Galaxy S21 Ultra undoubtedly has one of the most versatile cameras, but at least one of the qualities used by Samsung to promote the new flagship could be a fake.
It is a function called 100x Space Zoom, obtained by combining 10X optical zoom natively supported by the periscope camera with a function called Zoom Lock, which promises to “improve the quality of images obtained with zoom” using AI post-processing. Samsung does not explain exactly how the technology works, but at least in some usage scenarios the results are spectacular. For example, the Space Zoom function allows users to take high-quality pictures with the earth’s natural satellite without even needing a tripod to stabilize the image.
Questioning the phone’s ability to take real pictures of the moon’s surface, some photography experts compared the “optimized” photos taken by the Galaxy S21 Ultra with the photos delivered by an ultra-high-performance camera worth $ 4,800. In particular, the experiments tried to determine if the pictures obtained with the new Samsung flagship did not contain details that are not found in the original image, added by the AI algorithm when a certain shooting scenario is detected.
In the image above you can admire a surprisingly successful picture of the Moon, the natural satellite of the Earth. However, the author of the experiment states that in reality it can be any circular object posed remotely on a black background, first setting the Space Zoom function to 100x.
Taking advantage of the fact that the Earth’s natural satellite always looks the same, varying only the illuminated part, Samsung engineers would have trained the AI system to add details that are simply not found in the source image, resulting in pictures that look better than they should. According to the accusations, at least if they are obtained in Space Zoom mode, the pictures with the Moon taken with the Galaxy S21 Ultra phones are not completely authentic, the users being fooled by the capture software.
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.