The streets were filled with energy of excitement. Of people with painted faces eager to experience the revelry going through the mid-day. A group of performers in their shimmering blue attire dances to the beat under the bearing sun. “Viva Pit Señor!!!” they shout as they raise their hands to the sky. Their festival queen dances gracefully, arching her back incredibly far and deep while raising the Sto Niño to the sky. How she retains her smile through this is a wonder as I try to capture this moment. My DSLR takes a back seat. From my pocket, I pull out the Asus Zenfone Zoom. I like the feel of the leather at the phone’s back cover which also helps with the traction on my hands.
The Asus Zenfone Zoom
Last weekend finds us in Cebu City, not only for the Sinulog Festival but also for the Philippine launch of the Asus Zenfone Zoom. An attractive 5.5” Retina screen phone in the same mould of the sleek looking and award-winning Asus Zenfone design. The Asus Zenfone Zoom has an impressive camera specification:
- 10-element HOYA Lens at f/2.0 aperture
- 3x optical zoom
- 13MP Panasonic SmartFSI image sensor
- 4-level OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
- Laser Autofocus
- Dual color real tone flash
- Dedicated shutter button
All those optical hardware meticulously infused in a thin 5mm full-metal unibody frame. Keeping everything running smooth is an Intel Inside Super Quad Core CPU coupled with the world’s first 4GB RAM smartphone and powered by a 3,000 mAh li-Polymer battery.
Shooting with the Zoom
We had an opportunity to shoot with the Asus Zenfone Zoom during the Sinulog weekend. We only had a few hours of handling the phone but it did gave us a feel on how it performs. Like the Zenfone 2 Laser which I previously reviewed, the PixelMaster is the main app that is used to capture images. It has numerous modes optimized for different situations. It also includes a powerful Manual Mode that can keep shutter open for 32seconds for low-light shooting. This sinulog though, we were shooting more using the 3x optical zoom, laser-focus abilities for action shots and macro modes.
The Asus Zenfone Zoom has a dedicated shutter button on the side making it quicker to take the shot than pressing on the screen. In good light conditions, focus was quick, utilizing the Laser Autofocus. I like that there are multiple options for burst-modes. Low-light is a different story though, several times, there was trouble in tracking moving subjects but I did manage to get clean shots after several attempts. Close-up focus is still exceptional on this phone and can produce some bokeh as well.
Conclusion and sample images on the next page…