Is The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Really Better At Photographing Moving Objects?

Is The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Really Better At Photographing Moving Objects?

Every year, smartphone cameras improve. More detail, better zoom, a broader dynamic range, higher resolution, smoother video—you name it, someone has improved on it. Guaranteed. However, only one firm has been able to effectively claim the title of “best phone for parents & pet owners” due to its capacity to record moving objects while still delivering sharp pictures.

Of course, I’m speaking about the Pixel phones, whose cameras I consistently award this coveted prize year in and year out. Samsung has been wowing people with its high-quality video recording and incredible “Space Zoom” on phones such as the Galaxy S23. So the question is, could the Galaxy S23 catch moving objects better than that of the Galaxy S22? Let us begin with macro mode.

Macro Setting:

Capturing a macro shot of a wildflower or other natural object is notoriously difficult. These are issues that seldom sit still, particularly on a windy day. Last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra struggled with this job, either capturing out-of-focus images or overexposing the image, destroying whatever fine detail a macro photograph could otherwise have.

While there are no wildflowers to photograph where I live right now, there are lots of minute details remained on evergreen plants and the remnants of Fall leaves that never left their Summer resting spots.

I utilized auto mode on all 3 phones for this work, just opening the camera app, holding it near to the topic, and hitting the shutter button. I didn’t use the viewfinder to follow an item, just a basic point-and-shoot like you’d do on a regular day.

This is how much wind was blowing at each given moment, making macro shooting especially difficult for these cameras.  This duel is easily won by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which captures greater detail, has a higher dynamic range, and an appealing color palette. I didn’t mention natural color palette since that honor belongs to the Pixel 7 Pro. The Galaxy S22 Ultra ends up washing out almost every photo to some level and has a particularly tough time focusing on the initial subject.

Also, the Pixel 7 Pro’s picture did not focus as tightly or evenly as the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s. Samsung’s focus enhancer, which is activated by default and operates completely automatically, performs an excellent job of evenly concentrating on a topic. This was evident last year, and it is much more pronounced this year.

Children And Pets:

In any given review, my favorite photography test is one in which I take images of my kid or dogs and see what phone will capture them the best. Any phone can capture a decent photo of a mountain vista or a gourmet dish of food, but what if the subject isn’t well-lit or won’t stay still?

I held two phones up and pressed the shutter buttons at the same time for this test. One in each hand: one in the left and one in the right. Variances in photos are due to minute differences in thumb pushes and a variety of background processing operations that occur on each current phone. In other words, when you press the shutter button, the end image is an AI-assisted composite of numerous photographs taken in a split second by the camera.

My youngster jumps from the sofa in the first test, which takes place inside. This one is entertaining since it puts movement to the test under difficult lighting circumstances. Yes, it’s the middle of the day, with the sun beaming in a clear sky, but it’s still difficult for a phone sensor to detect.

Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra as well as the Galaxy S23 Ultra performed a lousy job of recording the occasion. Both shots have awful exposure, with the bulk of the images being overexposed with numerous exaggerated highlights. My kid is likewise quite fuzzy in the images from both phones, but I suppose you could argue that this is OK since he is moving rather quickly.

While I hate to admit it, there is no true competition here. Google’s AI smarts in the Pixel 7 Pro are just too excellent, often outperforming its best rivals in difficult conditions. Almost every aspect of the Pixel 7 Pro’s picture is superior than that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Exposure, motion blur, sharpness, fine detail, and dynamic range are all important considerations. Everything.

However, if you’re not sure whether you’ll had time to retake the image, Samsung’s burst mode comes in useful. Burst mode is supported by all phones in some fashion, but Samsung’s is simple in that you push & move the shutter down, hold it until the instant is through. This produces a quick burst of images that you may go through afterwards to find a better time. Will burst rescue the day for Samsung in the indoor shot?

Moving outside, the situation becomes much more equal. Google’s Pixel 7 Pro still outperforms the competition, but not by much, particularly when compared to how easily it won the indoor test. Google’s image has a considerably better exposure and dynamic range. Both cameras performed an excellent job of catching the subject’s face, albeit Samsung’s photo is somewhat overexposed because to the incredibly strong and direct sunshine on his face.

I just pressed the Pixel 7 Pro’s shutter button. I left the rapid mode on the Galaxy S23 Ultra the whole time. Sadly for Samsung, this isn’t much of an improvement. With a single swipe on the Pixel 7 Pro, you can get a clear, clean shot with great exposure. Meanwhile, a burst of nearly 30 images on the Galaxy S23 Ultra produces no better results than a single touch.

I was hoping that Samsung will address this specific weakness this year. This issue has plagued Samsung phones for a very long time, and it does not seem to be getting any better now. In summary, if snapping images of moving dogs or children is your top priority, you should choose a Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 above any other phone on the market.


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