The Galaxy Note 9 has arrived. The leaks that have seen the light during the last weeks predicted that Samsung would bet for continuity Smartphone. And so it has been. The new “flagship” of the South Korean brand continues to advance along the same path as its terminals of the previous generation, and, above all, the Galaxy S9 and S9 + presented at the MWC this year, both in terms of design and which concerns some of its specifications.
And this is not necessarily bad. Not if we keep in mind that the two versions of the Galaxy S9 have come out well from our analysis, even if we stick strictly to the photographic section and we face their most successful competitors, a scenario in which terminals such as the Huawei P20 Pro and the Google Pixel 2 XL are very difficult to submit.
The Galaxy S9 do not, from a global perspective, better pictures than these two phones of the competition, but in many capture scenarios are measured with these two titans “one on one” ( if you want to check it I suggest you take a look at the comparison that we published several weeks ago ). How will the new Galaxy Note 9 be in this battle? We have not yet been able to test it thoroughly, but this is what its specifications tell us.
Double rear camera of 12 Mpx, f / 1.5-2.4 yf / 2.4 OIS
The influence of the Galaxy S9 + on the cameras of the new Galaxy Note 9 is evident. In fact, your hardware is essentially identical. Both smart phones incorporate a dual rear camera associated with two sensors with a resolution of 12 Megapixels. The optics is also the same. One of the cameras has a diaphragm with variable aperture that ranges between f / 1.5 and f / 2.4, and the other has an optic with a fixed aperture value of f / 2.4. Of course, both cameras have something important in common: optical stabilization.
The camera with variable aperture allows us to control more precisely the light that falls on the surface of the sensor. In fact, the diaphragm behaves in a way very similar to the pupil of our eyes, so that it can be closed when the ambient light is intense and open to the maximum when it is scarce. In addition, this element puts at our disposal the possibility of controlling more precisely a very important parameter from a creative point of view: depth of field.
When the diaphragm is very closed, for example, in f / 2.4, the photodiodes of the sensor will receive less light, but, in return, the depth of field will be increased. And, if we open it to the maximum opting for the value f / 1.5, we will get the sensor to receive more ambient light, something desirable if it is scarce if, for example, we are taking a nighttime photograph or in a dimly lit interior. But, in return, we will lose depth of field, so that the fully focused area of the image will be smaller.
The second rear camera, which has the fixed aperture value, has two primary objectives: to assist the main camera when zooming, and, on the other hand, to offer us more control over the background blur. This last creative resource is very appealing when we are doing, for example, a portrait. And is that if the bokeh is uniform and has good quality, the aesthetic finish of the photograph can be very attractive.
On the other hand, the way in which the second camera contributes to increase the image quality when we use the zoom is none other than providing the additional information collected by its sensor. In this context, the optical stabilization of the two rear cameras is also very important, which can also make a difference by taking photographs of moving objects.
The difference is in the software
As we have just seen, the rear cameras of the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy S9 + are essentially identical. Where we do find interesting differences, although in principle they do not seem dramatic, is in the software. And is that the model that Samsung has just presented has a new scene optimization algorithm, which is an automatic mode that can identify the object or subject photographed to adjust the shooting parameters accordingly and according to the environment.
On the other hand, incorporates new error detection software that warns us immediately if any of the people we have photographed with eyes closed, or if the image has not gone completely clear, for example, because it has shaken us the pulse of exaggerated form and the stabilization has not managed to fulfill its function correctly. As you can see, they are two interesting improvements, but they are not for “throwing rockets” either.
This is the front camera: 8 Mpx, AF and f / 1.7
The front camera follows the same continues line of the rear cameras. In fact, it’s hardware is essentially identical to that of the front cameras of the Galaxy S9 and S9 +. Its sensor has a resolution of 8 Megapixels, a balanced value that in principle performs well with selfies, its aperture value is f / 1.7, so it should offer us a background blur of good quality, and has autofocus. In principle we can expect that its performance is virtually identical to that of the front cameras of the Galaxy S9 and S9 +.