That The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers 100x Space Zoom, which combines optical zoom and computational processing. The feature should allow device owners to take beautiful pictures of the moon. But an interesting test conducted by a Reddit subscriber “ibreakphotos” says the photos of the moon provided by the Galaxy S23 Ultra are fake.
He wrote: “Many of us have seen the breathtaking moon shots taken with the latest zoom lenses, starting with the S20 Ultra. Nevertheless, I’ve always had doubts about their authenticity as they look almost too perfect. Although these shots are not necessarily outright fabrications, and they’re not entirely genuine either.” So after downloading a high-resolution image of the moon, he reduced the resolution of the image and added a Gaussian blur (using a mathematical function to blur the image) so that the details of the moon were gone.
Samsung uses AI and ML to produce stunning images of the moon captured by the Galaxy S23 Ultra
At one end of his room, he put the image on his computer screen and then went to the other end of the room, turned off the lights and zoomed in on the screen using his Galaxy S23 Ultra. The result? The image became a detailed image of the moon, unlike the white blob on the computer screen. While Samsung truthfully says that “no image overlay or texture effects are applied, it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance photographs of the moon.
Tests show that Samsung uses AI and ML to create stunning images of the moon with the Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Reddit subscriber who ran the above test added: “I hope you can understand that Samsung is leveraging an AI model to place craters and other details in places that were just a blurry mess.” And while some are apologizing to Samsung saying that this is not an example of misleading marketing, others say that the manufacturer does not clearly explain how these images are produced.
This is not the first time Samsung has been accused of faking a moonshot. Three years ago, pictures of the moon taken with 100x Space Zoom on the Galaxy S20 Ultra were also criticized for being fake. At the time, Sammy said its “Super Resolution AI” helped process the images and that no overlays were used. In a statement, Samsung stated: “With a single push of the shutter, up to 20 images are captured and processed at instantaneous speeds. Advanced AI then evaluates and corrects thousands of fine details to produce detailed images even at high magnification levels.”
A manufacturer allegedly used pre-existing images of the moon to trick consumers
As long as overlays are not used, what is the difference between using AI and Machine Learning tools to produce great images of the moon? After all, Google uses computational photography on its Pixel handsets, and those cameras are highly praised. The key part of the sentence is “as long as overlays are not used.” After all, it’s not like another picture of the moon will replace the one you shot with your Galaxy S23 Ultra. This is where the line must be drawn.
Image of the moon used by Huawei to promote the P30 Pro’s Moon Mode
And yes, there have been allegations that a phone maker is using overlays of the moon to trick consumers. Back in 2019, the Huawei P30 Pro’s Moon Mode was promoted by the manufacturer as being able to take beautiful close-ups of the moon without a tripod. But a researcher named Wang Yue said so Huawei used more than just AI and tried to show it previously photographed images of the moon were inserted into images taken by the P30 Pro.
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Wang’s theory was never proven, and while some of our readers claimed to have disproved it, Moon Mode remains mired in controversy. Huawei later said, “Moon Mode works on the same principle as other master AI modes, recognizing and optimizing details in an image to help individuals take better photos. It in no way replaces the image – that would require an unrealistic amount storage space as AI mode recognizes over 1,300 scenarios.”
The company continued: “Based on machine learning principles, the camera recognizes a scene and helps optimize focus and exposure to enhance details such as shapes, colors and highlights/lowlights. This feature can be easily turned on or off while taking a photo. While is a moon mode, the photo can still be taken without AI mode due to the periscope lens.”
So what do you think? Is Samsung trying to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes, or is it simply doing something that most phone manufacturers do, which is using artificial intelligence to enhance user images.