Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Camera Shake-Up: 10x Periscope Lens Out, 5x Zoom In

In a surprising twist, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra may drop its iconic 10x periscope camera, replaced by a 50MP 5x zoom camera, possibly for design and versatility reasons. Sensor cropping could still deliver 10x optical zoom. Details and image quality await official confirmation.

In a recent development, renowned leaker Ice Universe set the tech world abuzz on September 19th with surprising news about the anticipated Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. It appears that this highly-anticipated flagship smartphone may bid farewell to its iconic 10x periscope camera, leaving enthusiasts puzzled about the rationale behind such a decision. This revelation has prompted questions, especially in light of Apple's renewed competition in the smartphone camera department.

The Galaxy S Ultra line has consistently wowed users with its camera versatility, earning it a prominent position on lists of the best cameraphones year after year. Samsung's relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with years of refinement, has resulted in a camera setup that outperforms most mainstream rivals. At the heart of this success lies a combination of sensors, including two telephoto cameras—a 3x and a 10x periscopic zoom—that have allowed the Galaxy S Ultra to capture stunning photos from a considerable distance. Even with the notable improvements in the latest iPhone's cameras, the 5x zoom on Apple's top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Pro Max still falls short of what Samsung's biggest rival has been offering.

So, when Ice Universe hinted at the possibility of the Galaxy S24 Ultra parting ways with the 10x periscopic telephoto camera, it left many scratching their heads. Why, in the face of intensified competition from Apple, would Samsung choose this moment to eliminate one of the series' most distinguishing photographic features?

Fortunately, a follow-up post offers a glimmer of hope to those concerned about the potential loss of the 10x zoom. In this subsequent update on X (formerly Twitter), it is revealed that the phone will continue to feature two telephoto lenses: a 10MP 3x zoom camera (as seen in its predecessor) and a brand-new 50MP 5x zoom camera.

While the precise motivation behind this change remains unclear, it is possible that the decision is driven by the physics of incorporating a larger, higher-resolution sensor into the camera system. Additionally, considerations related to aesthetics and ergonomics might be influencing this shift. The new iPhone 15 Pro Max, for instance, employs an intricate tetraprism to refract light for its 5x telephoto camera, potentially hinting at a more streamlined design for the S24 Ultra compared to the Galaxy Note-inspired look of the previous two generations. Achieving this sleeker design may require the removal of the comparatively bulky 10x camera module that users have grown accustomed to.

Even if the Galaxy S24 Ultra indeed transitions from a 10x to a 5x telephoto snapper, it may still retain the capability to deliver 10x optical zoom through a clever trick employed by both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, which Ice Universe explicitly mentions in the latest post: sensor cropping.

With a 5x telephoto sensor boasting five times the megapixels, Samsung could employ sensor cropping to digitally achieve a 10x telephoto image without the need for a dedicated lens. Assuming a 2x crop on the 50MP 5x sensor, users would still enjoy a 25MP 10x image, surpassing the S23 Ultra's 10MP resolution by a considerable margin.

As for the image quality of such a shot, it ultimately depends on the sensor chosen by Samsung, as an increase in megapixels does not guarantee superior image quality. To discern the truth of Ice Universe's claims and evaluate the performance of the S24 Ultra's new camera hardware, we must await its official unveiling and get our hands on the device ourselves.

In summary, the potential changes in the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra's camera system have stirred curiosity and speculation among tech enthusiasts. The rumored transition from a 10x to a 5x telephoto camera, combined with sensor cropping technology, could redefine the smartphone photography landscape. The true test, however, lies in the hands of Samsung and its choice of camera hardware, leaving us eagerly anticipating the official release of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

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