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S24 Ultra camera delay with lots of pictures stored

(Topic created on: 19-03-2024 02:13 AM)
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WBT
Apprentice
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I've had my S24 Ultra 1TB for a few months now, and overall I am happy with it. Considering I upgraded from a venerable S9+, it's not surprising that it's far superior in every respect. 😁

I have found that I get an annoying delay in the Camera when taking pictures if I have a lot of images stored in my DCIM folder. Under normal conditions, with about 25k pictures, it all works fine. I added a bunch of older pictures (resized to smaller size) so I could have my history on the phone, and that caused the problem.

It manifests itself shortly, but not immediately, after launching the camera, be it through double-clicking the side button or tapping the Camera app directly. Once Camera comes up, I can take one picture immediately, maybe two. Then the Camera freezes and I cannot takes pictures and it is related to the number of files in DCIM. Once it unfreezes everything is fine again.

With 50k additional pictures, the delay is short but noticeable, around half a second. Adding another 50k pictures increases the freeze time to about 1 second, and going to 200k additional pictures the delay can be several seconds.

This is highly annoying as it will make you miss moments you want to capture.

So I deleted my historical catalog of pictures from DCIM and everything is smooth again. However, with a full terabyte of storage at my disposal, I would like to make use of it!

Has anybody seen this behavior too, and if so, do you have a solution?

Is it related to the "Recent"  album? All pictures accumulate there irrespective of their age, as "Recent" apparently means "recently added to the phone" rather than "recently taken." Hiding the Recent album makes no difference, and there does not appear to be any way to disable it entirely.

I would be grateful for any suggestions or ideas!

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Reylob
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Hi @WBT 

Please note that I use folder or directory, but both mean the same.


Why would add the old pictures to the DCIM folder? Do you have any reason for it? I would have added the old pictures to a folder within the Pictures folder.

I can think of a few reasons for this behaviour.

The phone will need to index all those new files. The camera app will need to check the list of files and make sure that any new name won't clash with a previous file name. The list of files will need to be read and updated for every file creation.

An excessive number of files in a single folder will cause a powerful computer to slow down when processing files on that folder, in some cases failing to execute some commands.

FAT32 has a limit of over 65K files per directory, in other filesystems, including android, this number is incredibly big. However, applications might struggle when this number is reaching around 90K per directory, especially when using wildcards for matching patterns, e.g. *.jpg.

The recent album is not the culprit, it does not matter where you add your media, the recent album will be updated accordingly. It is not a directory on the disk.

The solution would be to add the pictures into the Pictures folder and if possible, create a directory structure that does not have excessive number of files per directory.

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WBT
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Hi @Reylob , thank you for your reply!

I should have clarified that I added my pictures in sub-folders within DCIM, e.g. DCIM/OldPics/Year/Month, and each directory contains typically a few thousand files. I am unlikely to be hitting any filesystem limits on this one, but I am aware of the potential issues that might arise with too many files in a single place.

The indexing of the files is not the issue; I investigated that hypothesis but after adding the new files I could see they weren't indexed yet by scrolling through the "All" album in Gallery. It did not make a difference to the observed behavior though, whether during or after indexing.

The reason I added it to DCIM was twofold:

1) I wanted to have my old pictures available in the Gallery so that could I scrub through dates and locate them accordingly.

2) I did not know about the Pictures folder. 😀 Thank you for pointing out its existence. I will try to move the pictures there and see if that improves matters.

 

Reylob
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The Gallery app will scan for all directories with media and update itself accordingly. This behaviour can be overwritten by adding a file called .nomedia in a particular directory. Another possibility is to show only essential albums.

On the gallery app, tap the horizontal lines for menu, tap Settings -> Select essential albums, if toggle on it shows a reduced number of albums.

Just to add, I wrote my previous post with the general viewers in mind. Technical knowledge can be overwhelming some times.

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GoanGeek
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Have you considered a cloud storage like Google ONE.

Only issue for you would be you need to use Google photos and Samsung gallery.

And you'd have to download any photo you want back to the phone.
"WI-FI went down for five minutes, so I had to talk to my family.
They seem like nice people"
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WBT
Apprentice
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It was worth trying, but to no avail unfortunately. I moved my older pictures from DCIM to Pictures, and after a long time of re-indexing (the phone felt quite warm to the touch throughout), I let it sit charging overnight for good measure.

The Camera delay is still there. It manifests itself most clearly if I double-click the side button to take pictures. As before, I can usually snap one or two pictures very quickly, but then the Camera app freezes for a second or two before I can take any additional shots. Sometimes the freeze happens while the miniature view of the previous picture, bottom left, is doing its sliding animation to update to the most recent shot. I had a frozen view of half each of the penultimate picture and the most recent.

Is it fair to surmise that this is an interaction between Camera and Gallery? Or is Camera doing its own thing?

In some way this freeze is related to the total number of pictures; of that I am sure because I can make the issue appear and disappear. I suspect that at some point Camera (or Gallery?) is querying the index database and then ingesting data on all pictures, which is when it freezes. The reason I had pinned my hopes on Recent being the culprit is that eventually Recent would actually only show truly recently taken pictures. If it's fetching all pictures from the index database, then the problem becomes less tractable. I am not sure how I could test this though.

My current best guess is that Camera, upon opening, fires off a database query which runs asynchronously in the background, while Camera can happily take pictures. When the query result is ready, Camera processes the returned data and this is done synchronously, causing the freeze. Post-freeze I have not encountered any additional freezes while staying in the Camera app.

Another interesting data point is that there is some caching going on. If I take pictures after having had a recent freeze, there is little to no effect. The first pictures seem slightly more sluggish than usual, but that's at the edge of my perception.

Back to being stumped... please do let me know if you have any other suggestions!

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WBT
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I have considered it, but so far have not used it. As you mention, I'd have to use both Google Photo and Samsung Gallery, so that makes it less attractive for me.

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GoanGeek
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Out of curiosity . Are you using 12MP mode or 50MP on cameras?

I have noticed 50MP takes a while to process.

Also consider turning off Ram plus and see if it helps.
"WI-FI went down for five minutes, so I had to talk to my family.
They seem like nice people"
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WBT
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@GoanGeek : It does not seem to matter which setting I use, but I default to 12MP mode, which applies to all of my above observations. What is Ram plus?

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GoanGeek
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Under settings> search for Ram Plus.

It's at the bottom of the Memory Tab.

It basically allocates a part of your phone physical Memory as a temporary ram like Pc's
"WI-FI went down for five minutes, so I had to talk to my family.
They seem like nice people"
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