Samsung's 'Space Zoom' controversy: apparently it's just AI enhanced photo

Samsung was recently caught faking zoomed photos of Moon.
Samsung was recently caught faking zoomed photos of Moon.

Samsung "Space Zoom"-enabled phones to have a reputation for taking incredibly detailed Moon photos for years. However, a recent Reddit post made clear how much computational processing the business is engaging in. Reddit user u/ibreakphotos conducted a brilliant yet straightforward test of Samsung's smartphones.

On a computer screen, they created an intentionally blurry image of the Moon, which they then captured with a Samsung S23 Ultra. And then, details that simply weren't present before were added by the S23 Ultra to create a fake new moon, no upscaling was actually done.

This debate is not brand-new. Ever since Samsung introduced a 100x "Space Zoom" feature in its S20 Ultra in 2020, people have been curious about the company's Moon photography. Samsung claims that the process is more involved than simply copying and pasting pre-stored textures onto images of the Moon to produce its photographs, despite accusations from some quarters to the contrary.

A lengthy article on the "fake detailed moon photos" taken by the Galaxy S21 Ultra was published in 2021 by Input Mag. The company uses AI to recognise the Moon and then "offers a detail enhancing function by reducing blurs and noises," according to Samsung, who claimed that "no image overlaying or texture effects are applied when taking a photo."

According to Samsung, the procedure upscales blurry details using AI after capturing them in the original image. However, as the Reddit tests demonstrate, Samsung's process is more intrusive than this: it not only makes blurry details sharper, but it also creates them, resulting in a technically false new image.


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