Diary Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: ultrazoom x30 and what it gives in practice

The second, after shooting in the dark, a significant breakthrough in smartphone cameras lately has been the increase in zoom capabilities when shooting. As you remember, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is equipped with a 3x optical zoom, which sets it apart from its neighbors in the Galay S20 family. The only exception is the older model Galaxy S20 Ultra, which has a fourfold optical zoom, according to the “periscope” scheme. With a hybrid zoom that uses interpolation, additional pixels on the sensor and image processing algorithms, Samsung claims 30x zoom capabilities in Galaxy S20 FE. Let’s see how it looks in practice and in what cases it can be useful for a smartphone user.

How to control the zoom: interface

The camera interface has three buttons with tree icons that switch one of the three lenses. By default, the middle button of the main wide-angle camera is used with a multiple of 1.0x. The ultra-wide-angle camera has a multiple of 0.5x, that is, it does not zoom in, but removes the image. This, for example, can be used to photograph a large group of people or in cases when you need to shoot, for example, a building, and it is physically impossible to move even a few steps further from it. The third icon provides 3x zoom compared to the main camera, which gives a telephoto lens with a focal length of 76 millimeters). If desired, you can use the icons for hybrid zoom from the column on the right: 4x, 10x, 20x and 30x. In principle, you can choose the zoom value in any way – for this you need to click on one of the three icons for switching between lenses and hold your finger. A ruler appears, along which you can move your finger, thus changing the value of the zoom ratio. After 20x and beyond, a separate rectangle-shaped element appears in the interface, displaying the entire scene and the exact place in it, which will be highlighted by the current zoom.

Examples of shooting with 30x zoom

In practice, pictures taken with a zoom look like this. The first shot was taken with an ultra-wide-angle lens with a focal length of 13 mm (multiples of 0.5x). The second one is the main lens (1x), the third one is with 3x optical zoom (3x). The fourth – with a hybrid 10x zoom, the fifth – 20x and the sixth – 30x. As you can see, even with such a long focus it is quite realistic to keep the subject in the frame even without a tripod, shooting handheld. But I would recommend taking 2-3 shots, for reliability – it is always better to have a choice of 2-3 shots than relying on luck.

Another series of shots with the same introductory, taken from the same shooting point. I would say that the optical zoom can be used without a twinge of conscience anytime, anywhere. The 10x zoom still allows you to achieve results that, with a stretch, can be called acceptable, but the 20x zoom already gives a blurry picture, which will not allow you to be proud of the picture taken, but will only allow you to show a fragment of the building in close-up without serious detail. The difference between 20x and 30x zoom is not very significant – it will not provide any additional advantages for the viewer, although it will impress with the capabilities of the inexperienced user.

The interface itself looks like this when shooting with a zoom of 20x and higher. The symbolic “sight” really helps to navigate the frame, because at such a zoom it is sometimes difficult to understand where to move the camera in order to capture the desired target. And here there is a preview that makes the process easier and more understandable for the photographer.

Where can such a zoom come in handy in life?

In practice, sometimes there are cases (rarely, but surely everyone has come across) when you need to read the text on a plate located far from you, to which it is impossible (or undesirable) to get closer. For example, a fence and a closed wicket block the path. Let me show you how it looks like in a bus stop.

1x: it is impossible to read the bus schedule from a distance of a couple of tens of meters

3x: the text is still unreadable, only the route number (717) and the direction of travel (Akademgorodok) can be made out

10x: at 10x zoom, the schedule is already perfectly readable, and the picture is not very blurry (remember that we are looking at the image of a snapshot reduced for a web page, but on a smartphone screen it will look approximately the same to the user)

20x: Text is even better visible, but image artifacts are already visible to the naked eye

30x: no additional details are visible, but the picture quality has dropped noticeably: traces of compression and interpolation are visible, numerous artifacts

Now you know better about the zoom capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S20 F smartphone: what it can do and how this result affects the quality of shooting, as well as in what situations shooting with a 30x zoom can be useful.

Three things to know about the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE’s zoom capabilities

  • it has 3x optical zoom, allowing you to get closer to your subject without losing quality
  • even 10x zoom allows you to take pictures with an acceptable result for the user
  • pictures with a 30x zoom can actually be taken without a tripod, handheld

For those who want to know more

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