Two for the price of one
THE LOW-DOWN: This is the latest Samsung camera-with-phone-attached, rather than the other way around. This 20 megapixel camera, with a 10x optical zoom, has an Android phone attached. The 12.2cm Super Amoled display is sharp and clear and touch sensitive – the camera can be focused, exposure set and the shutter fired by touching the critical spot on the screen. This is supplemented with a physical shutter release button. There is 4G, Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC connectivity. The 8GB of internal storage can be boosted with a 64GB MicroSD memory card. The K Zoom is heavier than a phone and about the same weight as a basic compact.
LIKE: Image quality is good, albeit with visible noise reduction effects. Dynamic range and auto white balance are excellent. Good editing apps are built in to the system. And the Android OS is the best, with the promise in the near future of RAW capture of images.
DISLIKE: The big question here is the size and weight of the K Zoom. It is a little too large and heavy to be carried in a pocket.
VERDICT: And that is the marketing problem for Samsung: is the picture quality so much better than that from a conventional smartphone that the extra bulk is an acceptable trade-off? In our comparison with the iPhone 5s and Nokia Lumia 1020 we could not see an image difference in the K Zoom to justify the bulk.The pictures produced by Samsung’s own Galaxy S5, as well as by the other top phones, are so good that it is hard to see a significant difference in the K Zoom output. DxO labs rank the Galaxy S5 as joint best phone camera and that would be our choice.