Diary Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Professional Video Capabilities


Once upon a time, we could not even imagine a world in which a camera in a phone would be able to completely displace all digital cameras from our lives (in fairness: professional cameras still remain, but this is a different weight category, beyond the consumer market). But even when the cameras of phones began to show excellent results, it was clear that they certainly would not replace video cameras. And where are the cameras now? And can they, for example, shoot video in 8K resolution like Samsung’s flagship 2020 smartphones? But the developers of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, apparently, was not enough, so they added to the professional video shooting mode not only shooting in 8K, but also controlling the microphones during video recording.

As a rule, in “adult” smartphones two microphones are used: one is located at the bottom of the body and is designed to transmit voice during a call, the second is installed in the upper part of the body of the device and its purpose is to cut off any external noise, making the conversation more comfortable, and the user’s voice – more legible for the interlocutor. Something like this is how active noise cancellation systems work, changing the sound so that the sound is more comfortable to hear. But the work of modern sound processing algorithms is much more cunning – they are able to amplify some sounds and, conversely, block others, creating all these surround sound effects even for two headphone speakers. This is how microphones can work. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in professional video recording mode. When you can choose one of 5 options for the microphone. Two of them are designed for connecting external microphones – via USB or even Bluetooth (convenient for an external lavalier microphone, which is well known to any operator). The remaining three determine the work of the algorithms and capture the sound coming only in front of the shooter, behind (or rather from the side), or working simultaneously and capturing the sound around.

Now let’s see how it looks in practice – for this you need sound, it’s better to listen with headphones, then you will definitely catch the difference.

Microphone control during video recording

This video uses all the microphones on the smartphone. Everything sounds good, but if you need to highlight the sound of a musical instrument in the frame, then it is worth switching the microphones to the mode in which only the “front” microphone will be used. Although, of course, the smartphone does not have either a rear or a front microphone, it just uses clever algorithms that filter the sound in a certain way.

In this video, the sound of the instrument is corny louder and clearer, because sounds coming from other directions are filtered. From the user’s point of view, the “front” microphone is used.

Here the sound looks even weaker – a sound with an echo, as if from a barrel. Precisely because the algorithms work in the “rear” microphone mode.

Summary: the technology really works, and if you need to highlight the sound in the frame when shooting, then you should choose the front microphone mode, if it is important to transmit sound from all sides (for example, to convey the atmosphere of the stadium during a concert), then you should select the mode of operation of all microphones. In what situations you need a video, where the emphasis will be on the sound coming from behind the operator (or at least from the side), I find it difficult to simulate, but perhaps such situations will actually arise. In creativity, you never know when this or that tool may come in handy for work.

Hyperlapse or fast forward

They say that hyperlapse was invented by the king of pop art and one of the brightest figures of modern art in the twentieth century, Andy Warhol. He experimented with the camera and shot a long-term film in which … nothing happened: the frame was an ordinary cityscape. Years later, the video was accelerated and on it they “saw” the movement of clouds, which in ordinary life you would not notice so much. I’m not Warhol, of course, but here’s my version of Hyperlapse captured by the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It is worth saying that the shooting is going at a speed of about 15 times lower than usual. That is, 15 seconds of real time is used for video that is one second long. Before shooting, you should take care to secure the smartphone still.

Slome shooting or time dilation

Slow-motion shooting appeared in Samsung smartphones, strictly speaking, a couple of years ago, I remember, it was the Galaxy Note 9. It first introduced the shooting mode at 960 frames per second. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, like a couple of previous models in the series, has two slow motion modes: at 240 frames per second, you can shoot video in FullHD resolution, and at 960 frames per second in HD resolution. Taking into account the processor’s ability to shoot in 8K, it would be good to get high performance in terms of speed or frame rate, but apparently, this technological level was reserved for the next models, so that there would be something to surprise users in a year. Let me remind you that when shooting in this mode, you can activate the area in the center of the frame so that shooting starts when a moving object hits it. The final video takes 34 seconds and the output is a file in HD resolution of about 48 megabytes. It is worth saying that the smartphone needs a few seconds after the end of the shooting to save the file. The result looks like this:

Three important things to know about filming your Galaxy Note 20 Ultra camera:

  • you can configure the sound recording mode during video recording to emphasize the sound coming in front of the operator, behind him, or on both sides
  • The accelerated video mode allows you to shoot spectacular videos, it is only important to fix the smartphone and wait at least a few minutes
  • Super slow motion video allows you to create spectacular videos at speeds up to 960 frames per second in a resolution of 1280×720

For those who want to know more

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