Are the moon photos taken with the Galaxy S23 Ultra fake?


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Smartphone cameras get better every year, but compact sensors still have many limitations, especially when it comes to photos in the dark and zooming. Samsung was one of the first to add a periscope lens to its smartphones for better zoom. With this lens, users can even take pictures of the moon with their phone. But this has become a controversy as some users have questioned whether these photos are in fact real. And I say they are.

Modern smartphone cameras and AI

It’s now impossible to talk about smartphone cameras without mentioning improvements made by artificial intelligence. Pretty much every phone manufacturer from Apple to Google to Samsung uses AI to improve the pictures taken by users. Such technology can mitigate the lack of a large camera sensor in many cases.

For example, Apple introduced Deep Fusion and Night Mode with iPhone 11. Both technologies combine the best parts of multiple images with AI to result in a better photo when there’s little or no light. iPhone and other smartphones also use AI to make the sky bluer, the grass greener, and food more appealing.

Some phones do this more aggressively, others less so. But the fact is, almost all of your photos taken with smartphones in the last few years have some kind of modification done by AI. You’re not actually capturing what you’re seeing with your eyes, but what your smartphone thinks will look best in a digital photo.

Apple Deep Fusion - Are the moon photos taken with the Galaxy S23 Ultra fake? Not really

Pictures of the moon taken with the Galaxy S23 Ultra

Capturing photos of the moon is quite challenging, since it’s a super distant luminous subject. Focusing on it is not easy, and you still need to set the right exposure to get all the details. It’s even more challenging for a smartphone camera.

You can take pictures of the moon with your iPhone if you use a camera app with manual controls, but they still won’t look good because of the distance and the lack of a wider optical zoom.

Are the moon photos taken with the Galaxy S23 Ultra fake? Not really

One of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy S Ultra phones is the periscope camera, which enables up to 10x optical zoom. Combined with software tricks, users can take pictures with up to 100x zoom using these phones. iPhone is rumored to gain a periscope lens in…