Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 108MP camera samples comparison vs 12MP photos
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a brand new 108-megapixel sensor for the main camera and by default it cleverly fuses 9 individual pixels into one to come up with a final 12-megapixel photo that is lighter in size but still has an outstanding quality. But you can also shoot at the full 108 megapixels if you wish. What's the difference between those 12MP shots and the full 108MP photos?
Let's take a look at some photos, but first let's pay attention to the difference in size between such images. Every image is different in size, but it seems like these are the average file sizes.
How big are 108MP images?
- 12MP photo average sizes: 2.5MB to 3.3MB
- 108MP photo average size: 24MB to 31.3MB
This is a huge difference! Full-resolution 108-megapixel photos can easily weigh more than 30 megabytes each, meaning that a hundred photos would eat up 3GB of storage on your phone, and imagine snapping photos on a vacation for a couple of days where you often end up with a couple of thousand photos! We can definitely see why Samsung has decided to use the 12-megapixel image size as the default option.
A slight difference in detail
108MP photos are slightly sharper but you need to pixel peep to see this difference
While there is a huge difference in the sheer size of the photo files between 108MP and 12MP, the difference in detail is actually way more subtle and not that easy to notice. In the photos of the flower above, you will see a slight difference in the colors, but you need to look really up close to notice the difference in sharpness.
Only when zooming on the photos to magnify the detail you start noticing the slight advantage that the 108MP image has in terms of resolved detail, but it's not a gigantic difference.
And depending on the photo, that difference might be actually even smaller as in the photos above where you can see the violet petals actually look more detailed in the 12MP photo.
Here is a close-up crop of the same images that will help you better notice the difference.
Weird Artifacts on 12MP photos
The camera processing is doing something strange to photos
Interestingly, while we did not find a huge improvement in terms of detail when using the 108-megapixel photo mode, we did notice that the default 12MP images have some strange artifacts due to some over-processing done in the camera.
We don't know what exactly causes that and we hope Samsung can fix it with a software update. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it's just something rather strange that we haven't seen on other phones.