Samsung's new Galaxy S20 phones hit up to 100x zoom on massive camera


  • Samsung
  • Sunday, 16 Feb 2020

Rainy weather doesn't look any better with Samsung's new Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it can be photographed at up to 100x magnification. — dpa

Samsung is aiming to shrug off strong competition from China and Apple with a new Galaxy S20 series featuring cameras that can zoom with up to 100x magnification.

Alongside hot new features like zero-bezel designs, smooth 120 Hertz displays and 5G Internet, Samsung has put the emphasis on sophisticated camera tech in its highly anticipated new Galaxy phones.

Unveiled in San Francisco on Feb 11, the three top-end smartphone models S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra feature varying camera setups, with the S20 and S20+ models reaching a 30x zoom.

The S20 Ultra, meanwhile, uses its 108 MP camera sensor and a 10x telephoto camera to deliver photos with up to 100x digital zoom.

With this, Samsung is doubling up on Huawei's 50x zoom on the P30 Pro, which was already able to spy people from streets away, even if in blurry quality.

While this level of digital zoom would normally be a blur of pixels, the high resolution of Samsung's 108 MP shooter helps to improve the quality.

The main sensor may be capable of 108 megapixels, but this is more of a theoretical number, as finished images have a resolution of 12 megapixels.

And yet all those extra pixels don't go to waste. Samsung says the S20 Ultra combines information from nine pixels into one to make images sharper, while keeping the image size low.

In addition there are a number of new special photo functions. For example, there's a surprisingly effective new image stabilisation called Super Steady when filming video clips in 4K and 8K resolution.

You can now also take a still image while filming in 8K resolution.

There's also an interesting new camera function called Single Take, with which the phone will trigger all camera lenses and let you pick the best photo.

Here the S20 uses software to automatically determine the kind of scene, image detail and appropriate filters before suggesting several versions of the photo from which you can choose.

Samsung says it's also improved night mode and time-lapse photos.

The devices will go on sale from March 13 for prices between €899 and €1,549 in Europe, depending on storage size, camera setup and 5G. – dpa

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