Are Samsung’s space zoom moon images “cheating”? Reddit user’s post creates controversy


Samsung ‘Ultra’ series smartphones come with zoom camera abilities. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the latest device to come with the space zoom feature. An investigation done by a Reddit user claims that Samsung Galaxy space zoom photos are fake.

“Many of us have witnessed the breathtaking moon photos taken with the latest zoom lenses, starting with the S20 Ultra. Nevertheless, I’ve always had doubts about their authenticity, as they appear almost too perfect. While these images are not necessarily outright fabrications, neither are they entirely genuine. Let me explain,” Reddit user with username – ibreakphotos wrote in a post.

The user says that he downloaded a high-resolution photo of the moon from the internet and downsized it to 170×170 pixels. He then applied a gaussian blur, so that all details are gone. He full-screened the image on a monitor (showing it at 170×170 pixels, blurred), moved to the other end of the room, and turned off all the lights. Eventually, he clicked moon’s image using Samsung’s space zoom.

In the post, user says that ‘Samsung is leveraging an AI model to put craters and other details on places which were just a blurry mess’.

“And I have to stress this: there’s a difference between additional processing a la super-resolution, when multiple frames are combined to recover detail which would otherwise be lost, and this, where you have a specific AI model trained on a set of moon images, in order to recognize the moon and slap on the moon texture on it (when there is no detail to recover in the first place, as in this experiment). This is not the same kind of processing that is done when you’re zooming into something else, when those multiple exposures and different data from each frame account to something. This is specific to the moon”, he further explains.

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