The 2020 Galaxy S20 Ultra is famous for its Space Zoom feature, which enables shooting at x100 magnification. It was assumed that with its help it would be possible to take a relatively accurate picture, for example, of the Moon.
Recently, Reddit user ibreakphotos exposed Samsung’s “space zoom” – it turned out that the photos of the Moon were just a marketing ploy, but in reality they are drawn by a neural network. For the experiment, ibreakphotos downloaded a photo of the satellite, reduced the size and blurred it as much as possible. After that, he displayed a blurry picture on the monitor and took a photo on Samsung – the smartphone did not notice the catch and gave out a beautiful photo.
The post did not go unnoticed and prompted journalists to turn to Samsung itself for comment. The smartphone manufacturer said that, among other things, the Galaxy S23 Ultra does not use tricks in the form of additional details, and the resulting effect is not a texture overlay. In addition, those who take photos can opt out of the scene optimizer, which uses AI assistance.
The AI recognizes the Moon as the main subject and takes multiple shots for a multi-frame composition when the user takes a photo. The AI then improves details for image quality and color. It does not impose any overlays on the photo. Samsung said.
In addition, Samsung decided to publish a new post in which it explains how the functionality works with artificial intelligence. A similar article was published last year on the Korean website of the owner of the Galaxy brand, among others.
A high-quality image of the Moon is obtained by combining more than 10 images taken at a magnification of at least 25x. Such an image then needs to be denoised and improved in detail in order to maintain, among other things, sufficient brightness. The Moon itself as the main object is recognized thanks to artificial intelligence.
What adds credibility to Samsung’s claim is that the feature isn’t effective in all conditions. For example, the moon may not be detected correctly if it is obscured by clouds. Its performance is also affected by the conditions in which the picture is taken, since in the early evening the smartphone needs to darken the background of the subject in order to make the moon more visible.
However, while enjoying the unusual features of our devices, it is important to remember that in reality they may not be as perfect as advertised.
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