Yesterday, 25, Samsung launched its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 + smartphones , with a great focus on their cameras. They can be very similar to last year’s models, but the manufacturer has added very significant improvements, including with regard to photography and videos.
On the “reimagined” camera of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two main features that stand out from previous models. Below, you check what these features are and how they work.
One of the two interesting features is the variable aperture. For those unfamiliar with the subject, it is through the opening of a lens that light passes to the film – or sensor, in the case of digital. It is as if it were the pupil of the human eye, which is regulated according to the amount of light in the environment so that we can see.
When we speak of cameras, this aperture is registered with a number ahead of the letter “f”. The smaller the number, the larger the aperture.
Sometimes we have the idea that a bigger aperture, which lets more light pass, means better quality in the photos. This is not always the case, and it depends a lot on what you intend. A wide aperture causes different objects in the scene, at different distances, to “send” light to a wider area of the lens. Therefore, it provides the depth-of-field effect because only one part of the field of view can be in focus at a time.
Have you noticed that when we do not see something well, we try to close our eyes? This is because when there is less room for light, the focus tends to improve. When the aperture is narrower, the light of each object has less space to “spread” and it tends to converge at the same point. So you’ll see more things in focus and have a shallow depth of field or shallow depth. This is also why a smaller aperture results in sharper images in each object in the scene.
Well, leaving the technical chat a little aside, comes the good news. In Galaxy S9 and S9 +, the main rear camera has two apertures, f2.4 and f1.5. It is designed to use the smallest aperture in most situations, except when the light is below 100 lux. In this case, it changes to the aperture of f1.5.
That’s because when you’re outdoors with a strong light, you will not need f1.5. If so, you would have softer images, unwanted vignetting effects and chromatic problems, resulting in a negative impact on the end result. With only f2.4 and less exposure, all of this is resolved, and your photo will be sharper.
In low light, however, it will be necessary to open the sensor further. The f1.5 Aperture, the widest we’ve seen on a smartphone camera so far, will be enough to get great night shots. The S9 camera also combines 12 shots in the dark, so any noise or sharpness problem should be solved with this “trick.”
Slow motion at 960 fps
Already the second interesting feature is the slow-motion mode at 960fps. Of course, it is not the first time we have seen this, since the feature is present in the Xperia XZs , for example. But it’s still something cool.
This is done with the inclusion of DRAM in the sensor, a feature in Sony’s lens that was even in the Galaxy S9. It allows you to capture incredibly slow videos, providing a pretty dramatic effect. Check out a demo below:
This is done differently from what we see in the standard slow-motion features on the current devices, which count for about 240 fps. 960fps mode does not work continuously for a long period of time – the camera can record only one second at a time, during which it captures all 960 frames. That number is enough, and you can choose how much of the video will be in slow motion and how much normal time it will take. Everything is captured in just one second, but this play affects the overall duration of the video.
Thanks to the DRAM, the sensor can temporarily store all 960 frames in the memory built into the sensor itself, which considerably reduces the latency. Other cameras record the traditional 240 frames in buffer, then save in memory as the final file. This would be infeasible with 960 frames.
After writing to the DRAM, the frames are transmitted to the buffer and then to the storage to be saved as a file.
Finally, there are some recommendations. First, the shutter speed to capture 960fps has to be incredibly low, which means you need lots of light not to end up with unusable images. Secondly, you can not use this in fluorescent lighting because the camera’s frame rate far exceeds the frequency of this type of light. Lastly, you only have a second to capture your scene. So make it worth it.
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