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What's new in the Galaxy S22 cameras?

By Sanuj Bhatia February 19, 2022, 12:00 pm
one ui 4.1 camera experience 3 Source: Samsung

Samsung finally unveiled the Galaxy S22 in early February. As always there are improvements in almost all the departments in comparison to the Galaxy S21 series. On paper, the biggest new feature seems to be the inclusion of the S Pen in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. But, there are a lot of improvements in the camera department as well — from hardware to software to even ISP, everything has changed. But we go ahead and check out all the camera features of the Samsung Galaxy S22, let's take a look at the camera hardware of the three models.

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus come with a triple-camera setup. This includes the 50MP main wide-angle camera, a 10MP telelens, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. The two non-Ultra models come with features like dual pixel autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 3x optical zoom, and more.


On the other hand, the S22 Ultra comes with a main 108 MP wide-angle primary camera, 12 MP Ultra-Wide Camera, 10 MP Telephoto Camera with 3x Optical Zoom, and another 10 MP Telephoto Camera with 10x Optical Zoom. It also comes with a better 40MP front camera as compared to the 10MP selfie shooter on the non-Ultra models. Here are the camera hardware specifications of the Galaxy S22 series:

CameraGalaxy S22Galaxy S22 PlusGalaxy S22 Ultra
Primary Camera50 MP Wide Camera, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/1.8, FOV 85˚50 MP Wide Camera, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/1.8, FOV 85˚108 MP Wide (f1.8, 85-degree FOV, Dual Pixel Autofocus)
Secondary Camera12MP Ultra-Wide Camera, f/2.2, FOV 120˚12MP Ultra-Wide Camera, f/2.2, FOV 120˚10 MP Telephoto (f2.4, 36-degree FOV, 3x Optical Zoom)
Tertiary Camera10MP Telephoto Camera, 3x Optical Zoom, OIS, f/2.410MP Telephoto Camera, 3x Optical Zoom, OIS, f/2.410 MP Telephoto (f4.9, 11-degree FOV, 10x Optical Zoom)
Quarternary CameraNilNil12 MP Ultra-Wide (f2.2, 120-degree FOV)
Front Camera10MP, f/2.210MP, f/2.240 MP f/2.2
Video Recording8K 24fps (Primary only), 4K 60fps (All cameras)8K 24fps (Primary only), 4K 60fps (All cameras)8K 24fps (Primary only), 4K 60fps (All cameras)
Extra Camera ModulesNilNilLaser Auto Focus

Taking a closer look at the camera sensors reveals that Samsung has dropped the 3x telephoto lens' resolution from 64MP to 10MP. But, the company says there are improvements in the way the lens is used so it should theoretically capture better shots. The 3X lens is primarily to capture close-up shots and portrait mode videos whereas the 10X lens is to capture far-off objects. Both 3X and 10X lenses on the S22 Ultra can combine for 100X Space Zoom.

The primary and the telephoto cameras of all the S22 series smartphones feature Optical Image Stabilization. On the video recording side of things, the primary camera of all the S22 models support 8K 24fps video recording while all the cameras of all the models support 4K 60fps video recording. If you want the best cameras, you should go with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. If you think you're not going to shoot 30X zoom photos or make use of the 108MP camera, the regular S22 or S22 Plus would be a good choice for you.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera: Nona-binning and Tetra-binning

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra nona binning Source: XDA Developers

Have you ever wondered how Samsung manages to put in 108MP camera sensor in their Ultra smartphone and still only return 7-8Mb photos? It's because of the feature called pixel-binning. This is the way of combining the pixels of the camera so that they act as one. For example, on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung is using nona-binning.

In this technique, Samsung combines 3x3 (total 9) grids of pixels into one large pixel. This results in better photographs all while bringing down the size of the image file. As a result, the 108MP camera sensor on the S22 Ultra produces 12MP photos (108/9 = 12). Similarly, S22 and the S22 Plus use tera-binning or quad-binning. Like Samsung divides the 108MP camera of the S22 into 3x3 clusters, the company divides the 50MP camera sensors into grids of 2×2. As a result, the phone captures 12.5MP (50/4 = 12.5) images and not 50MP.

Theoretically, these photos (captured by 108MP and 50MP sensor and brought down to 12, 12.5MP images) should look better and sharper than the images captured by a standard 12MP camera sensor. We are continuously testing the cameras of our Samsung Galaxy S22 units so make sure to subscribe to Pocketnow's YouTube channel and check out the review of the new Galaxy devices where we will talk about the cameras on these smartphones in great detail.

Samsung Galaxy S22: Camera Features

Advanced Auto Framing

Now let's take a look at all the software camera features Samsung has added to the Galaxy S22 series. One of the features that the Korean giant talked about during the smartphone's announcement is Auto Framing. The cameras on Galaxy S22 can detect up to 10 subjects and optimize the focus accordingly. We had seen companies optimize camera performance on the basis of the scene (setting camera exposure, color, temperature based on the lighting) but this is the first time we're seeing a smartphone automatically framing the shot for you.

For example, if you're taking a picture of a tall building, the viewfinder will automatically zoom out to fit in the whole building. Similarly, if you're taking a picture of a person, the phone will automatically lock focus to keep them in the focus and create a beautiful bokeh effect.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Camera Source: Samsung

AI Stereo Depth Map

Samsung has added a new feature called AI Stereo Depth Map to the Galaxy S22 series. This feature creates a depth map of the subject by calculating the distance between the cameras and the subject. This helps the smartphone differentiate the subject from the background. Samsung says the camera of the S22 can detect individual strands of hair and add an apt amount of bokeh effect to it.

Advanced Portrait Mode

This feature makes use of the AI Stereo Depth Map and helps the smartphone take beautiful portrait mode even when there's not a lot of light available. Samsung has also tweaked the algorithm of the portrait mode to work well with pets. Earlier, the Samsung smartphones were not able to take portrait shots of animals. Thanks to the tweaked algorithm and AI Stereo Depth mode, Galaxy S22 is able to differentiate between your pet and the back and apply the apt amount of bokeh effect to the photo.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera Source: Pocketnow

Improved low light and Nightography

Samsung has improved the low-light game on the S22 cameras. In comparison to the previous gen, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 23% larger pixel size which results in much improved low light performance. In addition, Samsung has added a mode called Nightography (Night + Photography) which uses multi-frame stacking to capture the best shots when the light is less.

Advanced OIS

Samsung has added Advanced OIS to the cameras of Galaxy S22. As mentioned above, the cameras of Galaxy S22 feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Samsung combines this with Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for Super Steady Shots. So even you don't have the most stable hands, the images coming out of your Galaxy S22 will be stabilized. Thanks to Advanced OIS, video quality has also improved many folds on the Galaxy S22 cameras.

Adaptive Pixel

S22 Camera Modes Source: Pocketnow video

As mentioned above, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra captures photos of 12MP from a 108MP sensor using nona binning. This is done to save space and attain a larger pixel size. But, as we all know, if images are captured in the 108MP resolution, then the images will be in great detail. This is why Samsung came up with Adaptive Pixel technology that captures shots in both 12MP and 108MP resolution when you click a photo and then combines them to come out with a detailed and aptly-lit image. The Adaptive Image technology will greatly improve your camera experience on the Galaxy S22.

Expert RAW App

Some mobile photographers like to have granular control over their smartphone's camera. While the Pro mode on Samsung Galaxy S22 already lets you adjust the camera as per your need, the new Expert RAW app takes things to the next level. This app comes with features such as multi-frame HDR giving the ability to combine data from multiple camera sensors for better low-light performance. Moreover, it allows users to capture RAW photos from the telephoto lens, and save pictures in lossless JPEG and 16-bit DNG RAW format.

Other camera features

one ui 4.1 camera features 2 Source: Samsung

In addition to these features, Samsung has added a number of other features to the Samsung Galaxy S22 camera.

  • Macro mode: Macro mode on Samsung Galaxy S22 allows users to capture close-up objects using the ultra-wide-angle camera.
  • Director’s View: This allows Galaxy S22 users to record videos from all the cameras of the smartphone at the same time (even the front camera). This will come in handy for those who vlog a lot using their smartphone.
  • Samsung Camera in third-party app: Samsung has finally added the feature wherein apps like Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and can take advantage of the in-built Samsung camera app.
  • Continuous video: This is a feature wherein a user can switch from photo to video to continuous video by tapping, holding, and swiping to a lock button in the 'Photo' mode in a camera app like iPhone.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Green

Samsung Galaxy S22

The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes with a flagship 4nm chipset, a three-camera setup on the back that is capable of capturing important memories both day and night, and a long battery life that can last a full day on a single charge. If you want a compact and stylish device, the Galaxy S22 is one of the best devices to get in 2022.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus White PBI

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The Galaxy S22 Plus is the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung. It comes with a powerful chipset, a large 6.6-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 50MP primary camera, and much more. Pre-order your Galaxy S22 Plus right now and get a $150 Samsung Credit!

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Phantom Black

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a larger 6.8" QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, a versatile camera setup, and a large battery that will keep you going through a whole day! Pre-order your Galaxy S22 Ultra from Samsung's website and receive $200 in Samsung Credit.


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