Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review: camera performance

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review: camera performance

Apr 04, 2020 19:11 IST

Overall, you're getting a fantastic front panel on this phone, but Samsung has already won the greatest display and biggest phone trophy loads of times before. That's why the biggest selling point over here is the incredibly powerful camera system that includes a 108MP wide-angle main snapper, 48MP telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide, and Time of flight DepthVision lenses. Now, that's some serious muscle power and as you'd expect, the S20 Ultra delivers excellent camera images, no matter what you're shooting. The main camera clicks 12MP photos by default as it combines nine pixels into one, resulting in much lower noise and sharper quality. You can also take straight up 108 MP shots, which results in brighter pictures with more natural colours. Furthermore, the advantage of using the 108 MP sensor is that you can scale in without losing out on detail. The large sensor also does a great job of giving you fantastic depth of field all on its own, so you don't really need to use the portrait mode. Low light photography is exceptionally good and you can further enhance it by using the night mode. Unfortunately, the Ultra much like Samsung’s other phones suffers from heavy image post-processing, which means the AI will boost colours and saturation levels, especially in ultra-wide photos. Now, the zoom functionality on the Ultra’s camera is the main party trick. Samsung calls it ‘Space Zoom' and it allows you to zoom up to 100x… Images taken with 1x and 2x are perfectly usable, while both 4x and 5x photos also look sharp. Even 10x manages to preserve a decent amount of detail. The next stop is 30x and this is where softness and noise start to kick in. Finally, by the time you slide into 100x, everything just looks a bad piece of watercolour art. In our opinion, the 100x zoom only works well when you're focusing on a subject that has text written on it. You won't be posting it yo your Instagram page for sure, but this level of detail from such a vast distance is pretty impressive. Coming to the 40MP front camera, a monster in its own right, produces bright and lively selfies, but again Samsung’s s image processing is aggressive in smoothing and whitening skin. Aside from all those megapixels and crazy zoom, the most interesting camera feature on this phone is something called Single Take. When engaged, it records a series of photos and videos of your subject. Basically the AI decides what works best for you, and while it seems like a cool idea, we don't see it being used on a regular basis.


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