Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – Five Cameras, 8K Video, 10x Optical Zoom

January 15th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 3
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - Five Cameras, 8K Video, 10x Optical Zoom

The newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra sports a total of five cameras – 12MP ultra-wide, 108MP wide, two 10MP telephoto cameras, and a 40MP selfie camera. All of them can record 4K UHD video with up to 60fps and the main 108MP camera can additionally record 8K video in 24fps. The phone also includes features like Director’s View, Night Mode, and 8K Video Snap.

As expected, during a recent “Unpacked” online event, Samsung introduced the new Galaxy smartphones and some other new devices. At the top of the S21 lineup is the Galaxy S21 Ultra. I think this phone and its cameras are quite interesting, so let’s take a short look at it.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The new S21 Ultra from Samsung features a new design for the camera bump on the back of the phone. It is still thicker than the rest of the phone, but it sort of blends in better. Personally, I would like to see the phone body as thick as the camera bump while filling the extra space inside with a larger capacity battery. What do you think? Do you prefer a thin design or more battery life?

Galaxy S21 Ultra Cameras. Source: Samsung

The 6.8″ AMOLED display features a 10-120Hz adaptive refresh rate and 1,500 nits peak brightness. The phone’s body measures 75.6 x 165.1 x 8.9 millimeters, weighs 229g, and it is IP68 rated for moist and dust protection. The battery has a capacity of 5.000mAh and supports 25W fast charging or 15W wireless charging. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in two colors – phantom black and phantom silver.

Galaxy S21 Ultra. Source: Samsung

Apart from having no headphone jack, the phone also does not have an SD card slot anymore. It comes with either 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of internal storage. The 512GB version has 16GB of RAM while all the other versions have 12GB. In most regions, the phone will include the new 5nm Snapdragon 888 processor, in other regions the new Samsung Exynos processor.

Five Cameras

Do you remember the Light L16 device with 16 cameras in one body that was announced in 2015? Back in 2017 when it started shipping, I wrote that the technology of folded telephoto lenses eventually finds its way into smartphones. With many latest smartphones and especially the new S21 Ultra, we are slowly getting there to match the somewhat bizarre look of a device with many cameras on the back.

Light L16
Light L16 – Will Smartphones Soon Look Like This? Source: Light

With the Galaxy S21 Ultra, there is a total of five cameras – four cameras on the back of the phone and one front-facing selfie camera:

  • 12MP Ultra-Wide Camera with f/2.2 lens, 120˚ FOV, and Super Speed Dual Pixel AF
  • 108MP Main Wide Camera with f/1.8 lens, 83˚ FOV, Laser Autofocus (PDAF), and optical stabilization. The size of the sensor is 1/1.33″. According to Samsung, for better low light performance, the sensor can join 9 pixels (3×3) together and produce a cleaner 12MP photo.
S21 Ultra – 10x Telephoto Camera. Source: Samsung
S21 Ultra – 10x Telephoto Camera. Source: Samsung
  • Two 10MP Telephoto Cameras – For telephoto focal lengths, the phone uses two camera modules. One is a 3x zoom camera (35˚ FOV) with an f/2.4 lens and the other one is a new 10x zoom camera (10˚ FOV) with an f/4.9 double folded (periscope) lens. The new 10x zoom lens should improve results with the Samsung 100x Space Zoom that uses a combination of optical and digital zoom with some software enhancements. The Zoom Lock feature can stabilize shots while in zoom mode.
  • 40MP Selfie Camera with f/2.2 lens, 80˚ FOV, and Phase-Detect AF (PDAF).
Galaxy S21 Ultra Cameras. Source: Samsung

Logically, only the main 108MP camera can record an 8K video (7680×4320) which is also limited to 24fps only. It is good to hear from Samsung, that 4K UHD (3840×2160) video recording at up to 60 fps is available on all phone’s cameras. Unfortunately, there is no 10-bit mode, like with the new iPhone 12 Pro. The 8K Video Snap feature can pull 33MP stills from the 8K clips.

S21 Ultra – Director’s View. Source: Samsung

Another interesting camera feature is the new Night Mode that takes a series of photos and stacks them together to get less noise in the resulting bright image. Finally, the Director’s View lets users see images from all cameras at the same time to help choose the right angle.

Price and Availability

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will be available soon and its price is starting at $1,299.

Are you using Android or iOS on your mobile device? What do you think about the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.


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