Samsung recently announced their latest set of flagship phones with the Galaxy S9 and S9+ and while they’re not exactly too different from last year’s models, Samsung is putting a lot emphasis on the new camera and its capabilities. What is it about this camera that is so different and better than what’s currently available on the market? Let’s take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ camera and what makes them so special.
We won’t spend too much time talking about the rest of the phone. We’ve already given you a full rundown of what it can do. The cameras themselves, however, will get tossed under a microscope for a little bit of studying.
The rear-facing camera on the S9 is 12MP with the first ever Dual Aperture option on a mobile device (more on that later) and the front facing camera is 8MP. The S9+ has dual cameras, with the dual aperture featured on the additional wide-lens camera not featured on the regular S9.
Samsung is boasting two new features on the camera, Dual-Aperture and Super SlowMo, both of which we are looking at today.
Before we can talk about how revolutionary Dual Aperture is on a mobile device, let’s figure out what aperture actually is. In lay-man’s terms, aperture is essentially how much light is allowed into the camera when it is capturing a photo. The aperture of a camera is a small hole in the lens of the camera that lets light in. It can be compared to the pupil of an eye in that the wider it is, the more light it lets in, and the more narrow it is, the less light comes in.
Aperture is typically measured with the letter F, followed by a number that lets you know how much light is being let in. The smaller the number, the wider the aperture, which, of course, means the more light that comes into the camera. A smaller aperture means that a camera will take better pictures in darker environments.
In addition, aperture also affects the depth of field of a photo. Depth of field is the effect you see in photos where the foreground is clear and the background is blurry. The more DoF a photo has, the blurrier the background, and the smaller the aperture, the greater the DoF.
The Samsung S9 and S9+ features an automatically adjusting dual aperture of f/2.4 and f/1.5. The phones are able to detect which F-stop would be better based on the lighting around you adjust to the smaller aperture, if necessary, in order to capture the best photo possible. If you’re feeling a little creative and daring, you can even choose which aperture mode you would like to use for a photo.
Smartphones have been able to shoot slow motion videos for a few years now, but the S9 and S9+ take it to a different level by increasing the amount of frames shot per second. Up until now, mobile devices have shot slow motion videos at a rate of 240 frames per second. Samsung’s devices are capable of capturing at 960 frames per second. That’s a rate of four times what we’ve been used to before.
Most cameras traditionally shoot at either 24 of 30 frames per second, with 60 FPS becoming a little more prevalent in most devices. The more frames shot per second, the clearer the video. When you start to get to really high FPS, you’re able to adjust the video to play out in slow motion. The more frames shot per second, the slower the video comes out when viewed at a rate of 24 frames per second.
This means if you take a camera that can shoot 960 photo frames in on second and play them at a rate of 24 of those frames for every second, you’re going to get a lot more images and video to view. This is what makes the video come out in slow motion.
There are, however, a couple of caveats that come with the new Super SlowMo from Samsung. The camera only supports this feature in HD mode and is limited to only 20 shots per video at a rate of 0.2 seconds of actual recording that is played back over 6 seconds of footage.
Once you capture your Super SlowMo moment, you’ll have a few options on how you can view and share them. You can add one of dozens of preloaded music tracks or use your own options. Or you can save the photo in one of three gif modes that playback in either a reverse, forward, or swing loop.
Finally, even if you’re not the best at picking the right moment to go Super SlowMo, Samsung has an auto-detect feature that instantly begins shooting in slow motion when the action reaches an adjustable yellow box on the camera’s screen.
These two revolutionary features have never been seen in this way on a mobile device before, and Samsung is hoping they will be enough to help users decide to upgrade their devices. Time will certainly tell if Dual Aperture Mode and Super SlowMo will set these two devices ahead of the pack, especially with more phones set to be released from countless other manufacturers within the next few months.