Samsung acknowledges blurry Galaxy S23/S23+ photos – Fix on the way

Jun 2, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Samsung acknowledges blurry Galaxy S23/S23+ photos – Fix on the way

Jun 2, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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In March, we reported that users saw blurry photos from their Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ smartphones. The issue seemed to stem from the rear camera module, with images being sharp at the centre and randomly getting blurry in in-focus areas as you moved out towards the edges before becoming sharp again. Sam Mobile reported that they were able to recreate the issue. However, there was no response from Samsung at the time.

Now, Samsung has issued a release (in Polish) on their EU website acknowledging the issue. It’s an issue that appears to be there in devices made in both Vietnam and India. The company says a fix is on the way in a future software update. But there have been no indications so far on how long that will take. They do offer some tips you can follow in the meantime, however, to help resolve the issue.

[Related reading: Users report blurry photos from Samsung Galaxy S23/S23+ cameras]

The complete (translated) release from Samsung reads:

In the Community, we are obsessed with the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S23. A 50MP main camera and a 12MP front camera (both enhanced with Super HDR) will help you get the most epic shots. The enhanced AI of Nightography brings out details in low-light photos.

While testing the camera capabilities of the S23 or S23+, you may have noticed that the area around the subject looks a bit blurred when taking a close-up shot. This is because the rear wide-angle camera on the S23 and S23+ has a bright aperture, which helps when taking photos in the dark. However, this also means that more noticeable selective focus can make the background of your photos look a bit blurry.

Samsung plans to improve this in a future software update. In the meantime, if you are experiencing this on your Samsung Galaxy S23 or S23+, there are a few solutions you can try:

  • Try taking a photo from a bit further away; if the subject you are photographing is about 30 cm away, move back a hand’s width
  • Try to take a photo holding the phone vertically; if you hold the phone horizontally or diagonally, the background may appear blurred.

If you use the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to take a close-up photo, the camera will automatically switch to the wide-angle camera and activate the focus booster to prevent blur. However, if you are using high-res mode, the focus enhancer is not supported, which may make the background of the close-up blurry.

The belief in the initial reports was that this was a hardware issue. Perhaps a manufacturing defect in the lenses when focused at closer distances. Samsung’s suggestion of holding the phone vertically instead of horizontally or diagonally indicates that it might be a processing issue. If this is true, then it is potentially something that Samsung can fix with a future software update – something that the company says is on the way.

Of course, Samsung’s release also suggests that it’s simply down to shooting with a wide aperture and that the plane of focus simply isn’t parallel to the subject. They’re blaming it on bokeh. However, tests have shown that this happens even on flat surfaces.

Tralax, Android Help Forum via Notebook Check

If it is a hardware issue, though, it’s going to put Samsung in a tricky spot. They’re going to either need to recall the devices or offer some kind of free repair or replacement service. Of course, it’s also possible that Samsung might potentially just be stalling until the S24 and S24+ are released, hoping customers will forget and the problem just goes away on its own. Samsung owners don’t forget, though.

[Related reading: Samsung sued over “shattering” cameras in the Galaxy S20]

Hopefully, the reality isn’t as cynical as the last paragraph would suggest and it is a software issue. If it is, then it will be nice for users to see that fix come sooner rather than later. But for now, it’s nice that they actually seem to be acknowledging the issue at all.

Are you seeing blur issues on your Samsun Galaxy S23 or S23+ camera?

[via Android Authority]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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