When I noticed a post on Pinterest some weeks ago with a photo of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom I was intrigued – a smart phone witha 10x optical zoom. I was fortunate enough to meet a representative from Samsung Ireland at an event I was speaking at and he showed me a demo model of the camera which had not yet been made available for purchase in Ireland.
Samsung Ireland then offered me a great opportunity to test drive the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and this is the first part of my review of how I found it.
What I use my smartphone for
I have to admit I have two smart phones with me all the time. I have been a Blackberry user for well over a decade and use it primarily for my emails.
I also have an iPhone which I purchased several years ago mainly for the quality of the camera and importantly for me as a podcaster, the good sound card. This means that I can create audio podcasts without having to take all my separate audio recording equipment, which is especially useful for ad hoc podcasts and when travelling.
I have also been experimenting with food blogging in the last couple of months with my ‘Cooking with the Kids‘ series, which means I need to have the ability to take ‘close up’ photographs for the blog posts.
Of course I make phone calls and send text messages on my phone – but more time is probably spent creating and modifying images as part of my content marketing workflow for digital communications and then managing my social networks.
We do have three other Galaxy phones in our home – my daughters have one each. As soon as I recieved the Galaxy S4 Zoom I had to negotiate access to the smart phone with them! If you have tweens and teens you will know how much time they like to spend playing games on their smart phones – let’s just say the girls have downloaded numerous apps to test out.
Experiencing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
Initially I was a little concerned about the size of the Galaxy S4 Zoom and it is heavier than other smart phones dure to the camera.
However while I thought it might be uncomfortable to hold, thank goodness it isn’t. This is especially important, if like me you use your smart phone a lot using apps. I have spent hours scrolling through my Instagram stream enjoying seeing the photos posted by my network which look great on the large screen.
I have had an interesting response from people I have met when using the smart phone at events. When doing a radio interview today, the fellow guest asked me why I was using a camera to take a photo and not my smart phone. He was suprised to hear it was a smart phone I was using.
At a meeting recently with a General Manager of a luxury hotel group, they expressed concern about the quality of images their social media team were posting to the company social networks as they were taken on a smart phone. They were suprised how clear and well defined the photographs were that I created using the Galaxy S4 Zoom at an event in another hotel, even when projected onto the screen in the conference room.
For those who want a sleek small smart phone, the Samsung Z4 Zoom is certainly not the right option – it won’t fit discretely in your trouser or shirt pocket.
I also don’t think it is comfortable to make phone calls with if you are using your smart phone for any length of time, unless you are using a bluetooth device. I personally find that I spend more time using the Samsung S4 Zoom using apps and the camera rather than the phone.
Moving to an android device does mean that if you have been using an iPhone, you will miss some apps. I have managed to replicate most apps and there are just a couple I miss. I will be covering this in a separate article.
The 10x optical zoom on the Galaxy S4 Zoom is impressive and there is the ability to mount the camera phone onto a tripod for additional stability.
You can see some of the photographs we took using the standard lens and then with the 10x zoom – no filters were used on these images.
Samsung Galay S4 Zoom – with and without the 10x optical zoom at Marlay Park 5k Park Run:
Samsung Galay S4 Zoom – with and without the 10x optical zoom at Marlay Park Market:
Samsung Galay S4 Zoom – with and without the 10x optical zoom at Dundrum Town Centre:
You can find a gallery of my images on Flickr of photographs of the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom.
You will find the technical specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom here.
You can read part two of my review where I cover how to podcast with your Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and post the podcast to Google Plus or Pinterest. Read the article here.