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Samsung responds to the viral fake Moon Controversy, leaves more questions than answers.

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Samsung’s blog post offers a comprehensive explanation of their Moon-photography process. It is unlikely to appease all concerns surrounding the authenticity of the images produced.

Samsung has recently released an English-language blog post that explains the advanced techniques utilized by its phones to capture breathtaking images of the Moon. Although the post seems to be a translated version of a Korean article published last year, its official nature allows for a closer examination of the technology behind Samsung’s image processing.

The post was prompted by a Reddit user, ibreakphotos, whose viral post highlighted the level of additional detail that Samsung’s camera software adds to images when capturing the Moon. While criticisms about Samsung’s moon photography have surfaced before, the simplicity of the test and the stark difference between the original and processed image generated significant attention. In response, Samsung’s blog post sheds light on its processing technology. It offers a glimpse into its innovative approach to smartphone photography

In a recent blog post, Samsung revealed that its cutting-edge “Scene Optimizer” feature, which has been supporting Moon photography since the Galaxy S21 series, employs multiple techniques to capture stunning images of the Moon. To begin with, Samsung’s Super Resolution feature automatically activates when zoom levels reach 25x or higher. It harnesses the power of multi-frame processing by combining over 10 images, resulting in reduced noise and enhanced clarity. Additionally, Samsung optimizes the exposure to prevent overexposure of the Moon in the dark sky and uses its “Zoom Lock” feature that employs a combination of optical and digital image stabilization to minimize image blur. These features together create a seamless experience, allowing users to capture stunning and clear photos of the Moon with Samsung’s smartphones.

Samsung’s Innovative approach

Samsung’s innovative approach to capturing stunning images of the Moon begins with an advanced “AI deep learning model.” The model, which has been developed based on a wide range of moon shapes and details, ranging from full to crescent moons, is built on images taken from our view of the Moon from Earth. This cutting-edge technology accurately identifies the Moon in the first place, providing the perfect foundation for Samsung’s remarkable image processing.

However, the aspect of Samsung’s process that has generated significant attention is its use of an “AI detail enhancement engine.” While the company’s blog post sheds some light on the process, it is still not fully explained. Nonetheless, Samsung’s users are amazed at the additional details and clarity captured in the Moon images, making the “AI detail enhancement engine” an exciting technological advancement in smartphone photography.

Here’s how Samsung describes its process:

“After Multi-frame Processing has taken place, Galaxy camera further harnesses Scene Optimizer’s deep-learning-based AI detail enhancement engine to effectively eliminate remaining noise and enhance the image details even further.”

Samsung’s detailed flow chart provides further insight into the process behind its remarkable Moon photography capabilities. As illustrated, the process involves an advanced convolution neural network, which is a type of machine learning model specifically designed to process imagery. This model, known as the “Detail Enhancement Engine,” analyses the Moon image and enhances the details while comparing the result to a “Reference with high resolution.

 

It appears that the “Detail Enhancement Engine” stage of Samsung’s Moon photography process is responsible for adding additional detail that was not present in the original photo. This could explain why when ibreakphotos inserted a plain grey square onto a blurry photo of the Moon in a follow-up test, Samsung’s camera software gave the blank square a Moon-like texture.

While Samsung’s recent blog post provides more information in English than their previous public statements, some may still view any software capable of generating a realistic image of the Moon from a blurry photo as misleading. Furthermore, there is a risk that Samsung may mislead customers about the capabilities of the zoom features of their phones when advertising these AI-powered capabilities.

The concluding statement of Samsung’s blog post is particularly noteworthy. They state, “Samsung remains committed to enhancing Scene Optimizer to avoid any potential confusion between capturing an image of the actual Moon and capturing an image of the Moon through our technology.”

Samsung’s statement has two levels of meaning. On one hand, they acknowledge the need to avoid being deceived by Redditors who capture images of Moon-like objects that their camera software identifies as the actual Moon. While on the other hand, they emphasize the significant amount of computational processing required to produce these photographs, and their continued efforts to improve this technology. Ultimately, this raises the question of what constitutes a photograph in today’s world, as these advanced processing techniques have the ability to manipulate and enhance images beyond what is possible through traditional photography.

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