Samsung Galaxy S4 Unveiled: Camera Gets A Major Upgrade In New 2013 Handset

  • Galaxy S4 presentation 2
    The Galaxy S4. Reuters
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S4 smartphone on Thursday at 7 p.m. at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Samsung Mobile U.S./Twitter
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The Samsung Galaxy S4 was unveiled on Thursday, and one of the most scrutinized elements of the new phone was its camera. A phone’s camera is no longer simply a nice design feature. In fact, with the emergence of Instagram and other multimedia-sharing platforms, a high-def camera is essential to a smartphone’s success. Samsung has paid attention to this philosophy with the introduction of the S4's 13 Megapixel main camera.

Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 will include a 13 MP rear camera as well as a 2 MP front-facing camera. The company also announced a dual-camera recording system. The Samsung Galaxy S4 can record video using both cameras, at the same time, letting individuals interact and customize the recording experience. The dual-camera recording also applies to taking pictures. The dual-camera feature can be turned on or off via an on-screen button. 

The cameras will also a feature that will let users record sound before the shutter is pressed or added after the shutter is pressed. The Sound-and-Sight feature will let users compose photo/image post cards that can easily be manipulated with additional photos or audio recorded after the initial image or video is taken.

Also impressive is the Drama Shot, an upgraded version of Burst Shot. Using Drama Shot, the Samsung Galaxy S4 can take 100 photos in four seconds, and can present those images in an easy-to-manage collage.

For any unwanted individuals that happen to wander in on your beautiful sunset photo, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will include an eraser feature that will eliminate any unwanted objects or individuals from the shot. Considering the competition, the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera needed more than just a minor improvement from the Samsung Galaxy S3.

As noted by Digital Photography Review, the main upgrades the Samsung Galaxy S3 camera involved technical features. The Galaxy S3’s camera did not change much from its predecessor but there were some new features, such as simultaneous HD-video and image recording and reduced shutter lag, that added value to the 8 megapixel camera. With the release of the Nokia Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and, most recently, the Blackberry z10, the Galaxy S3’s camera has fallen behind the competition due to better features and better hardware.

The Nokia Lumia 920 boasts an 8.7 MP main camera with PureView technology that’s got an incredibly fast Carl Zeiss Tessar lens that features a f-stop of 2.0 as well as a dual LED flash. Gizmodo named the Nokia Lumia 920’s camera as the best in a battle against the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Blackberry z10 and Google Nexus 4. The Samsung Galaxy S3 came in fourth, only beating the Nexus 4.

As previously reported by IBTimes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was rumored to have a massive 13 MP camera that could simulate 3-D images. The “Samsung Orb” was rumored to be able to capture 360-degree images that would replicate 3-D imagery. An eye-tracking feature, using the Galaxy’s S4 front-facing camera, was also rumored.

Samsung did not discuss the Samsung Orb as part of the camera's features, but the rest of the speculation proved true. The  S4's 13 MP camera is a 5 MB upgrade from the Galaxy S3, while the front-facing camera gets a minor improvement but becomes a much more useful, and vital part, of the Samsung Galaxy S4. With the Galaxy S4, Samsung improved the camera's specs while adding even more features that aim to fit into a busy life. It'll be interesting to see how the dual-camera system can be implemented in real life and how powerful the Eraser tool really is when it comes to eliminating unwanted objects, or people, from a shot. 

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