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Samsung’s 100x Zoom camera gets put to the test by a private investigator

Published Mar 2nd, 2020 6:03PM EST
Galaxy S20 Ultra
Image: Karlis Dambrans/Shutterstock

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One of the more intriguing features Samsung included on its S20 lineup is something the company calls Space Zoom. Though the name itself is admittedly a bit gimmicky, I have a sneaking suspicion Apple is a bit perturbed it didn’t come with it first.

The name aside, Space Zoom looks pretty darn cool and offers up an astounding ability to zoom in on a subject while taking a photo. The S20 Ultra in particular, which will set you back about $1400, takes zoom technology to the next level.

As Samsung noted during its Unpacked event last month:

With the Galaxy S20’s Space Zoom technology, even when you are far away, you can zoom in close. Use up to 30x zoom on the Galaxy S20 and S20+ with Space Zoom, our AI-based Super Resolution Zoom, or step- up to 100x Space Zoom, with the revolutionary folded lens on the S20 Ultra with 10x Hybrid Optic Zoom.

We’ve already seen a few examples of the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x zoom make the rounds on the web, but a new video from a private investigator gives us a more comprehensive look at what Samsung’s top of the line smartphone brings to the table.

The video below was put together by The Wall Street Journal and features Michael McKeever, a private investigator with decades worth of experience. The video sets out to figure out how the S20 Ultra stacks up against Apple’s flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max, a Sony HDR-CX190, and a Nikon P100.

The first test was from about 50 feet out and saw the S20 Ultra outperform the iPhone. Of course, once you get to the max zoom, the picture does start to become a little bit fuzzy.

The full video can be viewed below:

Suffice it to say, if you want clear and crisp zooming capability from a long distance, smartphones still pale in comparison to dedicated standalone cameras.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.