Friday, August 3, 2018

Asus ZenFone 5Z update brings RAW capture, Panoramas, and more camera improvements

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The Asus ZenFone 5Z is an affordable flagship smartphone that aims to compete with the OnePlus 6. It was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February, and launched in a few markets in June. It arrived in India in July. Asus aimed to undercut its competitors with respect to pricing in the affordable flagship segment, and the company succeeded in doing that as the ZenFone 5Z's base 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs ₹29,999. This makes it the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-powered flagship in India, undercutting even the OnePlus 6 by ₹5,000.

In India, the phone received its first major update at the time of launch, with the update changelog mentioning improved camera performance, July security patches, and bug fixes. Now, Asus is rolling out a major camera-focused update for the Asus ZenFone 5Z. The update brings the ability to capture in RAW. Users can take photos in RAW for post-processing in apps such as Photoshop, as RAW gives more control to the user as compared to processed JPEG images. It's probable to expect the RAW images to have a much higher file size than JPEG photos, though.

The ZenFone 5Z's update also brings panorama mode. Panorama is a standard photo mode on most Android devices, so it's surprising to see Asus roll out the feature in an update instead of having it pre-loaded from the beginning. Regardless, it's good to see it being added. Asus didn't state anything regarding the resolution of panorama photos.

More interestingly, the update improves camera performance across the board. In terms of camera specifications, the Asus ZenFone 5Z has a dual rear camera setup, with a 12MP primary camera paired with an 8MP wide-angle camera. It can record 4K video at 60fps.

The update's changelog mentions improved sharpness, improved auto focus functionality, improved auto exposure, improved HDR, improved slow motion quality and file size in 720p, and improved video quality as well. Users can now switch EIS on/off, and the flash can be used in Pro mode. The audio quality in video recording has been boosted to 192kbps bitrate.

Finally, the update brings improved Wi-Fi stability and other bug fixes. The full changelog can be noted below:

Changelog

Changelog:

Camera:

o   Enable RAW file support

o   Enable Panorama feature

o   Add on/off button for EIS

o   Enable flash feature in Pro mode

o   Filters upgraded to Real Time Filters

o   Camera Improvements

Improve HDR functionality

Improve camera stability

Improve auto exposure

Improve photo sharpness

Improve auto focus functionality

Improve slow motion quality and file size(720p)

Boost audio quality in video to 192kbps bitrate

Improve general Video quality

Improve WiFi stability

Other Bug Fixes[/changelog]

It's worth noting that the OnePlus 6—which is the Asus ZenFone 5Z's primary competitor—also received a major camera update recently. The Asus ZenFone 5Z is available exclusively via Flipkart in India, and the 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant recently became available for purchase. In terms of pricing, the starting 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs ₹29,999, while the 6GB RAM/128GB storage and 8GB RAM/256GB storage variants cost ₹32,999 and ₹36,999 respectively.



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