Home Apps Galaxy S21 Ultra camera's 100x zoom is pointless, but 10x? *chef's kiss*

Galaxy S21 Ultra camera’s 100x zoom is pointless, but 10x? *chef’s kiss*

Galaxy S21 Ultra camera’s 100x zoom is pointless, but 10x? *chef’s kiss*

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is available to buy now along with the rest of the Galaxy S21 lineup, represents the top of what the corporate can provide in a telephone, with its highly effective processor, huge vibrant display and 5G connectivity. Nevertheless it’s the digicam setup I am notably curious about, and it is right here that the S21 Extremely pushes the boat out. There are 4 lenses on the again: a regular zoom, an ultrawide lens, a 3x optical zoom and a 10x optical zoom. Along with the massive 108-megapixel decision of the primary digicam, the telephone can obtain an enormous 30x zoom. (Listed here are all of the new Galaxy S21 Ultra camera features and how one can use them.)

TL;DR: It is that zoom that’s the hero right here. Whereas outcomes at 30x are nonetheless fairly poor, the telephone’s potential to take photographs at 10x optical zoom means it may possibly take photos which are merely not attainable on rival flagships such because the iPhone 12 Pro or OnePlus 8T

Whereas I’d have preferred extra headline features for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, what’s right here remains to be spectacular. And I set out throughout Edinburgh to see what the telephone can do. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I started within the lovely Dean Village, with this basic view trying down the river. Taken with the usual digicam, the telephone has captured a wealthy and vibrant scene, with loads of element within the admittedly very shadowy foreground. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, super-wide lens.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Zooming out to the super-wide view, there’s little noticeable shift in colours, past a little bit of magenta tinge within the high proper nook. It is a well-balanced shot and there is loads of element all through. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 3x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At 3x zoom, the clock tower appears pin-sharp and vibrant.

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Galaxy S21, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At 10x zoom, the picture remains to be completely detailed, with pretty distinction and no shift in colours. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 30x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At 30x zoom issues do not look so good. Sure, it is completely clear what the picture is of, however there’s an general lack of definition. It is tough to get your shot lined up when zoomed in to this point, however Samsung has a intelligent stabilization mode that helped me hold the entire clock face in body.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 100x zoom. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At its most 100x zoom, these particulars are much more mushy, leading to a picture that is solely actually good as proof of one thing you have seen, akin to uncommon wildlife. Sure, it is a novel characteristic that may be enjoyable to strive, however for most individuals, the standard is not adequate for an Instagram put up, for instance.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The 10x zoom is the candy spot for me and it is my favourite characteristic of the S21 Extremely’s digicam. It permits you to seize photographic compositions that might require an enormous telephoto zoom lens with a DSLR. By zooming in on this seaside, I used to be capable of present the curving water, the concrete breakers stretching throughout the scene and clearly present the walkers, who add great scale to the picture. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And right here I used to be capable of fill the body rather more with the dramatic sight of Fettes Faculty.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, customary lens.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Taken with the usual zoom lens, this shot overlooking a golf course is not notably thrilling.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

However activating the 10x zoom means altering the view fully, focusing as a substitute on the skyline of Edinburgh, with the monuments on Calton Hill clearly seen.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom, 100% crop.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Zooming in to 100% on the 10x zoom picture, it is clear that there is not plenty of element captured. Realistically, photos taken with the 10x zoom will not be going to be of adequate high quality for printing — pristine-quality zooming will stay the territory of a DSLR with a telephoto lens, for now at the least. That stated, many of the photographs I took at 10x zoom look adequate for posts on social media, or for messaging to associates, which in all probability counts for the overwhelming majority of what anybody would wish to do with their photographs anyway. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The 10x zoom was sufficient to precisely make out the small print on this aircraft coming in to land. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And it was the 10x zoom that allow me isolate this couple from the distracting parts within the scene, leading to a shot that focuses simply on them trying into the gap. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, 10x zoom, 100% crop. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Once more although, cropping into that picture to 100% exhibits that there is a particular lack of advantageous element when utilizing this zoom stage.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, ultrawide lens.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The super-wide lens captures an enormous quantity of the scene and I am actually impressed with how vibrant and punchy this picture is.

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, ultrawide lens.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Whereas this shot of a cannon has an awesome general publicity, with a managed vivid sky and loads of shadow particulars on the gun itself. 

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Galaxy S21 Extremely, evening mode.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Turning evening mode on, I used to be happy to see the telephone produce a vivid and sharp picture, even in a room that was extraordinarily darkish. The colours listed below are correct and there is sufficient element to have the ability to learn the advantageous textual content on the candle. Spectacular stuff. 

It is early days with the telephone, however already I am impressed on the photographs I have been capable of get, with glorious dynamic vary and correct colours on many of the photos I’ve taken. The zoom is the standout characteristic right here, but it surely’s solely spectacular up to some extent. I like a few of the photographs I’ve taken at 10x zoom, however even then the small print are fairly tough. Going past 10x reduces it an enormous quantity and I nonetheless suppose the 100x Area Zoom is pointless — I would have most well-liked Samsung spend its time making the 10x zoom look even higher. 

Learn extra: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Cameras put to the test


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