Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

Samsung Tomorrow: The Samsung Galaxy K zoom is a smartcameraphone: a 20.7 megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization (IOS) fuzed with an Android 4.4 smartphone sporting a 4.8-inch 1280×720 OLED display. I like what Samsung is trying to do with the Galaxy K zoom, but Samsung missed the opportunity to make something really tempting by messing up on two things.

The 20.7 megapixel backside illumination (BSI) CMOS image sensor is 1/2.3-inch in size, which mid-range point-and-shoot cameras usually have. The 10x optical zoom goes from 24mm (F3.1) to 240mm (F6.3). The Galaxy K zoom captures 1080/60p (1080p at 60fps) and features slow-motion. Good, but I don’t care much for optical zoom; I used to, but not anymore.

Most high end smartphones have enough pixels (that’s about 8 megapixels to me) to let me crop away and still have enough of them to print out a decent photo at Target or share on Instagram. And that’s what we do most of the time with the photos we take with our smartphones. Digital zoom when capturing video isn’t bad at all either. Optical zoom adds too much bulk, which the Galaxy K zoom has plenty of. I don’t mind bulk, as long as it’s for the right thing.

What I’d prefer instead is a camera subsystem where the image sensor and the lens were designed together from the very beginning, like the Sony RX1. If Samsung instead of the 10x optical zoom added a big and fast F2 (or faster) lens mated to a larger (1 inch?) sensor, and combined that with the wonderful 5.1-inch 1920×1080 OLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S5 (anyone serious about photos would want to check out the photos on the best display possible, and the S5’s OLED display is the best so far) I would have been much more excited.