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Multiple Samsung S22 camera features expected to arrive on older Galaxy phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)

Some advanced camera features from the newly released Samsung Galaxy S22  flagship smartphone will be heading over to its predecessor. 

In fact, not only will numerous Samsung Galaxy S22 features be coming to the Samsung Galaxy S21 (opens in new tab), but also to other Galaxy devices scheduled for an update sequentially. These software-based enhancements including pet recognition, telephoto video options and diversified director's view can be found within the Android 12 OS One UI 4.1 update. 

• Check out the best Samsung phones (opens in new tab)

The initial report of an imminent firmware update comes from a post (opens in new tab) that was shared by a moderator via one of Samsung's South Korean community forums. When translated, this post reveals a comprehensive list detailing exactly which features will be accessible to specific Galaxy handsets, through a new update that is being rolled out beginning with the S21 series. 

Night photography portraiture functions are expected to be enhanced via this new firmware update, the Galaxy S22's 'Nitography' technology will be applied to older devices as well as support for pet recognition. Various effects in portrait mode can be adjusted to take better and brighter night portraits, including portraits of your pets with both front and rear cameras, with additional effects that can be applied after capture.

(Image credit: Samsung Community Forum)
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Another intriguing feature is the editing function to change lighting positions, as background effects in portrait mode can be altered so that light falls onto the face of the subject for beautiful portraits. A collaboration with Samsung has also meant that features of Samsung cameras such as night shooting and ultra-wide-angle lenses can be experienced when using Snapchat, with a scene recognition function that uses AI.

The feature that has users most excited is arguably the telephoto lens support for portrait video, whereby you will be able to capture close-up footage of distant subjects using a telephoto lens in addition to the 1x lens situated on the rear camera. This telephoto lens will also be supported in Pro / Pro movie mode, limited to models that support Expert RAW – a professional camera app that started as a beta service but was officially launched with the Galaxy S22.

It is extremely promising that these new features will also be applicable to the Plus and Ultra variants of previously released Galaxy models. The moderator (however reliable they may be) confirmed in response to users in the comment section that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (opens in new tab) has a planned update for April that will allow the use of new camera features introduced on the S22 series, and additional models such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (opens in new tab), Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (opens in new tab), and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (opens in new tab) are planned to receive the update during the first half of 2022.

(Image credit: Samsung Community Forum)
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The moderator also confirmed that the close-up photography element from the S22   is supported by attaching autofocus (AF) to its Ultra Wide lens, and this same content will be applied to support this function for the S21 smartphone series. However, in the case of the Note 20 Ultra, the Ultra-Wide lens does not have AF, therefore it cannot support this function when the update rolls around. 

Additionally, the moderator suggested that most of the new camera features of the Galaxy S22 cannot be applied to the Samsung Galaxy S10 (opens in new tab), although regardless of NPU/GPU performance Samsung is working hard to provide support where it can.

A more diversified director's view is another camera feature of the Galaxy S22 that we can expect to see in the latest update. This element enables users to save files through a separate storage function for front and rear camera shots with playback and editing improvements. A pop-up window control function has also been implemented to freely change the size, position and screen size during recording.

(Image credit: Samsung)
(opens in new tab)

The forum post has noted that system optimizations are also included in the firmware update, so it is expected that the overall function of older handsets will be slightly improved. The A-series device expansion plan will also be announced this week from Samsung, according to the forum moderator. 

Final adjustments and improvements to camera functions we can expect to see in the first half of 2022 include support for shooting night portraits with telephoto lenses, detailed enhancement of high-resolution images using AI while also improving the number of people, as well as distances that can be recognized by the auto-framing function of the devices cameras. 

While this news is provided by a credible source, these speculated updates and enhancements should be considered lightly as undoubtedly delays and unforeseen circumstances may arise causing the company to make alterations. For those of us with older Samsung Galaxy smartphones, these updates are certainly promising and we'll be out shooting night portraits and testing out our improved telephoto lenses in no time! 

Read more: 

Best Samsung phone (opens in new tab)
Best camera phone (opens in new tab)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
(opens in new tab)Best tablet camera (opens in new tab)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review (opens in new tab)

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Beth Nicholls
Beth Nicholls

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.