Cameras

Here’s the biggest selling point of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018). It comes with a total of 4 cameras at the back. Yes – four of them, lined up vertically. It is definitely quite bizarre at first.

These are the cameras aligned from top to bottom of the Galaxy A9 (2018):

  • Rear-facing cameras
    • 8MP f/2.4 ulta-wide angle camera
    • 24MP f/1.8 main camera with PDAF
    • 10MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom
    • 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor
  • Selfie camera
    • 24MP f/2.0

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

With the specs out of the way, how the the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) actually perform? Let’s take a look at these sample pictures here.

You can have a look at our full gallery of pictures at our Shutterfly album here.

Rear-facing cameras

The quadruple camera setup is quite interesting to review. I took the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) to my usual places to take a few images while cycling through the cameras. These are what I obtained.

Wide angle camera.
Main camera.
2x optical zoom camera.
Wide angle camera.
Main camera.
Telephoto camera.

Of course, the 4th camera is the depth sensor which assists in creating a better bokeh image. Does a fantastic job, too.

Taken with the Live Focus (bokeh) feature.

Funny enough, Samsung has a button for you to “fix” the fish-eye distortion by the press of a button. However, that only works if you disable the camera watermark – which is understandable.

Original wide angle picture.
Same wide angle picture after fixing distortion.

From here, you can see that the images are looking pretty good outdoors. For the main camera, everything looks surprisingly fantastic. The white balance is good and the details are sharp as well.

Both the wide angle and telephoto cameras has a blue tint over it, hence throwing the white balance out of whack. The story changes even further when I am taking pictures using the wide indoors and in dimly-lit conditions.

Wide angle camera.
Main camera.
Telephoto camera.

Immediately, you can see the quality drops quite drastically – particularly on the ultra wide-angle camera. Why? That’s because of the much smaller f/2.4 aperture and it does not have autofocus.

Another quality difference is between the main camera and the 2x zoom telephoto camera. Samsung’s algorithm is smart. If the environment is too dark for the 2x optical zoom telephoto to capture anything decent, then it will swap to the main camera with a 2x digital zoom instead. However, digital zoom obviously looks sub-par.

Telephoto optical zoom compare with main camera digital zoom
The difference is most apparent around the wood grains.

So why did Samsung automatically switch from the telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom to the main camera 2x digital zoom? That is because the 2x optical zoom camera only has f/2.4 aperture compared to the f/1.8 on the main camera. I do hope that Samsung adds a warning on the screen whenever this camera swap happens.

Even though the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) does come with a total of 4 cameras and 3 different modes, there is no way to utilize all of them in manual mode, or Pro mode as Samsung calls it.

Selfie camera

Not much of a fan of selfies here, but the 24MP selfie camera is rather okay. Nothing too fancy. It still does not have autofocus for selfie camera.

Camera UI

Once again, the camera UI is very similar to the Galaxy A7 (2018) that we reviewed here. The only main difference here is that instead of having just two buttons for the camera modes, the Galaxy A9 (2018) has 3.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) camera UI
Comes with Scene Optimizer mode as well.

As mentioned earlier, the manual mode does not allow me to utilize the ultra wide angle camera or the 2x optical zoom camera – which is unfortunate. Perhaps a firmware update can solve this.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) camera UI
It can go to ISO 100. However, there is no shutter speed control.

In the Gallery app is where you can select the wide angle pictures to be corrected. Very simple and intuitive interface from Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) camera UI

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Materials
9
Software
8
Connectivity and ports
9
Screen
9
Specifications
9
Camera
6
Battery and charger
9
Value
6
The enthusiastic nanoelectronic engineer who found his way into simplifying the world of tech for everyone. Introverted, but noisy. Nice to meet you!