The telephoto periscope camera featured a 10 MP 1.12um sensor paired with an f/4.9 230-mm periscope lens, offering an optical zoom of 10x over that offered by the standard camera. It’s designed to zoom into distant and close-up objects.
In the beginning, I was playing around with this camera to test what I could do to move around in a scene, photographing distant landmarks and buildings from a distance, but I soon realized it was more suitable for snaps of insects and birds. In addition, I relied on it to take “macro-looking” snaps of things like people and flowers because I am awed by the way the depth of field appears when using lenses with a long focal length.
In reality, I began using this camera with a 10x zoom to shoot portraits, and I prefer it over the traditional Portrait mode in many instances. However, this usually required me to stand back toward the photographer.
If a Google Pixel 7 Ultra is to come with no camera that has a long-range such as this, I will not even give it a chance to shine during the day. But should it get this type of camera, there are some problems in the version of S22 Ultra that Google might be able to fix.
Building using the Pixel
The zoom photos of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looked fantastic; I found some rough edges that I’d love to have trimmed out in a successor phone or even a competitor.
Most important will be the image sensor. 10MP isn’t the number of pixels needed for editing post-production. I would think that larger sensors would be ideal since the images were less bright than they could be. Perhaps a more significant and higher-res alternative is the best.
The second is that zooming in over large distances (maybe the subject is a celestial object such as the moon) on the phone can cause you to suffer some terrible consequences, especially when you don’t have steady hands. A slight wobble could cause you to point the phone at something opposite to the subject. I haven’t noticed this problem more prevalent with big-body cameras because they’re typically more comfortable to hold and have many built-in stabilization options.
Perhaps Google could replicate the massive zoom but also include lots of digital stabilization when you zoom into. Many cameras have OIS for certain zooms like Samsung does, but Samsung’s Space Zoom isn’t nearly as robust as the similar models that are offered by other brands such as Vivo. Maybe Google could take a page from Vivo’s options.
My final wish-list item is a longer focal length, but I think that this option is so unique that Google probably won’t even think about it. I can’t recall seeing any smartphone that was longer than the 230mm mark, and it’s likely to require such a complicated periscope lens that it’s not worth Google’s sake. But a guy can dream.
In a compromise, for those who enjoy zoom photography, perhaps Google could be able to mimic the Sony Xperia 1 IV and its adjustable zoom optical.
On the Galaxy S22 Ultra, 10x zoom is optical; however, at 9.9x, you’re using digital zoom since smartphone cameras typically utilize fixed focal lengths and depend upon digital zooms to bridge gaps. This isn’t the case with Sony’s new smartphone, however, because it ranges between 85mm and 125mm.
However, it’s not the most extensive selection and gives you what’s equivalent to 5.2x zoom. Maybe it would be if Google used this method and let you choose between, say, 190mm or 230mm, it could bring together the best features of Samsung and Sony’s flagship models.
I’ve delved into “wish-list” territory here; however, even with Google Pixel 7 Ultra barely an iota in leaders’ eyes, and that’s the situation we’re in.
If Google wants to challenge Samsung with Samsung for the top spot in our ranking of camera phones, It should learn from Samsung that borrowing the periscope zoom lens must be on the top of their “to-do” list.