April 1, 2023

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Samsung Galaxy moon pictures aren’t real after all!

One of the most promoted features in recent times samsung is the so-called “Zoom space”. In particular, starting with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the company’s devices have provided an option for a maximum zoom of 100X, which can be used to take very impressive pictures of the moon. Now, though, a Reddit post It became viralwith over 10k upvotes, as one user proves it After all the pictures in question are not exactly real!

In particular, the result seen by the owner of the device is not only due to the capabilities of the camera, but also to the artificial intelligence technology that undertakes behind the scenes to add a “texture” over the moon, to show the details that the smartphone is unable to immortalize! In practice, this means that another, more detailed image of the moon has been added on top of the user’s photo, with the technology working like the filters we’ve seen on social networking apps.

Speaking of which, a Redditor with the moniker u/ibreakphotos pointed out:

Many of us have seen amazing photos of the moon taken with the latest zoom lenses, starting with the S20 Ultra. However, I’ve always had doubts about its authenticity because it looks almost too perfect. While these photos are not necessarily completely fake, they are not completely and completely original.

Continuing with his comprehensive and technical analysis, the user notes:

Samsung uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (a neural network trained on hundreds of moon images) to add texture to your moon photos. While some people think that the photos are a result of the capabilities of the smartphone’s camera, in reality this is not the case. And it’s not about sharpening, it’s about adding detail from merging multiple frames, because in this experiment, all frames have the same amount of detail.

None of the tires have potholes etc. Because they’re intentionally blurred, but somehow the camera miraculously knows they’re there. And don’t even get me started on Samsung’s “super slow motion” motion blur, maybe that’s a topic for another future post.

How did the user prove that the images are not real:

A very clever Redditor showed how easy it is to create “fake” moon shots. First, he downloaded a near-perfect image of the moon from the Internet, scaled it down to a resolution of 170 by 170, applied a Gaussian blur filter, and removed all the details.

Then he upscaled the blurred image to 4x and it showed up on his computer screen. Then he turned off all the lights in his house for complete darkness and moved several meters away from the screen that he filmed with his mobile phone.

The photo saved on the phone contains details that were not there! The user was shooting a blurry image on their computer and not the moon itself. However, in this way he fooled Samsung’s artificial intelligence algorithm, which added the necessary texture, making the image contain details that cannot be highlighted using sharpening or other techniques.

The image displayed on the user’s screen along with the image the smartphone finally captured:

For the record, there have been many critics of Samsung’s technology in the past, questioning the authenticity of the images, but this is the first time someone has actually been able to reproduce the results and fool the algorithm.

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