The Galaxy S20 Ultra's ambitious camera system has been marred by autofocus issues ever since it was released, and while the company has largely addressed this with early firmware updates, one particular issue might not be as easy to fix.
Taking photos of close objects with the Galaxy S20 Ultra can lead to mixed results, and in the worst case scenarios, the camera fails to autofocus, leading to blurry shots. A Samsung moderator on Samsung members recently talked about this problem in a post on the Korean forums and revealed that it might not be possible to fix it with a firmware update.
The focal length is determined by the lens specifications
According to the Samsung moderator, the increased size of the S20 Ultra's sensor results in a shallow depth of field and longer focal length of 10cm or more, therefore, it may fail to focus when photographing objects up-close. More importantly, because the focal length is determined by the lens specifications, this shortcoming is difficult to correct with software.
In other words, autofocus should no longer be an issue for the Galaxy S20 Ultra in general applications, but loss of focus can still occur at close range due to the focal length being longer than usual (the Galaxy S20 and S20+ have a slightly shorter focal length as they use a different main camera sensor). Basically, it's a physical characteristic of the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108MP camera that owners of the device will have to live with.