More Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra zoom camera details surface

13 January 2021
Light needs less refractions to reach the sensor, making this the smartest periscope around.

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  • Arutirtha Biswas

Nice camera.
Eagerly waiting for Galaxy Unpacked Event.
I am very happy to see the unboxing of Samsung Galaxy S21 series. I hope that Samsung will launch it with an affordable price.

Same boring stuff as last year.. nothing new

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreYou are right... They should have kept the large imx 586 for zoom along with 10x periscope.
The 3x telephoto is useless as 3x lossless zoom can be achieved by the 108mp camera.

I was hoping they would improve the main camera, which is basically the same module as before. I wish they had made the sensor even bigger, maybe finally beating Nokia 808 PureView's 1/1.2" sensor. A 1/1.15"-1/1.1" sensor with 40-50MP would be very nice!

RazrFlip, 13 Jan 2021IT IS NOT A ZOOM. IT IS A TELEPHOTO. Zoom means variable ma... moreYou're incorrect. It is actually a Zoom lens, and that's why the Entire Industry uses that terminology. Unlike ILCs (DSLRs or Mirrorless), smartphones don't have moving part zooms (the ones who showed ones, only exhibited theoretical prototypes, but not real working commercial models). Also, cameras on smartphoness have optical, digital, and hybrid zooms, and work by interpolation between varying hardware (and digital zoom) levels by way of interpolation. That's why, the camera will have Ultra wide, regular, 5x and 10x for the Ultra. And for all values between the regular and 10x magnification, it will use algortihs to ensure that there is a smooth transition, much like an actual zoom lens on a ILC. This is the industry practice.

You may HATE Samsung, for whatever reasons, but PLEASE BACK ALLEGATIONS WITH FACTS.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreYou're right, But not 2x Less light, but only 1/2 as much light. Almost 1 stop less (0.83x or so). Having said that, it has much larger pixels and dual pixel autofocus. Also, we know nothing about the exact light gathering capabilities of the sensor (signal to noise ratio). Also, since Samsung (via Coretronics) has been using this tech for a while, the OIS should have improved noticeably, and dual pixel autofocus should ensure the light loss due to the f-stop is made up by Computational Photography Algorithms, something all smartphones, with their tiny sensors rely upon. That's why slower sensors also have lesser frames to play with, and not making the most of multi-frames to compensate for sensor disadvantages.

freeDom21, 13 Jan 2021Well that is partially correct. Don't compare only ape... moreI noted the focal length, which is why I stated them. It's wrong to look at the aperture alone.
However, remember, this is a fixed focal length system. Hence, you cannot choose your focal length or vary it, and when comparing a closed system you can neglect the focal length.
This is especially since we're comparing the light gathering capability of the camera system.
In low light, a S20 2x digital zoom 105mm image quality is probably going to be the same as the S21 240mm image quality, because the image gathering capability of the camera system has not improved.

A bird photographer, 13 Jan 2021Maybe chill off a little, bro! Not everyone has to be a pro... moreAgree with you on how the sensor size increase is going to make a noticeable difference.

So in this case, it's a case of bigger aperture with smaller sensor site, or smaller aperture with larger sensor site. However, at either 1.22um or 0.8um, both are diffraction limited in the sense that the image quality improvement won't be much difference. In fact, it will be a case that a larger aperture will likely result in better images.

2x refraction isn't the same as only 2 reflections. but needless to say yes, 2 refraction to achieve 240mm is an amazing achievement. I'm just wondering how much is given up. I guess you should know why a 300mm lens weighs 2.5kg, not 250 grams with 2 elements. The image quality won't be match up.

When refraction occurs, it "will spread out light", and increase chromatic aberration, increase distortion. Typically, additional elements are used to reduce their effect them. If you have stared into a glass sphere before, you will see that the middle is very "zoomed" in, but the sides are crazily distorted. Additional refraction is used to bring them back to "normal". You can't simply bend the law of physics.

Which is why, I'm very skeptical of Ice Universe's claim. It sounds like how Apple markets a "bug" as a feature.

  • Morsel

Nick Tagataka, 13 Jan 2021S21 will feature a 86% larger sensor than P40 Pro+ (14.9mm2... moreWe all kinda understood what you meant. That guy was just picking on you.

  • Morsel

A bird photographer, 13 Jan 2021Maybe chill off a little, bro! Not everyone has to be a pro... moreWell explained.

  • Morsel

Nick Tagataka, 13 Jan 2021You mean reflection?If you didn't know, Refraction and reflections are 2 different things and I think he meant what he wanted to mean.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021My apologies, I misread. Anyway P40 Pro + is f/4.4 at 24... moreS21 will feature a 86% larger sensor than P40 Pro+ (14.9mm2 vs 8mm2) though, hence my initial comment about overall S21's telephoto camera capturing 50% more light than P40 Pro+'s still holds true.

  • A bird photographer

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreMaybe chill off a little, bro! Not everyone has to be a pro photographer.

So I'm a bird photographer who constantly deals with lenses upwards of 300mm. Let me say what I think.

The 48MP telephoto in the S20 Ultra is not a Quad Bayer sensor (because it was meant to be cropped into), so each legitimate pixel is 0.8 µm. Meanwhile the S21 Ultra's pixels are significantly larger, at 1.22 µm. So more than twice the area, means better ISO performance. f3.5 vs f4.9 means the S21 Ultra's lens brings in about half the amount of light, but remember- the focal length has just increased by 150%, so very much forgiveable.

The new tele has some nice new tech, like Dual Pixel Phase-Detect AF compared to simple PDAF in the S20 Ultra. Furthermore, only bending light twice in the 240mm is seriously impressive. That means (probably) reduced chromatic abberation, reduced distortion, lower prices and less software needed to correct for it.

Onto your argument about having slower shutter speeds - there isn't much we can do. It's not right to compare a 103mm to a 240mm and say the 240mm brings half the amount of light in, because that's a given. Plus, the 240mm isn't doing most of the heavy lifting - that will be done by the new 3x telephoto, which, having f2.4 at 70mm and 1/3.4 inch, isn't going to suffer as hard.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021Not sure how you declare it BS, but the S20/Note 20 ultra i... moreGlad to hear you still like the Note 9. Best device in the last 3 years imo.
As for you not liking the Note20 Ultra, I guess that's your experience and preference but others on this site like it. Other websites have claimed it to be top cam of 2020.
We all have our preferences.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreWell that is partially correct. Don't compare only aperture numbers. Remember, that even twice the size is focal lenght of 240mm - so when you zooming in that much, the perception of light should not be only counted by aperture size. It's a ratio.
Similar this is with telescopes.

Nick Tagataka, 13 Jan 2021I was trying to say that S21's 10x telephoto takes in ... moreMy apologies, I misread.
Anyway P40 Pro + is f/4.4 at 240mm.
S21 ultra's telephoto is f/4.9 at 240mm

So, actually P40 Pro + captures about 25% more light than the S21 ultra.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreThe S20 Ultra only had 4x optical zoom. The S21 Ultra has 10x optical zoom. Therefore, the focal length WOULD be longer, it's called physics.

The S21 Ultra's has larger pixels, so the offset would be negligible. It will produce far better results than that of the S20 Ultra.

  • MadMike

mooox, 13 Jan 2021Not sure how you declare it BS, but the S20/Note 20 ultra i... moreDon't know what you're talking about. S20 Ultra Pro mode is absolutely fantastic and takes great RAW photos that I've edited in Lightroom to achieve very good results. Did you not enable RAW properly in the settings?

  • Anonymous

There's something fishy about the ultra zoom feature in phones. If it was that simple, most regualar cameras would feature 10X zooms, but actually most of them only have 3X. I'll wait for a hands on experience to believe.

mooox, 13 Jan 2021you're wrong. the "new" camera does NOT take... moreI was trying to say that S21's 10x telephoto takes in 50% more light than P40 Pro+'s 10x telephoto camera, my apology for writing it as P40 Pro instead. As for S20 Ultra's 4x camera, I have no idea why you're talking about it as I didn't even mention it in my comment let alone comparing it to S21.