocre phone and and an average to mediocre point and shoot... But I imagine it'll still have a fairly healthy mass market appeal if it's priced right (<$350, particularly if it's on contact), it's just not anything special for typical enthusiast. Bumped down phone specs (SoC/display) and a brick-ish form factor (compared to modern phones) with a protruding ring on the back would give me pause even if it were better spec'd.
A slightly shorter but brighter zoom might've made it a viable alternative to the kind of advanced compacts that enthusiasts tend to carry for better low light photos, and it's probably more viable than a larger sensor... Something along the lines of the 5-7x lenses on the Canon S100/S110 & Panasonic DMC-LF1, which start at f/2.0 (most low light photos are taken at the wide end anyway). I understand a 10x zoom is probably an easier upsell to the average Joe tho, sadly.
All that aside, my biggest worry would be sharing battery life between the camera and the phone... If it doesn't have a larger battery than a Moto MAXX it's gonna be a big fail regardless of the intended user... They conveniently left price and battery capacity out of the announcement. It's definitely gonna be somewhat less rugged than the average phone too, fumble it and now you risk a broken screen plus a broken lens or lens retract mechanism. Hopefully they had the foresight to build in a wrist strap mount!
Krysto - Friday, June 21, 2013 - linkWhat's with Samsung and using such small sensors, for phones that look like point and shoots? I'd rather they would've made it this thick with a 4/3" sensor, and use pixel-binning, than to add a "10x zoom" to a 1/2.3" sensor.