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Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom has the right camera moves

With its 10x zoom lens and easy-to-operate camera modes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is one heck of a camera. But it also makes for the lumpiest smartphone I've ever seen.

This gallery represents some of the best photos we took using this phone. While not every shot was successful, this should give you an idea of the kind of quality you can expect. Unless otherwise specified, these photos have been taken with automatic settings. You'll find a deeper camera comparison with the Nokia Lumia 1020 here.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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Rings

The Zoom makes colors pop, especially yellow tones.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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Statuesque

I really liked this image, which was taken in a plaza.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
3
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Full zoom

I was even more impressed by the optical zoom quality when I moved in close on the statue's loop.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
4
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Stalker shot

I used the full zoom to spy on this music lover.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
5
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Cactus

The Zoom has a larger depth of field, which helps keep the image more evenly in focus. However, in real life, these cacti are a lot bluer than this photo suggests.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
6
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Deliciousness

Food mode is a new one that punches up color to make shots of your meals extra palatable.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
7
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Good enough to eat

Another cupcake angle, using Food mode. You can see the fat glisten in the frosting.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
8
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More food mode

I used the same food-friendly settings on this turkey cheese burger.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
9
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Tree berries

Another example of the Zoom's automatic settings applied to nature.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
10
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Close shooter

I got close up on this $5 bill using automatic mode (left), then turned on macro to get closer still. It's interesting that the color tone cooled on macro.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
11
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Vroom zoom

I took this picture with full zoom from across a busy street.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
12
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Landscape

I also used to phone's optical zoom to frame this waterfront scene a little tighter.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
13
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And freeze!

Lighting conditions weren't very pretty, but I did want to test the Zoom's action-freeze mode on this fountain. This is a full-resolution crop.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
14
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Goofball

I like that you can see the texture on the hat when coming in close.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
15
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Denim

I leaned in close to take this photo of a pair of jeans. The image looked crystal clear in freeze frame, but was a little softer and less defined after processing.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
16
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Front-facing friends

Here's a group portrait taken with the 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. Skin tones are more washed out and less rich.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
17
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More indoors

The Zoom tends to fire the flash when taking inside pictures.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
18
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More zoom

I set the focus on Kent German's face when zooming in from across a crowded room at CNET's ping pong tournament finals (really!). It took several attempts to get him in focus. The Zoom kept latching onto the figures to his left.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
19
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All hail the champ!

The Zoom captured cell phone editor Lynn La's moment of ping pong triumph.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
20
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Hot dog

I wasn't sure if I captured this moment or not until I looked in the photo gallery.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
21
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Text ready

Lettering is clear on this extensive beer menu.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
22
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Crisp edges

I was also happy with the detail and edge clarity on this bottle, but better low-light processing would have perhaps yielded a softer shot with less glass glare.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
23
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Thirsty bears

The flash illuminated CNET writers in the front, but the ladies in back are much harder to see.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
24
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Party people

The same thing happened, but to a lesser extent, to this group, and had me wishing for better low-light performance in automatic mode.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
25
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Blinded by the light

Whether you want flash or no flash in dimly lit or indoor scenes is a matter of preference.
Updated:Caption:Photo:Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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