For decades, humans have burdened the lunar rock with conspiracies one after another. From the suspicions around the Apollo landing being a hoax to beliefs of supermoons causing disasters and – the most bizarre – it being an alien station, significant lesions of people exist that believe these theories.
The latest conspiracy revolves around the Samsung Galaxy S12 Ultra. Thanks to its camera featuring a 100x zoom for clear moon photos, the smartphone has swept the internet with its impeccable results when capturing the Moon. Its dual-telephoto camera makes Galaxy S12 Ultra a smartphone with the most versatile camera on the market. The results were stellar enough to beat the iPhone, rejuvenating the old feud between iPhone and Android users.
While its cutting-edge camera results attracted applause from critics and experts, it invited some allegations forward naturally.
Some claimed that Samsung was using AI to fake images of the Moon. They alleged it was doing tricks similar to what Huawei did with the P30 Pro a couple of years ago.
Hence began the dubiousness around its ability to capture clear pictures of the Moon. So, is Samsung faking it or has what it takes?
The Accusations & Allegations
Several people doubted the images being real after the 100x zoom feature for the moon picture rolled out. The conspiracy was that Samsung was slapping a lunar texture onto anything that resembled it.
It all started when the famous YouTube Influencer Alexi Bexi cautioned people not to fall for the AI tricks. His tweet included a video with claims of Samsung enhancing everything that looked like a moon with a fake overlay.
YouTuber Danny Winget also suggested that the photos were not genuine. His theory was that Samsung was secretly processing images after pressing the shutter. It happens when you take the same shot without scene detection.
However, when people tried clicking objects similar to the Moon, the results were not what conspiracies claimed. It should have ended the debate.
But people then came up with another theory. For instance, Dave Lee believed that the Samsung Camera was much more intelligent than this. He suggested that maybe Samsung was using the camera angle or using location data via GPS coordinates to identify if the user aimed at the Moon.
Unraveling The Truth – An Unexpected Journey of a Technological Review
Following the accusations, Raymond Wong from InputMag decided to investigate the claims.
He first tried taking several images of objects that looked like the Moon. However, nothing worked out. Samsung Galaxy S21 did not make them look like it.
Then, Raymond decided to talk to other tech reviewers like Michael Fisher, Danny Winget, Dave Lee, Max Weinbach, and Brian Tong.
Michael Fisher took pictures of a ping pong ball on a black blanket. It could not fool the S21 Ultra’s camera into adding any textures. They then added luminance by setting it on top of a Galaxy Z Fold 2 LED flash. Wong also used a clove of garlic for taking the 100x shot. However, the camera still did not slap texture in both cases.
Following Dave Lee, he thought He talked to experts and compared the images of the moon shot using the Galaxy S21 Ultra and a $4,800 Sony camera rig.
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.
Wong’s last way to figure out the truth was to compare the Galaxy S21 Ultra with Sony ASR III. Latter is a mirrorless camera with a long-range zoom lens.
The patterned lines and textures of the two shots from the two devices lined up. Moreover, after digital manipulation of the image from the mirrorless camera and sharpening it in Adobe Lightroom, the Galaxy S21 Ultra image still was better.
So, Can Samsung Take Pictures of The Moon?
Yes, Samsung can take clear pictures of the Moon. The camera app uses no overlay photos or maps to enhance the images. All it does is use AI to identify the object and set the camera settings right. The S21 Ultra 100x zoom tuning is impressive and gives the smartphone a considerable edge over others. There is also a ton of correction happening that produces exceptional results. However, Samsung admits to using AI. It is the same digital manipulation that we do everywhere. Samsung does it automatically.
Hence, it is safe to say that there is no faking going on with the 100x Moon photos.
However, there is one caveat. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Scene Optimizer will not make all 100x zoom photos look as good as the Moon.
Samsung flat-out says that the Scene Optimizer can recognize a few objects only. For instance; Food, Waterfalls, Snow, Portraits, Flowers, Baby, People, Cat, Moon, Indoor scenes, Animals, Landscapes, Greenery, Trees, Sky, Mountains, Beaches, Sunrises and sunsets, Watersides, Street scenes, Night scenes, Birds, Backlit, Text, Clothing, Vehicle, Shoe, Dog, Face, Drink, Stage.
Other scenes and objects will look like a grainy mush at 100x zoom instead. So consider that when buying this smartphone.
Settings to Take a Clear Picture of the Moon with Samsung
You have to activate the Photo Stabilizer and Screen Optimizer of your handset to picture the Moon, slowly zooming up to 100x.
After that, your picture is just one click away!
According to the official website of Samsung, activating the Super Steady feature of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is easy. Follow the steps below:
- Launch the Camera Application.
- Select the Video icon.
- Select the Super Steady icon to enable the feature.
- After enabling it, click on the Recording button. You can now start recording videos in Super Steady mode.
- Contrarily, you can click the white button to capture photos instead.
Samsung can take clear pictures of the moon. While several people doubted it, you can rest assured as tech reviewers no longer feel conflicted. There are several tests done to identify if the images are not fake.