Recently, Samsung has been the focus of notable controversy concerning the cameras on its Galaxy line of mobile phones. Assessing pictures of the Moon uncovered the phones were engaging in extra operations, resulting in Samsung publishing a report to explain the situation.
Samsung recently marked the release of the Galaxy S23, its most substantial flagship to date. Among the many impressive qualities of the new lineup is the Ultra's 200-megapixel camera, and its capacity for digital zoom up to 100x, known as "Space Zoom" by Samsung.
We recently mentioned that Space Zoom is not as effortless as Samsung insists. A Reddit user named "ibreakphotos" conducted thorough tests to demonstrate that Samsung is doing added work to improve details on photos that would typically be unclear and grainy.
After days of argument, Samsung issued a blog to inform of the specifics of what goes on inside the camera when activating Space Zoom.
According to Samsung, the Ultra's camera is equipped with multiple AI models to provide users with the best image. Notable among these is Super Resolution, which is initiated at 25x zoom and takes 10 shots at once. The resulting image is then cleansed of noise, and sharpness and other details are enhanced.
Scene Optimizer is a further AI used in this scenario. It identifies whether the camera is targeting the Moon, regardless of the phase. Samsung trained the system with thousands of Moon images, so at the sight of the well-known nighttime object, it further refines the details (above). A third AI model adjusts the exposure automatically to counter the washout caused by the Moon's high contrast against the night sky (below).
Lastly, the "Zoom Lock" feature of the phone utilizes auto image stabilization, thus avoiding blurring caused by movement. Samsung's explanation of using AI appears more logical than the gossip that the phone's AI had superimposed a Moon image atop the initial photograph.
The debate on Samsung's cameras and their Space Zoom feature may have been over-amplified—at least from the organization's point of view. Phone manufacturers are no strangers to utilizing AI for their cameras. All Samsung's system does is give users the opportunity to get a phenomenal photo of the far-off Moon, a task that seemed impossible a few years ago.