Samsung Admits: Your Moon Photos May be “Fake” – but There’s No Need to Apologize

Social Media Accusers: Has Samsung been Lying About the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Moon Photos?

Recently, social media has been buzzing with accusations of Samsung lying about the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s ability to take photos of the moon. While the reasons behind these allegations remain unclear, it has sparked a renewed interest in the famous “moon shots” phenomenon dating back to 2019.

The Beginning of “Moon Shots”

In 2019, the Huawei P30 Pro was among the first modern smartphones with a periscope zoom camera (5x optical zoom) to launch. This phone managed to capture clear photos of the moon, which surprised and amazed people. However, soon after, a Weibo user “tricked” the P30 Pro into taking a photo of a blurry blop, which the smartphone mistook for the moon. Nevertheless, Huawei flagship miraculously managed to turn the blurry photo of the moon into a far clearer photo. This incident brought the concept of “fake moon shots” to the forefront.

Reddit User and Investigation

Recently, a Reddit user with the handle ibreakphotos conducted an investigation into the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s moon photos. The user downloaded a high-res image of the moon from the internet, downsized it to 170×170 pixels, and applied some blur to it. The user then took a photo of the blurry image of the moon in a dark room, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra produced an even worse-looking photo. But when the user took a photo of the same image past the 25x zoom mark, Samsung’s post-processing magic kicked in, and the photo resembled the real moon.

Samsung’s Explanation

According to Samsung, the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses an AI-based Lunar Detection Engine to enhance moon photos. The engine was trained on several different images and moon phases to improve the photo quality. Samsung’s “Lunar detection engine”, is trained with different images of the moon, and in different moon phases to enhance original photos once zoomed past 25-30x. The phone uses AI deep learning models to detect the moon and identify the area it occupies. The scene optimizer technology adjusts the configuration values to improve the resolution of the image after.

Through their blog post, Samsung has confirmed that their moon photos taken with their Galaxy flagship are indeed altered to look clearer and better with the power of AI.