It was reported that due to component shortages, the camera on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 that will debut in early September won’t come with optical image stabilization. Now, we’re hearing that to compensate for the missing OIS feature, Samsung will bless the rear-facing camera on the Galaxy Note 3 phablet with 4K Ultra HD (UHD) video recording. The enhanced 4K video recording should be welcomed, but not without some drawbacks given the missing OIS feature.
The 4K videos will have a resolution of 3840 X 2160 compared to the 1920 X 1080 video recording of full HD 1080p on today’s cameras.
In addition to the Note 3, another camera that had been rumored with 4K UHD video recording capability is Sony’s rumored Honami (Xperia Z1) smartphone that will debut on the same day as Samsung’s Note 3 at an event in Berlin.
The problem with 4K video recording is that it takes up more storage and there aren’t that many devices that can play back videos captured in this resolution pixel-for-pixel without downscaling, 4K HDTVs are beginning to hit the market, but prices are still steep. On the device itself, the Note 3 is rumored to have a full HD 1080p display, and not a 4K display.
The 4K recording may be a reason why Samsung is rumored to be upping the entry storage capacity from 16 GB to 32 GB while at the same time retaining the ability to augment storage with a micro SDXC card.
The upside is that these videos will offer a lot of details and clarity. Essentially, each frame on the video delivers 8.3 megapixels of resolution. That means each video frame has the same resolution as a full image captured with Apple’s iPhone 5’s rear-facing camera.
Another issue though is that without optical image stabilization and that amount of clarity in the video, any movement or shake of the camera will be felt and seen. This could lead to viewers feeling motion sickness when the Galaxy Note 3 is used to record video, especially if the videographer is walking around when capturing video.
Optical image stabilization is becoming a growing trend on smartphone cameras. Nokia and HTC are using OIS on the Lumia and One respectively to help reduce camera shake when recording videos and to also allow users to capture more brightly lit photos by being able to keep the shutter open longer to let in more light and not suffer from blurry images as a result. The LG G2 is also released with a 13-megapixel camera sensor with OIS and Sony’s Honami camera may come with OIS on a 20.7-megapixel sensor.
Additionally, The Korea Economic Daily, the source for the 4K video capture capabilities, is also reporting that the Galaxy Note 3 will be coming with great sounding speakers. The Note 3 is now rumored to be able to deliver a 24-bit 192 kHz speaker, similar to the highly praised LG G2 speakers. It’s unclear if the Galaxy Note 3 will come with new microphone recording technology, like on the Nokia Lumia series, to capture richer fidelity audio for playback on the speakers.