Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: Picture Perfect


Contents (maximize to view)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, an amazing mobile photography companion

I have been using the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for a few weeks now, and boy was I surprised with how its cameras really improved from the previous generation. I have established this in my full review and firmly stand by my opinion about the quality of photos.

My experience with the S21 Ultra 5G’s camera capabilities begs a comparison versus other flagship devices. DxO Mark still has yet to publish the camera and selfie scores of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, so I thought that it would be nice to have a comparison shootout soon.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Today, let’s focus our attention to the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. This is a deep-dive of its camera features and how I believe this will give you the information you need before you make your purchase decision. While I do not call myself an expert in photography, I hope that my consumer experience will help you decide. Unfortunately though, because of the usual quarantine measures, I need to squeeze my creativity further and take photos within the vicinity of my home studio. Rest assured that I’ll find time to take more photos outside Manila soon, and update this post accordingly. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Before anything else, here’s everything you need to know about the camera of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:

Front camera40MP Phase Detection AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 0.7 µm
Rear CameraTelephoto 1: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, Optical 3x, FOV 35°, OIS, F2.4, 1.22µm, Telephoto 2: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, Optical 10x, FOV 10°, OIS, F4.9, 1.22µm, Ultra Wide: 12MP Dual Pixel AF, FOV 120°, F2.2, 1.4µm, Wide-angle: 108MP Phase Detection AF, FOV 83°, OIS, F1.8, 0.8µm

Let’s have a drilldown of the camera specs.

You’re getting a 40MP selfie camera with phase detection autofocus. This means that you will be able to easily focus on your subject, your lovely or handsome face,without any issues even at low light scenarios. This is particularly the case with my experience when taking selfies. 

You’ll also get a nice bokeh, which you can further tweak or add effects to using Portrait Mode. You can also choose your selfies to have a wider field of view.

jjPd2AaeQY1BAbM1nzL32hbIvSpYFDs5sfHD6uci3Y5HgoeyWq4E3eZa9WQQJySEfyStES7P5cHKDQCEUIGVXFxs0GzgHdFNCqgIdi8 Toqtd6pXAlKadLbQRMLwS R9S8iYalUA
yT4uOhtJ5oZOUWI6H0CbcdC1JrYl5rjZLuz C0 ClFHzupNz4rCCqJIKxRdSbmyFi3sJ2i6MdQrnQpi0N6 H3WNmaVHJsBmqc9doa4FGXXny t9wotImhMnGdoXv56L xygt wZB
rCZlINRHoEueRUDyhMJtiGK1g14ZfOzHQ4m YC043pSijDqb8h42Oc6ZaLhdegh26mOKdw hwJbHbYTbj30Vzcpk3TMF49z7q0JBh6a5cQ7DDnavI kcO1rLkrhfQoCQlaRiIEny

Let’s move on to the rear camera, which received a lot of improvement from its predecessor. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has 5 camera lenses with varying FOV and aperture specifications. One of the major changes is that it now has 2 telephoto lenses with diverse purposes. The first 10MP telephoto lens that can go 3x optical zoom has a 35° FOV, which is equivalent to a 240mm lens.

It has a max aperture of f/4.9. It’s not the brightest lens in the lot, but it aims to work hand in hand with other lenses to produce more defined zoomed-in photos. The second 10MP telephoto lens that can do a 10x optical zoom has a 10° FOV or 24mm. It’s the brightest between the two telephoto lenses too, having an aperture of  f/1.8.

583x6XnCNfzOrY8O6oIz8HSyQRTNlSkvb1Mm8E Mw2Nqtv2mOjeu2Js QTKeiofnTokJIsaN6TVAwIbj Uv0FfHsH4Ous9l3BKOwRhMejm0N
Lr8 xxwWhMUY jOeilJIRn5pAdeJ3xg52CNHxh8N bwWEWrA15 cZfzqciXsy2 Jgz4HABGz NNdIwNk 4c fCSLOpy FT2dAZdjBKBR63xVUN4OMz1FbBpaf62qAIS

The beauty of these lenses is that they act as the phone’s AI’s footsoldiers when the user zooms into a particular subject. Whenever the user shoots and maximizes its zooming features, the AI analyzes if the subject is considered mid-range or long-range. Conversely, this feature also made the zoom-lock possible, which is by far my favorite feature. This makes things easier for you to zoom in to a specific subject.

You’re also getting an ultra-wide 12MP lens with a 120° FOV and f/2.2 aperture, and another 108MP lens with a 83° FOV and f/1.8 aperture. Both of these lenses have Dual Pixel AF. Here is the full layout of the rear camera.

hvgjnLvq2 Rl62IGOmeFl78Cfvj y5fVhFFykWana1qGJf5GgJW2HxF8ewiPccsiBbrR2ryYQu vxwy zDT89XIYuthhFsfmGrCWKIvoP8KzO6ko FJqjnj8iULwlm zPgyHDsc4

Contrary to popular belief, the lens at the lower left is a 10MP Telephoto lens capable of 10x optical zoom, and not the main 108MP wide camera. You’ll be using the latter for your day to day photo shots, which promises great color detail and accuracy. In order to achieve this much megapixels, Samsung used the same nonabinning technique (9 x 12MP = 108MP) and threw in a dash of other improvements. This means that if you whip out your Galaxy S21 Ultra5G and shoot a subject, you’re using its 108MP Wide lens with a f/1.8 aperture. The results below show the quality you’re getting with this improved lens.

ugLwlrjq08b6yZomWynQy maUpAOtutfk6NE9PsiFaWcQVY4cZiPH4qEjS QdhFg70E42PKrwI7hOcOp0EPR6vM0By e4W9j9NhicNWitRmz6fxFLgNXOZ4A44wR FyivAwei413
84NiUvPQO69tBTP1RN6KXeoaOLdhVgD2XXWIB7j7rbecmWKo84 d4Ri7cNqGu6bVc5Ntlr8jjGqZYWePK9afS GMkWVHa
7DsIrdU6tILPMf jQgSkpmVNgoGLpGW2fRtdiUDhs9cV0DY9svPlwvdjJJLOcrkGvAGIg3K7Diqdclpd YST6G1l Um2u UE9b0QNRZHWG1Yh sDCrEcn48B n51k F2jDL8v Oj

Let’s talk about the quality of their celebrated 100x zoom, which is the combined effort of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G’s periscope lenses and AI. In order for me to show you how impressive this is, I took a photo of my screen using 2 devices. The combined images below were taken by Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G using its telephoto lens with digital zoom to 50x and 100x zoom. Pay attention to the sharpness of the pixels and see if there’s any unnecessary artifacts, which diminish the quality of the photos. Notice that the photos look very sharp and the contrast levels are very much on point. 

ciRFKy3ra11Egfq4tTdwb3VkBaPcjAA2Op32 fB75M6fDwconBiac6FHJSlBhE4Q xdUD6seZIC8ArP6rCWycQJHPKURJ PGuytjz9z Kyq4 jceDOc38S oirA9PS 6StDeXG6

Now take a look at the next photo that shows 50x zoom photos I took using the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (left) and another one that I took using another smartphone. Take note of the discoloration and inaccuracy of contrast levels of the second photo. Note that these photos were taken in similar conditions, and the difference seems to be emanating from the limitation of the sensors used on both devices.

I tried to zoom in to really far subjects and see how much we can stretch the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G’s cameras. Photos are still discernible but with significant drop in clarity and quality. Here are some sample photos. Will be adding more photos soon.

cE vRy0nZUOQwLw48WOLWcJACEq2Lx4DarLy2IJSdvh 7sIdBsFtCER0rc 25AEBi2D DygeJR0tMzEuNfaXBIvYCX1q0MvbyclriGt65j4Td2hmf5 lLQR5 Y0XdN6eEETF0 K
gKHBYUFNL8VXU SXEJQgiIx3ZxT7rlVjpczJBPgO5MBAFKuUYy6v8zcAE98tsqtkwrmWYaDHfcMHPhv G9Lqkmu1SFUVK9B1Uyrjfe6f8mBSJy8NNEM yFCEA0c3mfo7i5b 1dph
ionqLTOdNZ0v7mcXWMDGdpfi5gTU1BhR5nc7orGNU zkzphGA
QK3woz5ZJ5B9dBI4bgdg gNaqLLBj4AqW6REXiUKG FUFpQYTF6cWlMgBRcQ8b Wv1zJ yqQWYuwiexXt X2JF Mm1K09a7FpaKCJhcvv

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G truly offers versatility and empowers users to be more expressive and creative with their photos. As an amateur photographer, I have been enjoying the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G not just as a daily smartphone but my daily camera as well. No matter how cliche this sounds, the best camera is the one inside your pocket. I’m fortunate enough to have been given this chance to try this smartphone with camera features that are enough to make me better at what I do personally and professionally.

 | Website

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

Related Articles


Show next
Gadget Pilipinas | Tech News, Reviews, Benchmarks and Build Guides
Compare items
  • Total (0)