Home Health Nightography, discovering Jordan with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Nightography, discovering Jordan with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

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Nightography, discovering Jordan with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Let’s start from the end: the Souk Jara in Amman, the market district of the Jordanian capital, is a place teeming with life, where the senses are over-stimulated by strong smells, sudden noises, constant chatter and relentless traffic of cars and people. Yet another stage of the journey that Samsung has dedicated to top of the range Galaxy S22 Ultrathe last one before reaching the airport and leaving for Italy, we walk its streets trying to shoot in the crowd, appreciating the effectiveness with which the phone software practically does everything by itself.

A few meters are enough, and immediately it appears once again clear that use the Korean smartphone instead of a professional camera it is a choice that pays off: in the era of snapshot photography, smartphones in all pockets, selfies on Instagram and videos on TikTok, no one cares anymore who takes photos with a phone, and tells about a place like the souk for images it shows a lot easier than doing it with a camera. Moreover, without having to give up photos of excellent quality.

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Test in all conditions

The main theme of the journey built by Samsung around the S22 Ultra and its powerful photographic department is the so-called Nightography, that is the smartphone vocation for shooting in the dark. However, in the 4 days spent in Jordan there was no shortage of opportunities to test almost every aspect of the best image capture technology that the Korean manufacturer is capable of. We shot under an implacable sun on Mount Nebo, where according to the bible Moses died after seeing the promised land from afar, and then in the bowels of the splendid fortified castle of Karak, where the play of light and shadow challenged every step. hardware e software of the top of the Korean range. We talked about the amazement and wonder experienced both in the huge archaeological site of Petra (visited and photographed even at night, by candlelight, thanks to the Petra by Night initiative), as well as the more intimate and almost intimate one of Little Petra.

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Again: we explored the Wadi Rum desert, a protected reserve that served as a film set for films such as The Martian, Star Wars: The Skywalker and also the new Dune at Denis Villeneuve. The ideal place to test all smartphone lenses by day, from the ultra-wide angle with which to include as many elements as possible of an amazing panorama, to 3X and 10X telephoto lenses to reduce distances and capture important details. And then at night, in the dark and away from light pollution (albeit with the interference of moonlight), to hunt down the stars by shooting in pro mode.

Four top cameras

On balance, the Galaxy S22 Ultra performed admirably in every situation. Merit of the high-level photographic sector, supported by processing capacity of the Exynos 2200 processor and divided into 4 cameras: the main one, that is a 24 mm wide angle stabilized with a powerful 108 megapixel f / 1.8 sensor; an excellent 3X (70mm) stabilized optical zoom with 10 megapixel sensor and f / 2.2 aperture, a real one surprise for quality and versatility; the 10X optical zoom (230mm) always from 10 MP and aperture f / 4.9, less effective than the other two but useful in many situations, especially outdoors when there is good lighting; finally, the ultrawide lens (13mm) with 12 MP sensor and f / 2.2 aperture.

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In practice, the exact same set-up of the previous S21 Ultra, whose performance here is improved by more efficient software and in particular of artificial intelligencewhich works on the details and returns high quality photos, with progress visible even in the case of the exaggerated 100X digital zoom.

Expert Raw, the secret pro photo app

A separate mention deserves the exclusive Samsung app (can only be downloaded from the store of the Korean manufacturer) called Expert Raw: discovered thanks to the suggestion of colleague Roberto Pezzali, offers functionality similar to that of an SLR cameraand above all it generates very high quality images, both in Raw (where you take multiple images by combining them) and in Jpeg (which are direct conversions of the Raw format).

Looking at the images on the smartphone, these look similar to those taken in pro mode, but the difference emerges overwhelmingly when opening a Raw file of Expert Raw in a photo editing program such as Lightroom. There, the margin of intervention, for example to recover under and overexposed images, is simply incredible for a simple smartphone, albeit top of the range. One wonders why Samsung has chosen to isolate these features and the ability to take advantage of the cameras in a separate app, not too publicized. Perhaps the answer is that Korean designers have preferred not to confuse or even scare less experienced usersputting things in their hands that they wouldn’t know how to use, trusting that those who need Expert Raw will eventually find it.

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Nightography, night photography for everyone

We close with the central theme of the trip: the Nightography. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers many solutions for shooting in the dark: the Night mode, a real software novelty of this top of the range, automatically enters when the light is poor and literally squeezes every photon from the frame. The result is effective, even if in some cases, such as the rooms of Karak castle, where the darkness was pierced by suggestive beams of light coming from small windows or skylights, the smartphone even seemed to overdo it, illuminating places immersed in darkness. Sure, the exposure can be adjusted in real time (just tap the sun icon on the screen next to the focus frame), but it would be more practical if this last adjustment could be blocked and keep at will, such as when locking the focus on a subject. Instead, the exposure resets itself with each change of shot. In any case, if you are not satisfied, you can turn off the Night mode at any time: just touch the moon icon.

In Jordan, the Night mode gave the best of itself during Petra by Night, where with the help of a small easel (but all in all also freehand), it generated usable photos, especially on social networks. Then when we measured ourselves with the desert night, both the Night mode and Expert Raw proved unsuitable for the task, instead performed very well by a long exposure on the standard app in Pro mode (and on a tripod), which behaved almost like a camera which also has a much larger sensor and optics.

In short: 6 thousand kilometers and a few thousand photos after the start of this journey in the Middle East, we can say with good approximation that The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great photo smartphone, capable of doing well in practically any shooting situation thanks to a valid combination of hardware and software. Among other things, significantly improved by the various updates released after the debut.

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