02-06-2023 08:39 AM - last edited 02-06-2023 08:42 AM
This article follows on from a 3 year old talk about the S20+ . That's when Samsung came out with new lenses that also had a hybrid zoom, and a lot of people didn't understand how it worked. So I will start from the original article and just adapt the information to the new model.
The S23 Ultra no longer only uses hybrid zoom, but still uses automatic lens switching. This becomes apparent when we take zoom photos in conditions that are too complex for the given camera, and the mobile therefore automatically switches to the main module and uses the hybrid zoom instead of the optical zoom. In most cases, this is beneficial, but if for some reason we need to use a specific photo module, for example for depth of field, this behavior can be disabled in the Camera Assistant application .
I took 4 photos for you, each with a different zoom. So my S23 Ultra should use a different camera module each time.
As you can see, the image is gradually cropped as we choose more and more zoom. Let's see what it looks like if we put the 4 photos on top of each other:
Here it is even better to see how big the difference between the individual modules is. So don't be afraid to use all modules. Switch between them easily by tapping on a number.
But watch out! This is true if there is enough light! In poorer lighting conditions, the lower brightness of the wide-angle (f/2.2) and telephoto (f/2.4, f/4.9) lenses will begin to show. It doesn't seem like it, after all, the basic lens has f/1.7, but even those few tenths mean almost half the amount of light with a wide-angle lens and really half the light with a 3x zoom. With zoom 10x it is even worse, I recommend using it only in good light conditions, or when you use your mobile phone as binoculars (e.g. this is how I read timetables at public transport stops several tens of meters away, of course with the help of digital zoom.)
If you need a wide shot, the wide-angle module is of course irreplaceable, but if you want a zoom, consider whether it is better to use a crop instead or simply have less detail. If you do not change the settings in the Camera Assistant module, the automation will take care of it.
Now let's look at another setting, the aspect ratio. We have a choice of 4:3, 16:9, 1:1 and Full. On the far left are still 4:3 200 and 50 Mpx, but that's a change in resolution, not aspect ratio.
What is what and when to use which aspect ratio? Again, let's show you the pictures first:
Okay, so what's going on? The table with the resolution of individual images will tell us:
As we can see, the 4:3 aspect ratio has the highest resolution. 1:1 is roughly the same in height, but smaller in width, then 16:9 and Full have the same width, but the height is reduced. I won't stress you out and let's show it in one picture:
The entire photo is 4:3, the others are highlighted with colored rectangles. Here I would like to point out that, as in the first case with the zoom, I did not just paint lines in one photo, but really stacked individual photos on top of each other.
The 4:3 aspect ratio uses the entire area of the chip, other ratios crop the photo. So the idea is to always take photos in a 4:3 ratio and possibly crop the photos at home. That's what I recommend and I do, but there are exceptions.
We use a 1:1 aspect ratio if we know we want to share the photo on Instagram .
The 16:9 aspect ratio makes sense if we present photos on TV (they usually have this aspect ratio).
Full uses exactly the entire screen of the mobile phone , if we show photos on it, it makes sense.
But it is important to realize that whenever we shoot in an aspect ratio other than 4:3, it means that we are irretrievably throwing away some information.
We have a choice of 12, 50 and 200 Mpx, always in a 4:3 aspect ratio. Here is an example, the images are clickable.
A rather fundamental difference is in the processing of information from the chip. 12 Mpx has 4×4 pixel merging, 50 Mpx 2×2, while 200 Mpx has no pixel merging. It should be noted that merging pixels reduces resolution and detail, but at the same time increases the dynamics of the image, smoother color transitions and more efficient image processing at low light levels or at a large brightness range (more in the article Mobile photography #2: Exposure ) .
Another impact when using a higher resolution is slower processing and an increase in file size, especially at 200 Mpx.
Personally, I recommend sticking to a lower resolution and only in good lighting conditions, and when we really need it, increase it to 50, exceptionally to 200 Mpx.
02-06-2023 09:19 AM in
02-06-2023 10:27 AM in
Indeed, nicely explained. Thanks for sharing. 👍
Recently, used the zoom and crop technique on one of the photos (clicked with S22+).. works wonders!
02-06-2023 10:38 AM in
02-06-2023 11:15 AM in
02-06-2023 11:44 AM in
I own Nikon Z7 II but I use it mainly in a studio. I spent one week in Korea with Samsung two weeks ago and I made all photos by Samsung S23 Ultra because I didn't want to take care about big and heavy device. And with only a very few exceptions I'm very satisfied with the output. You can read about my Korea visit here, unfortunatelly only in czech language (use translator): https://blog.fotolibb.com/category/cestovani/korea/