Samsung officially launched the Galaxy S20 Ultra which is equipped with a number of qualified features. One of the highlights is the “Space Zoom ” feature that has a zoom capability of up to 100x. What is the secret behind it? To be able to enlarge the image up to 100x fold, Samsung uses a mechanism of telephoto lens “folded lens” alias periscope lens as has been applied in several other smartphone models before, namely the Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno Zoom 10x.
The periscope lens has an additional glass that reflects light from the front of the lens to the side, towards the 48 megapixel camera’s telephoto camera image sensor. This telephoto lens has an f / 3.6 aperture and is also equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer.
The original zoom level ( optical, not digital) of the Galaxy S20 Ultra telephoto lens is actually only 4x (102mm, full frame equivalent ). However, Samsung has implemented a number of tricks to extend the zoom range even further to 100x.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra implements “Hybrid Optical Zoom” in the form of a combination of optical zoom and digital zoom up to a 10x zoom range. Although it involves digital techniques, because the sensor used has a high resolution (48 megapixels), Samsung claims that image quality up to 10x zoom will not decrease alias lossless.
Then, between the 10x to 100x zoom level, Samsung implements further digital zoom with the “Super Resolution Zoom” technique that relies on artificial intelligence to keep the image quality from going down too much.
Illustration like this, when a distant object is enlarged, AI will try to detect the type of object, whether it is humans, landscapes, buildings, and so forth. Then, the AI processing Neural Processing Unit (NPU) embedded in the Exynos 990 System-on-Chip (SoC) will process the image to improve its quality, so that the object being targeted is not too blurry.
It is this combination of image processing technologies which then creates a zoom level of up to 100x on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Samsung calls this the term ” Space Zoom “. The shooting process for zooming up to 100x, only relies on one camera, the 48-megapixel telephoto camera. So, (Space Zoom) only uses a 48 megapixel telephoto camera, not using a 108 megapixel camera because this is indeed a large resolution camera of this type wide.