Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra at its Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, and that means we've had our first look at the cameras the new phones are packing.
And the rumors we’ve seen in the lead-up to the launch proved largely accurate, with the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus basically getting the same camera suite as the Galaxy S23 series, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra dropping the 10x telephoto camera of its predecessor for a 50-megapixel 5x optical zoom telephoto camera.
However, while the specs might not have changed much, there's a lot more going on behind the scenes with the camera software, namely the heavy use of artificial intelligence to power smart editing and remastering tools. We'll put these fully to the test in due course, but in our brief hands-on time with the phones so far they've proven to be rather impressive.
Read on for everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S24 series cameras.
Samsung Galaxy S24 series camera specs
Below is a table of the core camera specs of all three Galaxy S24 models – as the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus share the same camera suite, we've combined them.
|Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
|Galaxy S24 Ultra
|12MP f/2.2 ,
|10MP f/2.4 with 3x optical zoom
|50MP f/3.4 periscope 5x optical zoom, 10MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom
What are the main Galaxy S24 camera upgrades?
While nothing has changed on the camera hardware side in terms of pure specs for the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus, the use of the new ProVisual AI Engine promises more natural-looking photos and improved low-light performance, especially when zoomed.
It's the same story for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, except for the fact that it's lost the 10MP 10x telephoto camera of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and instead has a 50MP 5x periscope camera. This means a drop in optical zoom range but a big boost in resolution, and with a larger sensor the 5x camera can crop into 10x, likely with little loss of image quality.
AI-based processing will fill in the gaps between the main camera to 3x, 5x to 10x, and use a super-resolution processing technique to zoom further to deliver the 100x 'Space Zoom'. As such, Samsung has dubbed this system 'Quad Optical Zoom', with the aim of serving up sharp shots across a quartet of zoom ranges.
That 50MP sensor also has 1.6x larger pixels that the 10MP camera it replaces, as well as improved optical image stabilization, which promises to deliver clear zoomed-in shots and video in low-light situations.
Samsung Galaxy S24 cameras and AI
AI is playing a big part in the Galaxy S24 camera experience. Not only will it help deliver better telephoto shots on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, it will also enable a host of new smart features.
Smart suggestions for photo edits, for everything from removing reflections to a full remaster of the image, can be delivered by AI processing.
A Google Pixel 8 Magic Editor-style option called Generative Edit uses AI to dramatically manipulate an image, from removing objects and using smart processing to fill gaps after reorienting an image, to moving a subject to a whole new part of the frame, simply with a bit of tapping and highlighting; it only takes moment to process these edits. This will inevitably raise concerns about images being faked with AI, but Samsung says metadata indicating that AI edits have been applied will be embedded in the photos.
Generative AI can also be used to create instant slow-mo videos by inserting frames at 120fps.
And while it may not be an AI-centric feature, the Galaxy S24 models come with an algorithm that lets HDR photos be captured when using the camera option in third-party apps like Instagram. This means there's no need to snap photos in the Galaxy camera app and then upload via a social media app; it can all be done in the latter in one go.
As we said earlier, we'll need to fully test these cameras before we can pass a more considered verdict on the new features. But the Galaxy S24 Ultra's suite of snappers look set to be more flexible than before, and the S24 and S24 Plus will surely benefit from all the new AI tools.
For our initial impressions, check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 review, hands-on Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review and hands-on Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review. (And for everything announced at the first Samsung Galaxy Unpacked of 2024, take a look at our Galaxy Unpacked live blog and recap.)
So while the Galaxy S24 cameras overall don't look especially dramatic specs-wise, the added AI smarts could see the trio of next-gen Galaxy models be in with a chance of scoring high places on our best phone cameras list.
More about the Samsung Galaxy S24
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.