Samsung is bringing this big change with the Galaxy S24 Ultra which will significantly enhance the image quality and user experience. You see, the S20 Ultra was Samsung's first phone to feature a periscope zoom camera. It had a 4x optical zoom. Samsung improved it to 5x optical on the Note 20 Ultra.
Users complained that they need a short-range zoom as well so Samsung brought an additional 3x telephoto camera on the S21 Ultra for short-range zoom along with a 10x optical periscope camera for long-range zoom. Samsung went on using the same setup for the next two years.
Now, it looks like, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung is bringing the biggest change to its Zoom cameras over the past year three years by upgrading one of the Zoom cameras. No, I'm not talking about the continuous zoom camera. Instead, Samsung will upgrade the 3x telephoto camera with a 5x telephoto camera on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. That's according to GalaxyClub who have an excellent track record. So it means the Galaxy S24 Ultra will have two zoom cameras, one with a 5x telephoto zoom and another with a 10x telephoto zoom.
This contradicts a rumor we heard a while ago that Samsung is getting rid of the 3x telephoto camera altogether on the S24 Ultra. But considering Galaxy Club has a better track record than Ice Universe, the leak from Ice was probably wrong. Now, I know some of you might have a couple of questions. What about short-range zoom then? The reason Samsung brought a second 3x telephoto camera was to provide a better short-range zoom. If Samsung is going with a 5x optical zoom on the S24 Ultra, how are we going to take short-range zoom photos?
Well, it looks like Samsung will utilize the high resolution of the main camera which is 200MP for lower zoom factors such as 3x telephoto zoom. Optical zoom cameras are always better than cropping in with the main sensor so I guess we'll have to wait and see if this is a good decision. Ideally, the best decision would be to use a continuous zoom camera with a variable lens that allows us to zoom in at any level without losing quality.
That brings me to the second question that you might have. Does this mean the S24 Ultra won't have a continuous zoom camera? Well, it indeed looks like the phone will not have this tech. Samsung will instead stick to a combination of two telephoto cameras for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. No further details have been shared by Galaxy Club but the Galaxy S24 Ultra could bring some huge power and efficiency gains.