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In the last article, I and Samsung S9 + walked in search of beautiful graffiti and made sure that the smartphone does not take photos, prints of reality. Yes, and Nikita managed to praise, look:

  • Galaxy S9 and S9+ review. It’s an Android flagship, period.
  • Galaxy S9+ camera test. Color reproduction on the example of Moscow graffiti

Samsung promises even more: the new flagship’s dual aperture camera is not just a unique feature, but a real technological breakthrough.

But promises are promises, and everything needs to be checked. So we set off again to walk the streets: the whole day, from dawn to dusk.

Let’s see what good software, great sensors and double aperture can do – a real double aperture.

How Dual Aperture Works

Aperture change in action: narrows in the sun, widens in the dark

Let me remind you that the Galaxy S9 + camera was the first compact camera in which a full-fledged hardware-variable aperture (the width of the lens in relation to other parameters, more precisely, the focal length) fit.

If there is little light, the automatic settings set the “wide hole” f / 1.5. It is logical if there is too much of it – the smartphone removes the excess by closing the lens to f / 2.4.

In reality, everything works very simply.

Complex “Moscow City”. Right – at f / 1.5, left – f / 2.4. Shooting time 12:04

Six months ago, only bulky cameras had this feature. Is it a joke to fit so many mechanical parts in a lens that fits on a quarter of a fingernail?

Usually a second lens is used for this, but the Korean company has given it the right task – shooting at a distance and portrait mode.

The aperture (read – the same aperture width, aperture number) changes not only the illumination, but also the focal length. Therefore, if you choose the wrong parameters for manual shooting, it can turn out like this:

Village house, Zhukovo. Right – f / 1.5, left – f / 2.4. Shooting time 7:30

Life hack: watch the camera measurement mode. “Center-weighted metering” (Center weighted average) compared with “Average” (Average) and will avoid blurry photos with a large number of details.

However, the double aperture of one module works more efficiently than “gluing” two frames. Color reproduction is excellent, detail is excellent. Not surprising, because the less software processing, the more accurate the frame.

With its help, you can achieve incredible results by playing with lighting and sun glare. Even if it’s lens flare, it’s also a good artistic technique.

Complex “Moscow City”. Aperture f/1.5. Shooting time 9:30

Excess light, white balance and incorrect exposure can be corrected after shooting on a smartphone. You don’t need a laptop with photoshop: the Galaxy S9+ can handle developing without outside help. And then at least in the social sphere, even on the wall in A4 format.

Distant distances: “width” and “telephoto” in complex scenarios

Complex “Moscow City”. Wide-angle camera (16:9 aspect ratio). Shooting time 9:30

A pair of lenses allowed Samsung engineers to fully implement a 2x optical zoom. The main one, the one with a double aperture, is a telephoto lens for shooting distant plans.

The second camera module is wide-angle. As soon as you switch the format from 4:3 to 16:9 in the settings, you get a full-length shot, which fits almost 2 times more.

Complex “Moscow City”. Narrow-angle camera (ratio 4:3). Shooting time 9:30

Note that widescreen photos aren’t spoiled by the ubiquitous fisheye effect they’re commonly associated with. Everything is in the past: the smartphone normally corrects angles.

The second module is in no way inferior to the main one, except for the lack of a wide aperture. As long as you’re shooting with enough light, f/2.4 is even good enough to capture sunbeams and fine detail in distant subjects.

Life hack: you can simply zoom in / out on your smartphone to get the desired magnification. Cameras switch automatically while you’re in Auto mode.

The building of Moscow State University. Narrow camera (4:3). Shooting time 13:00

Complicated light with an abundance of point sources and shadows is worse for the second camera. This is still a flagship frame – it is useless to look for similar quality from other brands. But compared to the picture of the main module taken in automatic mode, there is a slight loss of detail.

The building of Moscow State University. Wide-angle camera (16:9). Shooting time 13:00

I will tell you in secret that you should not pay attention to this. Detail corresponds to the scale of the image. And yet, it is much higher than it can be. You will notice only after printing on paper, and even then, if you enlarge the wide picture to the appropriate size.

All About Light: Exposure and HDR

The building of Moscow State University. HDR, auto settings. Shooting time 13:00

Beautiful frame. A lot of details, accurate colors and an abundance of light transitions. How to make one? You can use HDR as usual (this is how the picture above was taken). Or you can use manual settings – a wide f / 1.5 aperture and set the correct shutter speed.

Exposure – time in seconds during which light falls on the matrix. The higher it is, the more details will appear in the picture. For example, these two shots are taken at shutter speeds of 1/1000 second and 1/1500 second.

The building of Moscow State University. On the right – shutter speed 1/1000, on the left – 1/1500. Shooting time 13:00

Frames with a slower shutter speed are obtained as if they were shot with a narrow aperture. Lack of sensor lighting resulted in loss of detail, monotonous colors and lack of shadows.

Another thing is a slow shutter speed of 1/1500 second. This frame conveys everything exactly: color transitions and highlights, shadows and a lot of the smallest details. Great?

How, because the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, in addition to the lens with a double aperture, has the ability to set an infinite shutter speed! See what happens if you change it from 1/1000 to 1/9000.

Ostankino tower. Aperture f/2.4, shutter speed 1/1000. Shooting time 16:37

Ostankino tower. Aperture f/2.4, shutter speed 1/3000. Shooting time 16:37

Ostankino tower. Aperture f/2.4, shutter speed 1/5000. Shooting time 16:37

Ostankino tower. Aperture f/2.4, shutter speed 1/7500. Shooting time 16:37

Ostankino tower. Aperture f/2.4, shutter speed 1/9000. Shooting time 16:37

Clearly? On the other hand, ultra-fast shutter speeds are essential for burst and sequential shooting, where any delay will result in blurring and loss of detail.

Life hack: do not forget to change the shutter speed depending on the plot: for instant shots – less, for panoramas and long shots – more. Or use ready-made presets in the stock application Camera.

But now we are interested in a long exposure. It is very useful when shooting panoramas in low light conditions. Or when shooting at night.

Night and twilight: maximum detail

Complex “Moscow City”. On the right is the photo at 22.00, on the left – at 0.00 (Moscow time). Aperture f/1.5, shutter speed 1/100

The most difficult scenario is night shooting. Here, the Samsung S9+ performs better than any other Android smartphone. Variable aperture was the deciding factor, but the company’s engineers found another way to improve photos.

The wide aperture helps the camera sensor get the maximum amount of light in the shortest amount of time. The result is amazing: twilight looks incredibly cool. Plenty of detail, accurate colors and highlights of light are preserved in all their glory.

Night shots are a bit inferior: less light means less detail. A little less detail, lights and signs stand out a little.

But if you compare them with what happened with the cameras of last year’s flagships, the changes are noticeable to the naked eye. Night streets, neon signs and street lights are what the Samsung S9+ does better than anyone else.

Ostankino tower, Ostankino park. Aperture f/1.5, shutter speed 1/6. Shooting time 0:28

And with the help of the same engineering trick with infinite exposure (by the way, also a unique feature of the S9 +), you can take a picture in complete darkness. If there is at least some light, of course. Usually the lights you see in the picture are blurry and lose detail. But not now.

Life hack: combine different apertures and exposure times, and do not forget about the ability to manually adjust the white balance and exposure after shooting – this way you can get a picture like a big camera in the hands of a professional. And a tripod or stabilizer will help keep the play of light (you know what I mean).

Surprisingly, the smartphone manages without a tripod, which indicates excellent stabilization (images in good light do not count). Try to shoot with a SLR. You’ll get a daub, I guarantee.

Instead of conclusions: sunset with the Galaxy S9 +

In conclusion, so that the article does not seem to be cut off at the most interesting place, let’s look at the most beautiful and complex work that our Galaxy S9 + coped with.

Sunset in Zhukovo. Auto settings. Shooting time 20:50

Sunset in Zhukovo. Auto settings. Shooting time 20:53

Sunset in Zhukovo. Auto settings. Shooting time 20:55

Sunset in Zhukovo. Auto settings. Shooting time 20:56

Sunset in Zhukovo. Auto settings. Shooting time 20:58

I don’t think it’s worth explaining the results. The photos speak for themselves, and the capabilities of the native app, along with the Samsung Galaxy S9+’s dual aperture camera, leave a lot of room for your own creativity.

Finally, the time has come when you can forget about compact cameras. A smartphone instead of a player, a smartphone instead of a camera, a smartphone instead of a secretary. It’s simple if it’s a Samsung S9 – especially photography.

I will note only the most important fact: this smartphone forgives crooked hands, allowing you to shoot on the “machine”. But choosing the right manual settings for the S9+ is easier than we’re used to.

Try it yourself, shoot – and send us examples.





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