Are Samsung phones faking the images they capture of the moon?

Samsung Space Zoom moon image
(Image credit: u/ibreakphotos)

It seems some Samsung phones can take photos of the moon that push the boundaries of what many would consider 'real'. An argument could even be made that moon shots taken using Samsung's 'Space Zoom' function were so over processed they're now simply fake. But that implies a degree of malevolence, whereas the issue here is more about overzealous computational image processing, as well as Samsung's vague explanation of how Space Zoom works.

The story has come to light thanks to Reddit user u/ibreakphotos. To test the power of the Space Zoom feature in some Samsung phones, they created a deliberately blurry image of the moon, displayed it on a computer monitor, and then photographed that image using a Galaxy S23 ultra.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.