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Reddit user claims Samsung’s ‘space zoom’ Moon shots are ‘fake’, company replies

Samsung has issued an explanation apparently after a Reddit user’s claim went viral on social media that its Galaxy series’ ‘space zoom’ shots, especially those of the Moon, are fake and called its marketing ‘deceptive’. In its blog post published Wednesday, Samsung clarified how its Galaxy cameras combine super resolution technologies with AI technologies to produce high quality images. It maintained that in its Galaxy S2 series, “Scene Optimizer has been able to recognise the Moon as a specific object during the photo-taking process, before applying the feature’s detail enhancement engine to the shot.”

The Reddit user identified as ibreakphotos, claimed the moon images captured by the Samsung phones were not outrightly fabricated but also were not as genuine.(Unsplash/Representative)

What the Reddit user claimed?

The Reddit user identified as ibreakphotos, claimed last week the Moon images were not as genuine. “I’ve always had doubts about their (Moon’s photos) authenticity, as they appear almost too perfect. While these images are not necessarily outright fabrications, neither are they entirely genuine,” the user said.

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To prove his claim, the user said he downloaded a high resolution image of the Moon from the internet, downsized it to 170×170 pixels and applied a gaussian blur, to do away with all the details. He then shifted the image to his monitor, moved to the other side of the room with all lights dimmed, then clicked a picture of the Moon with Samsung’s zoom camera.

Linking his results in his post, the user alleged that Samsung is “leveraging an AI model to put craters and other details on places which were just a blurry mess”. “Here, you have a specific AI model trained on a set of moon images, in order to recognise the Moon and slap on the moon texture on it (when there is no detail to recover in the first place, as in this experiment),” he said.

Samsung’s clarification of AI deep learning for moon object recognition:

Samsung said “the engine for recognising the Moon was built based on a variety of moon shapes and details, from full through to crescent Moons, and is based on images taken from our view from the Earth.”

Samsung credited its ‘super resolution’ technology for producing multi-frame composition and said its combination with ‘Scene Optimiser’ helps produce bright clear images. It explained there are multiple steps involved in delivering a bright and clear image of the Moon. It maintained that its scene optimiser technology, before applying ‘AI detail enhancements’, first reconfirms whether the object identified is the Moon or not. “It then takes multiple pictures and then synthesises them into a single, with reduced noise.” Following this, the ‘AI detail enhancement’ technology comes into action to further eliminate remaining noise and enhance the image details.

The Korean brandalso said “it continues to improve ‘Scene Optimizer’ to reduce any potential confusion that may occur between the act of taking a picture of the real Moon and an image of the Moon”.

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