By now between the Oscars Galaxy sponsorship & a lot of tech Vloggers going wild about the Samsung handset you should be pretty well informed on the Galaxy S9 capabilities. We covered it last week and went into the particulars of the super slow Motion feature which allows for 0.2 seconds of recording at 720p in 960fps frame rate. Needless to say, we were unimpressed with the quality initially based on early tests and we called it out for not really delivering 720p but some low-res aliased abstraction.
But with the new crop of video samples, we were impressed by some footage and let down by other attempts. There is a lot to like in this phone but also something to keep in mind is that a dedicated slow-motion camera will keep the edge over a phone at least for the next few years in quality and detail retention. Dig in for the samples and judge for yourself…
Samsung has unveiled the heavily leaked and rumored Galaxy S9 at MWC Barcelona 2018. It is now a reality and the rumors got most of it right but the frame rate mostly expected which was 480fps at full HD has now morphed into 960fps at HD 720p. You would be heavily excited about the new frame rate options except for the fact that the resolution is not really 720p but a heavily soft and aliased version.
Camera companies are too loose to call video formats HD and Full HD when they are really just upscaling lower resolution video up to save in an overly compressed format. The inclusion of now 1080p 240fps has to be the better spec here as the 960fps mode tops out at 0.2 seconds for a 6-second playback at 30fps. Hardly ideal and much like what we saw in the Sony Xperia XZ phones of 2017.
Apple has really improved the slow-motion quality of the iPhone with the release of the 8, 8 plus and X phones. The 1080p 240fps mode is not only detailed but has very few aliasing artifacts that were the most prominent flaw of the 7 and 6 variants of the handset when shooting at high frame rates.
While the samples are few and far between, the increase in quality is very noticeable with the added benefit of better dynamic range across the board in highlights and shadows. While more tests are needed it is safe to say that at first glance the iPhone 8 and for that matter the iPhone X cameras are probably the best video smartphones released to date when it comes to slow motion video quality. Well done Apple!
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