Getting real close: Nokia Lumia 1520 vs Samsung Galaxy K Zoom
Now that we've seen that an optical zoom can be very practicle even on a device with not the very best camera specifications, let's see how close we can actually get - and what the differences are. With the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, you can't use the optical zoom when you choose the "macro" setting. With the Nokia Lumia 1520 however, you can focus as close as possible and zoom in next. In the last case, you'll end up with a 5MP shot that brings you a lot closer at first sight, but in fact it's only a matter of reframing what you'd get at full resolution.
With the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, you'll get a 20.7MP close-up of the same scene. But: which one if more pleasing to the eye? Weather is terrible today here in The Netherlands, so I simply picked a few Nokia goodies I always carry with me, focussing as close as possible. I made several shots with both devives and picked the best they produced. Here we go. First a part of my laptop keybooard, focussing on the center (so: the "5"). Nokia Lumia 1520 first, Samsung Galaxy K Zoom next. Well, that's pretty obvious I think. Lumia 1520 is way better in colors and contrast, the K Zoom once more giving a far too bright result. Note I managed to get just a bit closer with the Nokia Lumia 1520. I could bother you with the crops as well, but we're comparing a 5MP with a 20.7MP shot - so in fact they're impossible to compare - and I think these close-up results speak for themselves. Next up, a Nokia USB stick (why not :-). Don't ask me why, suddenly the Nokia Lumia 1020 gives me the brighter shot. It's remarkable: although brighter, colors of the Lumia 1520 are way more pleasing and accurate in this example - and again, I managed to get even quite a bit closer. Last example: two Nokia chargers. Again, colors on the Lumia 1520 are way better, the Galaxy Zoom giving me a too "milky" result (check the red for instance!). Also, details are better of the Lumia 1520 - and I managed to focus a bit closer once again. These close-up are all taken inside with artificial light and all settings on automatic. I guess it's safe to say these circumstances aren't the best for the Galaxy K Zoom. Like so many have predicted, tt does lose a lot of it's attraction when you rule out the optical zoom and end up using it in less favorable light. Yes, I'm still waiting for the Nokia Lumia 930 to compare with the 1520. I've heard its algorhythms have significantly improved, so I'm really looking forward to see what the Nokia imaging team has been able to improve!