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Original topic:

S21 Ultra camera - terrible quality

(Topic created on: 01-02-2021 10:21 PM)
JulianeM
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

Edit: After researching about it, the problem is on S21 Ultra on Europe version only, I bought mine in the UK and unfortunately received a device with an awful camera. I contacted Samsung that promised to contact in 1 week time to give me a video support but this never happened. I had no choice but to return the phone and ask the refund. I expected more from Samsung.

A detailed side by side on US x EU versions video: https://youtu.be/rsLJLk3nx8k

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I really think my phone has a hardware problem is not possible that a phone ranked on top of pixel 5 and iPhone 12 max pro is not taking simple photos and videos indoor with good light, but that's what I'm experiencing. I tried to update the system and the camera configurations, but still the same thing:

  • Photos: All modes are bad, normal photos are never focused, they don't have details even if I take a 108Mb on a static object like a bottle on top of my table 1 meter away, my old phone takes a incredible better photos. Also the portrait mode just blur the whole photo. The zoom takes photos with a veryyyyyy low resolution, looking more a abstract paint. Well I tried all modes, that's basically the problem present in all.
  • Videos: The videos don't have any stabilization, we see jumps on movements, problems on frame rate giving the feeling you are watching a stream in a low connection, and the focus and blur just changes randomly.

Here is some examples, first my daughter playing, in a very slight movement but as you can see all the static points are also blurry, and second photo a button with 100x zoom with focus locked and my arm supported by the table:

Portrait photoPortrait photo100x photo with focus locked100x photo with focus locked

120 REPLIES 120
Ghummy
Navigator
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Galaxy S21 Series
id say something in the settings not right. attached is my test shot of a steak i cooked.

20210130_162212_9955.jpg

Oldcarp
First Poster
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Galaxy S21 Series
Apologies if this seems a patronising,not my intention,but have you removed the factory fitted plastic lens protector,I got my phone out the box and had the same results and realised I hadn't removed this plastic.apologies if you have done this
JulianeM
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

first thing I thought was the same, maybe I clicked something wrong on the settings (that would mess with all photos and videos modes, not much likely) but I tried to reset the camera settings but it made no difference.

I see that you had focus on the steak, on normal shots I do have as well (not portrait mode) but the details are not crispy at all, for example I have the impression the front part of the steak is not very crispy.

I don't want to criticise the phone, to be honest I bought expecting to be purchasing the best camera for smartphone available, but in order to explain myself about the image not been crispy I made a quick photo collage with a normal mode photo using my old Pixel 3, my husband's Pixel4XL and my S21 Ultra, I hope this will clarify my point:

photo with no zoomphoto with no zoomphoto detailsphoto details

JulianeM
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

Thanks for the suggestion, I was hopping this was the problem at least would be simple to solve, but unfortunately I had the plastic already removed.PXL_20210201_213633363.PORTRAIT.jpg

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Ghummy
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Galaxy S21 Series
this is a photo of my grumpy child taken in portrait mode. the second is taken in normal mode. i am spare time photographer and have shot most of my families weddings. in portrait mode, the camera falsely creates a shallow depth of field, this is normally achieved by using f1.4 or lower in a dslr lens. as the phone is not capable of doing this in the real world to a full extent, it adds alot of simulated depth of field which would mean alot is out of focus in the shot. a dslr lens would have the whole child in full focus and the rest blurred. the second photo is just standard mode which looks all in focus and crispy. hope this makes sense.

20210130_192646_9964.jpg

20210130_192705_9967.jpg

Ghummy
Navigator
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Galaxy S21 Series
it also doesnt help that uploading in this forum degrades quality. lol
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JulianeM
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

I'm a photographer as well and completely understand what you are saying, but because the number of lens and sensors I was expecting a better result, the pixel for example only use two cameras and because of that we can't even preview what is going to be blurred, we took the photo, wait many second processing the photo wait for the algorithm to check the difference between the two photos and use the AI to calculate everything to finally have the shot. With 3 camera we can use 1 exclusively to help on depth, what makes things much easier and way faster to calculate on the other phones, like S21, iphones and so on, but with so powerful sensors they are lacking on their algorithms, is faster but the quality is not even looking as good as a 2 generations bellow pixel 😕 I opted for the S21 because google insists in not update their hardware and keep two cameras, I got very impressed with the sensors and watch many reviews, and they all said and showed amazing shots, can't understand why I feel that my old phone is doing a better job 😞 

Thank you for your photos, I know uploaded photos lose some quality but we can at least have some points to discuss, you used great examples, you sofa texture is quite a interesting texture for a camera to capture and your daughter's hair is a very difficult thing to be good in a portrait shot, and in this case the device did a great job. Well I see by your photos that my device definitely has a problem, this is not a shot I see my camera taking.

Will contact the samsung support (I was expecting a call from their support but is been a whole day)

Thanks for your help :smiling-face: 

Gavlee2010
Voyager
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Galaxy S21 Series
there seems to be quite a lot of people who are having the exact same problems with there cameras on the 21 line. the forum is full of people Samsung needs to sort this out sharpest, I've had to software updates that said was for the camera up to now and I haven't seen much change yet.
how many updates has other members had?? I'm using the s21 ultra on three network UK
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JulianeM
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

I'm worried about losing the cooldown period, Vodafone gave 14 days cooldown, it means I can free of charge return the phone, I don't know if worth go throw Samsung's assistance and risk to lose this period.

To be honest I would be happy to hear from Samsung that we have a known issue and they are solving it, so far we only have a wave of complains 😬