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Phone can turn your pooch into a social media superstar

Summary

There are very few days that Ava doesn’t feature on Facebook or Instagram and she’s even ventured into a few reels of late. Like many of us, life in isolation and working from home, means that my furry friend is the best mate I have, a constant companion in my home office and then when I embark on sanity strolls on the beach. Getting a good photo of the pooch, particularly if she’s zooming towards you, is not easy. You need a camera that will focus quickly and juggle a whole lot of competing variables, including harsh light, movement, and objects moving in and out of the foreground and background. Most budget phones just don’t cut it.And when it comes to beautiful bokeh effect pet portraits, there are definitely some phones that are well ahead of the pack.Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 Ultra is certainly in that league.It’s the most fun I’ve had with a phone in a long time – and certainly on par, if not better, than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which is my normal pooch capturing companion.The pet portrait mode captures beautiful images, particularly in the morning and afternoon light, with options to change the background including blur, studio, high-key mono, low-key mono, backdrop (which creates a whole colour), colour point (great for highlighting a red tongue on a dog), big circle (which is beautiful for use with plants and natural scenery), spin, and zoom.The artificial intelligence powering the photography in the S22 Ultra is incredible. Samsung says it processes about four times more data, providing for better colour, sharpening and dynamic range. You can see this particularly when you shoot in the afternoon sun – even shooting towards the sun, the camera is able to pick up nice light on the ocean, for example.The big advantage of the S22 Ultra over the iPhone is in the zoom. There is a 10 times optical zoom and 100 times digital zoom. At 10 times, you can shoot pretty decent photos and videos, meaning that you can capture surfers in action from the beach.Where I walk, eagles can often be seen soaring overhead or perched in trees in the side of the cliff. Getting a photo of them with a phone camera is near impossible.But I managed to get reasonable photos and video of them with the S22 Ultra, though at 100 times zoom the pixelation is pretty obvious.One of the big selling points of the Samsung flagship is night time photography, with the larger sensors able to suck in more light. In the testing we have done, the still shots definitely pull in more light but almost look like it is too light. Of course, you can adjust your exposure down after you have taken the shot.The iPhone 13 Pro Max is probably as good in this department and has the added bonus of time-lapse night videos which look incredible. The Samsung also offers a whole lot of Expert RAW shooting capabilities and editing, as well as support for popular programs like Adobe Lightroom.All the lenses: ultra wide, wide, tele, tele 10x can be used in Expert RAW where the ISO, shutter speed, exposure, manual focus, white balance and histogram can be changedFor social media junkies, there’s also some functionality designed for use with Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. Using the phone, I found shooting to be snappy though a few times there was a little lag. Samsung says it plans to continue to provide updates to improve the performance and continue to train its AI to optimise results. Like previous models, the S22 Ultra can shoot 8k video, though at 24 frames per second rather than 30.The tech giant says zoom has certainly been a big selling point of its newest phones with users demanding good quality optical zoom and super high resolution photography options. It says the pet portrait feature has definitely been in response to consumer demand as more and more people have bought pets amid Covid lockdowns. The portrait functionality follows extensive testing using lots of images of dogs and cats.The etching around body features, faces and even hair is particularly well done, and something friends have certainly noticed as I’ve posted pictures of Ava. Australian pricing for the Galaxy S22 starts at $1249 for 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, while the S22+ starts at $1549.The Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1849 and got through to $2449 for the top of the range model with 12GB of memory and 1TB of storage.MORE BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTIONSIf you’re looking for something more friendly on the wallet, Samsung has also just released its new A series which range from $329 to $799.We’ve been checking out the A53, which sells for under $700, and offers a great camera, including some fun modes and a very cool macro mode for closer up shots.Samsung says there has been huge demand for the A series which appeals to those wanting premium features without the price tag. “Quite simply, Galaxy A Series democratises innovation. We’ve seen consistent demand for the A Series segment since its launch in 2018, with over 1m units sold in 2021 and 2022 looks to be big too,’’ Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Experience Division, Samsung Electronics Australia said.He described the new Galaxy A53 5G model as ‘pound for pound one of the best mid – tier devices on the market.’

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