Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra accused of taking ‘fake’ moon photos via AI

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra photo of moon at 1x zoom and 100x Space Zoom


Samsung is in a bit of a controversy over the legitimacy of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Space Zoom photos that serve up detailed photos of the moon. 

A Reddit (opens in new tab) thread has exploded with a post claiming that the moon shots delivered by the Galaxy S23 Ultra are fake, with the phone applying non-existent details to photos of the moon. Samsung has claimed that it does not overlay images into photos or add in texture effects. 

@tomsguide (opens in new tab)

While Reddit user ibreakphotos said this was technically true, in practice Samsung was adding detail into moon shots, which they claim is proven through their own tests. The test involved taking an image of the moon from the internet, blurring it on a laptop then taking a zoomed-in photo of it from afar using a Galaxy S23 Uttra in a dark room. 

A side-by-side photo of a blurred photo of the moon and the final image a Galaxy S23 Ultra produced

This side-by-side comparison shows a blurred photo of the moon and what the Galaxy S23 Ultra allegedly produced.  (Image credit: ibreakphotos / Reddit )

Given a gaussian blur was applied, there was simply no data for the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s image signal processor or computational photography algorithms to process. Yet the photo served up has a lot more detail in it than could be seen in the original image. As a result, the Redditor branded the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s astrophotography moon shots as “fake” given the detail enhancements were seemingly added.