Samsung has been installing two 10 megapixel zoom cameras in its ultra flagships for years, namely a 3x telephoto and a 10x periscope. But it looks like that could change with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra next year. According to a new tip, Samsung will swap the current 3x zoom camera for a lens with a 5x optical zoom. The 10x periscope camera therefore remains on board. Nothing is known yet about the resolution of the 5x camera.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with 5x zoom camera
However, losing the 10 megapixel 3x telephoto camera also has its downsides. For one, 3x magnification is better for portraits than 5x. On the other hand, there would be no native optical zoom for the entire close-up range between 1x and 5x. The gap would have to be closed by a hybrid zoom with lower image quality.
On the other hand, swapping the 3x camera for a 5x periscope also has benefits on paper. The biggest is that the mid-range zoom (i.e. 4x to 7x) would get a much-needed quality upgrade. This is currently the only weakness of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in terms of zoom functions. Even the Google Pixel 7 Pro can keep up with the current Ultra in the mid-range, although it relies much more on digital zoom.
A 5x camera could also support the 10x lens to jointly deliver even better long-distance zoom capabilities. Theoretically, Samsung could combine the image data from these two cameras. On the other hand, another tipster claimed earlier this year that Samsung would be replacing the 3x camera with a 3x to 10x variable zoom camera. This might be the best option that would provide true optical zoom with consistent image quality.
Another Twitter tipster, on the other hand, believes that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will deliver significant improvements in image quality, primarily through better software. This suggests there may not be any major hardware changes over the next year.
Update: New tip, new theory
According to tipster Revegnus, the current camera setup may remain after all. Accordingly, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra does without a telephoto camera with variable zoom and instead retains the previous 3x camera. According to reports, “The only camera upgrade is the 10x zoom sensor, which undergoes minor improvements.”