Samsung defends its Space Zoom Feature in response to fake moon photo accusations

Samsung has recently come under fire after a Reddit post claimed that the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Space Zoom photos of the moon were fake

samsung moon photos
This side-by-side comparison shows a blurred photo of the moon and what the Galaxy S23 Ultra allegedly produced.  (Image credit: ibreakphotos / Reddit )

According to the post which is embedded below, the phone applied non-existent details to the moon photos, making them appear more detailed than they actually were. So are these claims true? Samsung responds to fake moon photo accusations.

Samsung has responded to the accusations, stating that the phone doesn’t apply any image overlaying to the photos. Instead, the AI-based scene optimization technology recognizes the moon as the main object and takes multiple shots for multi-frame composition. The AI then enhances the details of the image quality and colors, resulting in the detailed moon photos that users have been capturing with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Here is Samsung’s blog post in response to the issue.

Samsung Denies Faking Moon Photos, Claims AI Enhances Image Quality and Colors

In response to the original Reddit post, Samsung explained that users can deactivate the AI-based Scene Optimizer. The original poster on Reddit claimed that, due to the application of a gaussian blur, there was no data for the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s image signal processor or computational photography algorithms to process. However, the photo served up had a lot more detail than could be seen in the original image, leading to accusations of fake moon shots.

They stated that the Galaxy S23 Ultra is using AI/ML (neural network trained on 100s of images of the moon) to recover/add the texture of the moon on users’ moon pictures. While some may think that this is simply the camera’s capability, Samsung explained that it’s not. The processing done by the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s space-related model is likely figuring out what detail should be added based on images of the moon it’s previously been fed.

While the result may not be a true representation of what the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera sensors can capture, Samsung argues that the moon shots are enhanced with details the camera can’t see or detect. In other words, the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its AI are adding detail and artificially enhancing moon photos, but it’s not simply faking it with a different image.

Finally, whether or not you find these enhancements acceptable is a matter of personal preference. Samsung, on the other hand, maintains that it is committed to delivering best-in-class photo experiences in any condition, and the AI-based scene optimization technology is part of that commitment.

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