Lightroom Mobile (Android): Ability to use Galaxy Note 9 2x lens

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  • (Edited)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has the same 2x lens setup as the S9+.

This can be utilised in the phone's built-in camera app but LR Mobile does not appear to use it - zooming to 2x and beyond just uses digital zoom.

I have been told by Samsung UK:

"We can assure that we do make features of our phones available to app providers, so when a new phone comes out, the app provider would need to update the software of the app to be able to utilise the features of the phone. The apps are tailored to the phones that they intend to run on, rather than the phones being designed with particular apps in mind."

So can you please update the LR Mobile Camera app to make use of this excellent feature of the latest Samsung Galaxy phones? I would much rather continue using LR Mobile.

Thanks,
Richard
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Richard Masters

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Posted 2 months ago

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Chris Castleberry, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Richard,

Thank you for the interest in adding support for the Galaxy Note 9. It does appear to use the same camera modules as the S9+.

If possible, please post links (Dropbox or similar cloud service) to a DNG+JPEG pair from each of the 2 camera modules (Wide+Telephoto) for the Note 9. I can evaluate them and potentially add support for a future release of Lightroom Mobile. Scenes such as outdoors with several color tones, including objects with horizontal and vertical lines is ideal.

You can either post a link here in this thread or send directly to me at ccastleb@adobe.com.

Thank you.

Regards,

- Chris
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Just to clarify, it's not the lens profile that you want, but you want to be able to access the 2nd lens using Lightroom mobile's Camera?  (Different teams...)
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Richard Masters

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Hi Chris

Many thanks for picking this up so quickly - it is great to see Adobe reacting so swiftly.

However, noting Victoria's comment, I wonder if my requirement was clear enough?

The request is to enable users of LR Mobile to choose the 2nd (2x 'telephoto') lens in the Galaxy Note 9.

If this is not your team, can you bring this to the attention of the team that is responsible for that functionality?

Many thanks,
Richard
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Don't worry, the Android team also read here (although they may not comment)
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Chris Castleberry, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Richard,

I see now. Yes, that would be the Lightroom Android team's call to add support for both camera modules. Apologies for the confusion.

It would still be helpful (if you are willing) to have the samples I mentioned above for adding and testing lens profile support. 

Regards,

- Chris
(Edited)
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Richard Masters

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Hi Chris

I would like to supply the photos you ask for but I have discovered that the camera on the Note 9 is even more crippled than I first thought.

Setting the default Samsung camera app to 'Pro' enables me to take photos that are saved as a DNG+JPG pair that you ask for. That's good.

I set the zoom to x2 (or larger).

The details for the two images saved show as:
1. DNG: Focal length 4.30mm (picture captured is unzoomed)
2. JPG: Focal length: 4.30mm (picture captured is zoomed)

So even in Samsung's own camera app it is not possible to capture a RAW (DNG) photo with the x2 lens!

Unless I have missed something in the settings?

This restriction makes a mockery of Samsung's emphasis on using their flagship phones for serious photography.

Unfortunately I was taken in by the PR and bought a Note 9 for that very reason.

So Chris, thanks for responding - I really do appreciate it when you guys step out from behind the company curtain. It's just a shame that the Android team don't do the same as I would like to hear why these restrictions are in place.

Regards,
Richard
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Chris Castleberry, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Richard,

Just a guess, but it may be that for the native camera behavior the 2x lens is enabled only under certain conditions that ensure an optimal result in optical zoom mode, vs. digital zoom using the wide angle lens. i.e. the choice between optical vs. digital zoom might be automatic and Samsung could have chosen (for various reasons) to keep it simple and only output a JPEG unless the cameras are in 1x mode. Again, just a guess.

In that case, if you would like to post a DNG+JPEG from the wide angle camera and a JPEG from the 2x camera (assuming you can get it to switch to true optical zoom), I can at least evaluate the images for adding lens corrections profiles.

Regards,

- Chris
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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So far, anyway, the Pro mode only uses the wide angle camera and therefore always uses digital zoom, as if the Pro mode hasn't been updated since their phones started having two lenses and doesn't know about both cameras, yet.  There are lots of angry people on various forums.

Samsung gave an odd reply to someone who actually got through to a rep that attempted to give an answer. 
https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/GalaxySNineQandA/thread-id/8...

Here is an excerpt of that reply that talks about using Manual Focus as a way to choose which lens.  I think they have not clue what they are talking about, but maybe they do and the 2x lens only works for certain subject distances, like perhaps the 2x has fixed focus at infinity (or some other fixed distance).

Re: [PE/FR] - Allow use of S9+ optical 2x zoom in Pro mode!

I persevered and asked Samsung why their is no 2x zoom in pro mode. This was their exact reply copied and pasted.

"Regarding your query, zoom function works in pro mode. For 2x lens, please note that the secondary rear camera is a telephoto lens used to capture blur and enhance depth of a photo. You can manually adjust this by using the MF function in pro mode."

You can test whether you're getting optical zoom or digital zoom in JPG-only auto mode by covering the wide-angle lens with something like a post-it note and seeing which photos have something other than yellow for them.  Those are the ones with the 2x optical camera.

Here is another excerpt from another thread about doing that:
https://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s9-s9-plus/880196-question-about-shooting-raw-dng-f...
 
Thanks for the responses guys!

Good call on the idea of covering up one of the lenses. I used a yellow post-it pad to cover up the normal lens but not the telephoto. In auto mode, the 1x view was always the post-it, and the 2x randomly switched back and forth between digital and optical; I'd go from seeing nothing but the yellow of the post-it pad to seeing the pic through the 2x lens. The switching appeared random, and not dependent on the amount of ambient light as one user suggested. It would be most likely to switch when there was an abrupt change in the lighting conditions rather than from dark to light.

In Pro mode (the only mode offering the option to save DNG's), under no circumstances was I ever able to get the camera to operate in optical mode at 2x; I only ever saw the yellow of the post-it pad. This was zooming by either tapping the small on-screen zoom button only present in auto mode, then switching to pro, or by zooming in and out manually in pro using the on screen scale.
(Edited)
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Richard Masters

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Hi Chris

I was getting so angry about Samsung's apparent disregard for their reputation re camera modules (and their customers!) that I did not follow up on your offer re camera profiles - apologies. I will look to take some appropriate photos in the next couple of days and get them to you.

Thanks again,
Richard
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Richard Masters

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Hi Steve

Thanks for the detailed comment re Samsung's lack of action on this. So I guess we should be directing our ire at Samsung rather than Adobe then...? In which case I apologise to the Adobe Android team!

However, it would be good to know if the Adobe Android team are putting pressure on Samsung to correct this so that Lightroom Mobile could provide even better functionality & control.

Best wishes,
Richard
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Chris Castleberry, Camera Raw Engineer

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Thanks, Richard.

I double-checked the lens profile I made for the telephoto lens on the Galaxy S9+, and I was definitely able to produce at least JPEGs for the 52mm lens, though I don't recall how and no longer have ready access to that device. I may have had to use a third party application (e.g. Manual Camera) to switch the lens vs. using the native camera app.

Regards,

- Chris