Unlike the Z Flip 4, which retains the photoblock from its predecessor on paper, the Z Fold 4 breaks with its elder. It is inspired to do this by the Galaxy S22 and S22+, which offer a main module with a 50 megapixel sensor and not 12 megapixels. It is accompanied by an ultra wide-angle module with a 12 Mpx sensor and another with a telephoto lens and a 10 megapixel sensor. A versatile set.
Wide-angle module: 50 megapixels, f/1.8, eq. 24 mm
Who says very defined sensor also says pixel binding. Small subtlety: a tour of the details of the images obtained shows that instead of images of 12.5 Mpx, Samsung reduced the size of its images to 12 million points. We compared the results obtained with those of an Oppo Find X5 Pro, slightly cheaper than the Fold 4, but also equipped with a 50 Mpx main module.
If the exposure is correct and the rendering natural, we apologize for the smoothing of certain textures, such as the cover of the book or the cartography; the effect was quite comparable on the Galaxy S22. Oppo’s model offers superior sharpness. Let’s add that the footage of the Fold 4 lacks sharpness in the periphery, which we noticed during all our tests. Nevertheless, the image pleases the eye with its intense colorimetry and software processing that takes care of the contours of small elements.
Same observation at night, where the difference with the Oppo model is however much smaller. Where the Galaxy S22 chose to emphasize contrasts, for a rendering that lacks naturalness, the Z Fold 4 favors the softness of the treatment, but at the expense of visible smoothing. It still performs much better than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 last year.
50 megapixel mode
The situation changes very little in 50 megapixel mode. The textures remain smoothed and the outlines of the image blurred. If during the day this mode is justified when cropping is needed, it is not relevant in low light.
Ultra-wide-angle module: 12 megapixels, f/2.2, eq. 12 mm
The difference in processing is visible between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 4, both of which share a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle module. The recordings of the foldable smartphone are less noisy, but by limiting the noise, the smartphone chooses greater smoothing. There is also some distortion and blur in the corners of the image.
At night, the exposure chosen by the Z Fold 4 is more convincing and the resulting colorimetry is more accurate. But the sharpness is not enough for the image to really convince.
Telephoto module: 10 megapixels, f/2.4, eq. 67 mm
The third and final photo module included in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 consists of a 10 megapixel sensor connected to a telephoto lens that corresponds to a zoom close to 3x (2.8x). The Galaxy Z Flip relied on a 12-megapixel sensor (2x zoom). If the newcomer has a less defined sensor, its optics provide a higher magnification.
This module is rather convincing during the day and has the advantage of taking a sharp image even in the periphery with a high level of detail and clear colors. However, the drop in definition that separates the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4 is visible when you reshape the image: the sharpness is less on the Z Fold 4, with the same observed area.
At night, the smartphone simply crops an image taken with its main sensor. Difficult under these conditions to compensate by simple software processing for the lack of captured elements. The pictures, whose details largely lack precision, are unfortunately not very useful.
Front module, portrait and video mode
More than the 4 megapixel module located inside the Fold 4, under its screen, and if the results are too little detailed to be really useful, it is better to use the 10 megapixel sensor located in the external screen of the smartphone to take selfies. These are a little too smooth, but well exposed and pleasing to the eye. The most demanding can also use the option offered when the screen is folded, namely to open the Fold and use, always for selfies, the main module, while the Cover Display shows a preview of the image. If the grip is less light for a self-portrait, the quality is only better! Note in passing that the smartphone offers an effective portrait mode, as often with Samsung, with a fairly accurate crop. The 3x portrait shooting mode is also the most detailed and natural; difficult to handle in selfie mode – unless you place the Fold 4 on a pole! —, it allows you to get beautiful pictures of your loved ones.
On the video side, the Z Fold 4 allows you to film up to 8K at 24 fps. However, remember that the internal storage of the smartphone cannot be expanded, it is not necessarily useful to systematically use this definition, which is not compatible with the electronic stabilization added by Samsung. It remains reserved for Full HD (at 30 or 60 fps) and is efficient. As is often the case with Koreans, it is possible to switch from wide-angle to ultra-wide-angle or telephoto during shooting and by viewing the shooting area of the other modules in the form of a thumbnail (in “Director’s View” mode). In short, Samsung offers a completely complete video experience here.