How often will you be forced to leave your bulky DSLR camera just because you are not willing to carry any bag! And how often will you rue not carrying your DSLR because you could not capture an unexpected scene desirably due to not been able to get too close to the subject! But now, with a smartphone like ASUS Zenfone Zoom you can breathe easier. Phone companies have always been making their cameras smarter and fancier. Adding an optical zoom to the smartphone camera has been always a tough task- physically as well as technologically. Having overcome that challenge ASUS has brought out a real masterpiece. If you are a photographer, you can now afford to forget or even deliberately keep aside your DSLR, when on move.
Zenfone Zoom has been designed specifically for high-end photography. The mainstay of the ASUS Zenfone Zoom is its 13MP laser autofocus camera with 3X optical zoom. This makes it the first smartphone to support optical zoom, that actually looks like a smartphone. The only other combination of a phone and an optical zoom was brought by Samsung in Galaxy K-Zoom but that was more or less a digital camera with smartphone capabilities. In ASUS ZenfoneZoom the lens arrangement for the optical zoom is sideways rather than seeming to come out of the phone and it has been done to keep the phones profile slimmer. With the mechanics lying flat inside the phone’s body, there’s no protruding part when you’re zooming. So eventually, you have a phone with a optical zoom which fits smartly into your pocket. On the flip side the sacrifice that this technology had to make is that the aperture starts from f/2.7 instead of the usual f/2.0 these days. All other camera smartphones from ASUS Zenfone 2 series stable have an aperture of f/2.0. But then this is an acceptable trade-off for zoom lovers.
It also has a digital zoom and together with optical and digital zoom you can get closer upto 12X. Although you will not get the sharp pixels when you move from optical zoom to digital zoom. But definitely, those habitual of zooming on lenses in their SLRs will need some time to master the art of zooming in ZenfoneZoom as they might feel it bit slow at times.
The 10 element lens on ZenFone Zoom is designed by Hoya and the sensor is designed by Panasonic. It uses a dual prism periscope module design to capture light. It also has 4 Stops Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which ensures stutter free handheld shots even for 1 sec exposures. It supports high end presets like panorama, low-light settings and HDR. For using it more professionally ZenfoneZoom has manual shooting modes in its super resolution. It also supports 32 second exposure mode, for using which you will need a tripod.
ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest optical-zoom smartphone as it measures just 5mm at the edges. Zenfone Zoom is 12mm (11.95 precisely) at its thickest point and weighs just 185 grams. (Quite light, I would say, for a phone with optical zoom). The rear camera also has dual tone-LED Real Tone flash for better pictures indoors and the lens also has laser auto-focus which Asus claims is super-fast and lets users take pictures in less than 0.03 seconds. Asus has also added a five megapixel front-facing camera for selfie obsessed fans. It is fluent in recording full HD videos at 30fps frame rate.
Besides, Asus ZenFone Zoom has most of the other upgraded features of its top notch smartphones from the Zenfone 2 series, namely- 5.5-inch full HD display, 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor, 4GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. There’s also a microSD slot with 128GB capacity. The smartphone runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. Together with this assembly the phone provides a Intel PC level performance
The smartphone which focuses on its camera prowess is priced at Rs 37,999 for 128GB memory variant and Asus is bundling a portable tripod and flash for Rs 39,999. It is exclusively available on the FLIPKART at http://www.flipkart.com/zenfone-zoom.
(All images in the post have been clicked through ASUS Zenfone Zoom)