(9 days left!) Be the first with a 200MP camera! Visit Samsung to reserve and gain $100 in Samsung credit!

SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Is Samsung faking moon photos with Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 100x Space Zoom?


Last updated: February 1st, 2021 at 07:30 UTC+01:00

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the most versatile smartphone camera on the market right now. Thanks to its dual-telephoto cameras (3x zoom and 10x zoom) and the Zoom Lock feature, it is well-equipped to take clear images of faraway subjects. However, some consumers and experts have expressed doubts over its ability to take real photos of the moon. It was being alleged that Samsung is using AI trickery to fake images of the moon, similar to what Huawei did a couple of years ago with the P30 Pro.

The conspiracy was that Samsung is slapping a texture of the moon onto anything that resembles it. So, Raymond Wong from InputMag decided to investigate those claims by talking to experts and comparing the images of the moon shot using the Galaxy S21 Ultra and a $4,800 camera rig. He talked to some tech reviewers, including Michael Fisher (a.k.a MrMobile), Danny Winget, Dave Lee (Dave2D), Max Weinbach, and Brian Tong.

Dave Lee suggested that the images could be fake or at least optically enhanced beyond reality. He said, “I think if it is fake, they’re doing some higher-level stuff than Huawei.” Michael Fisher tried to trick the Galaxy S21 Ultra into thinking that a golf ball placed against a black background is the moon and checked if the phone is adding moon textures over it. Wong tried to do the same using a clove of garlic and taking a 100x shot. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra didn’t turn those objects into a moon by adding textures.

Max Weinbach tried to search the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera APK to see if it had textures of the moon, but nothing turned up. Brian Tong said, “I don’t think the S21 Ultra is making up textures that it adds on top of the Moon. Adding textures seems way too aggressive. I could understand AI maybe filling in the blanks to a certain degree.

$1,200 Galaxy S21 Ultra vs $4,800 Sony A7R III: Who took better shots of the moon?

After receiving mixed opinions from the experts, Wong figured that the only way to prove what was going on is to compare the Galaxy S21 Ultra with a mirrorless camera and a long-range zoom lens. He captured an image of the moon with the Sony ASR III, which had a $2,000 200-600mm lens attached to it. The patterned lines and textures lined up between the shots of the two devices. Moreover, even after cleaning up the image from the mirrorless camera and then sharpening it in Adobe Lightroom, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s image turned out to be better.

In the end, it was proven that Samsung isn’t faking photos of the moon, but there was a lot of software processing going on in the background. In fact, the Galaxy S21 Ultra shot better images of the moon than the Sony mirrorless camera that costs thrice as much as the smartphone. Even in our review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, we managed to capture some impressive images of the moon in the day and the night.

You can read more on this subject and how Samsung is using AI to improve its 100x Space Zoom so that it can capture such excellent shots of the moon in the detailed article on InputMag by clicking the source link below the article.

What do you think about the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera and its AI optimization techniques? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source Phone Galaxy S21 Ultra
Load 16 comments

You might also like

These phones will get One UI 5.1 update soon after Galaxy S23 launch

It is expected that Samsung will debut the Galaxy S23 series with Android 13-based One UI 5.1 software onboard. Going by the company’s track record, the new software will be rolled out to previous-generation high-end phones first, then to tablets and mid-range smartphones. Well, Samsung has now confirmed which phones will get the One UI […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 week ago

Galaxy S21 is the next in line to get January 2023 security update

Yesterday, Samsung released the 2023’s first security update to the Galaxy Note 10 series. Now, the company has started rolling out the January 2023 security update to the Galaxy S21 series in some European countries. The latest software update for the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra bumps up the firmware version of […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 3 weeks ago

First post-Android 13 update for unlocked Galaxy S21 USA models is out

Unlocked Galaxy S21 models in the USA received Android 13 and One UI 5.0 almost a month ago, but that update came with a slightly older security patch (it had the October patch instead of the November patch, for those wondering). Now, Samsung is rolling out another Android 13-based update for unlocked Galaxy S21 modes, […]

  • By Abhijeet Mishra
  • 1 month ago

Samsung fixes Microsoft Intune issue on Galaxy S22/S21 running Android 13

The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 were some of the first devices from Samsung to receive the Android 13 OS (One UI 5.0) update. However, a few users have been facing issues with the Microsoft Intune Company Portal app on their phones since they updated them to the latest firmware. More specifically, users are unable […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 month ago

Galaxy S21’s US carrier-locked version gets December 2022 security update

Last week, Samsung released the December 2022 security update to the Galaxy S21 series in Europe. Now, the update is rolling out to the carrier-locked version of the Galaxy S21 series in the US. It brings improved security and better stability to the smartphones in the Galaxy S21 series. The latest software update for the […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 month ago

Galaxy S21 gets December 2022 security update

Over the past week or so, Samsung has released its latest security update to various mid-range and high-end smartphones. The company is now rolling out the new update to its high-end smartphones from last year, the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The latest software update for the Galaxy S21 series comes […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 month ago