Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU

Stunning photographs taken on a phone

GAB Scanu makes his living travelling the world, capturing images from perspectives rarely seen, to create content for some of the biggest brands on the planet.

So he knows a thing or two about photography, video making, not to mention using drones.

But in recent times, one of his favourite tools hasn't been the latest DLSR camera or Mavic 2 Pro drone, but something we all have in our pockets, a phone.

The social media influencer has fallen in love with Samsung's Note20 Ultra camera, particularly the pro video settings which allow him to capture 'cinematic' montages that are worthy of his 366,000 followers on Instagram.

Gab has worked with brands like Lexus, Google, Universal, Disney, Sofitel and tourism bodies like Discover Los Angeles creating iconic scenes which include stunning aerials of Sydney, Bondi, Byron Bay to ancient images from Saudi Arabia.

Since COVID-19 has struck, the 22-year-old Sydneysider has been exploring more of his own backyard than travelling overseas.

While he's better known for his work with a DJI drone than a smartphone, he's been having a ball with some of the top end features of Samsung's flagship phone.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU


The pro video mode allows you to adjust your ISO (speed), aperture, white balance, focus and even where your microphone records the sound from.

Shooting at 24 frames per second, Gab says being able to play with your settings makes for a much more professional looking video.

He said he had been using the Note20 to do test shoots and has been surprised how good the camera has been.

In pro video mode, you can not only adjust your ISO (speed) but also your aperture, white balance, focus mode and where you microphone records the sound from.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU



The Note20 Ultra allows you to slow down the speed of your zooming, meaning a more cinematic feel.

In pro photo mode you can also adjust your tint, contrast, saturation, highlight and shadow.

The Note20 takes some exceptional wide angle shots, while Gab has also been stunned by the quality of the images using burst mode by holding the S Pen button down.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU

He took a series of pictures of a basketballer in action and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Being able to trigger your photo or video via the S Pen also means you can get a lot more creative, setting up your phone someone and then taking the photo or video from somewhere else.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU



Of course, the phone's camera is not the same as a full-featured DSLR - but you pay a lot more for one of those and they are more obvious to those around you.

The beauty of using a phone for semi-professional work is you can get into more places, without creating a fuss, and without people coming up to you to ask you about your gear - something you will find if you're flying a high end drone or using a big camera rig.

Gab says the photos produced by the 108 megapixel camera on the Note20 were 'pretty incredible' and not that much different in a lot of cases to what you would get with a DSLR.

Shooting in Pro Photo mode, you can shoot in RAW format meaning you can improve images even further in post-editing through Photoshop or Lightroom.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU



"From a social media perspective, no-one is going to notice the difference.''

The Note20 Ultra produces very vivid photographs with brighter colours than the arguably more natural looking iPhone photography.

But unlike the iPhone, it has a much bigger zoom with five times optical zoom and up to 50 times digital.

 



The Note20 uses Night Mode to suck in more light - and does a pretty good job - especially if it is set up on a tripod.

Though as you would expect, as you crank up the ISO, shots becoming noisier especially in super low light.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is given a workout by young Aussie photographer and film maker Gab Scanu. GAB SCANU



Gab says he has found the zoom particularly sharp up until 10x and more like a 'magnifying glass' past  30 times. It's
great you can see objects in the distance, but you're not going to get a super sharp image at 50 times zoom.

"The most I shoot at is about 10 times zoom.''

Gab says his tips for shooting good video using a phone would include trying to keep it as steady as possible, even using a stabiliser or tripod, moving and zooming more slowly, shooting at a lower ISO and having the right shutter speed for the scene.



And then use the variety of cameras on the phone from wide angle to telephoto to create a variety of scenes from your establishing shots through to your close-ups.

While Gab has enjoyed short road trips around NSW and being at home more, like all of us he's keen to do some more travel.

In the meantime, his Instagram feed is a good place to go if you are looking for travel inspiration, including in our own big backyard.


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News Corp Australia


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