ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) Review Rev. 2.0

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Page 5 : Camera Performance - Image Quality & Laser Focusing

Camera Performance – Image Quality

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor, instead of the Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the rest of the ASUS ZenFone 2 series. The pictures were distinctly superior all around.

Take the example of the elevator and the signboards. If you blow them up to 100%, the edges are no longer blurred with noise, with only some noticeable noise in the darker areas. Even those are greatly improved over the photos taken by the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) we reviewed earlier.

  • ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample
  • ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample

The following photos of the bubblegum balls and assorted fruits show how much better the ZenFone Zoom is at taking photos. The photos are not just much sharper (when blown up to 100%), they show a much better control of the exposure.

ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) photo sample

Generally, this camera performs best in well-lit scenes. Its zoom lens is not the very fast when wide (f/2.7 at 28 mm) and quite slow (f/4.8) when fully zoomed to 84 mm. In dim or pooly-lit scenes, you need to rely on its 4-stop OIS to reduce handshake.

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Laser Focusing Performance

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] borrows the laser auto-focusing system from the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smartphone and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) phablet.

It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques. We tested its laser focusing capabilities using a neat little app that ships with the ZenFone Zoom – a laser ruler.

The laser focusing system is especially useful in low or poor lighting conditions. However, the laser diode has a low power output, for safety reasons.  You can only use it to measure distances of up to 50 cm. Anything beyond that won’t return a reading.

As you can surmise by now, 50 cm is also the range for the ZenFone Zoom’s laser auto-focusing feature. If it fails to detect any object in range, it will fall back to the original contrast detection auto-focus method. Even with the range limitation, it’s very useful if your subject is in range… especially if there are subjects nearby that may interfere with the auto-focus.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Zoom & Video Recording

 

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