Users report blurry photos from Samsung Galaxy S23/S23+ cameras
According to reports, the recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ rear cameras are facing some issues. Specifically – and this is kind of a big deal in photography – it’s not keeping the entire frame sharp. Even with a subject that falls completely within the depth of focus, it appears that while it’s sharp at the centre, it blurs out pretty badly towards the edges before seemingly getting sharp again. And no, it’s not bokeh.
The issue was initially said to affect Galaxy S23 and S23+ units manufactured in Vietnam, although testing by Sam Mobile says that they were able to replicate the issue with photos of documents and text using their India-made devices. The Samsung Galaxy S23 did receive a new firmware recently that upgraded the camera, however, it appears that software might not be able to fix this one.
It’s clear that the issue doesn’t seem to affect all S23 and S23+ devices else there’d be more of an uproar with as many of them as there are out in the wild now. But, it’s a common enough problem that multiple users are reporting it and it seems to be easily replicable. Notebook Check has collected a number of sample images showing the phenomenon.
The 50-megapixel camera module contained in the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ is the same setup used in the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+. This time, however, the blurring seems to be a bit more pervasive. That being said, Sam Mobile reports that some users said they experienced the same issue with the S22 and S22+, although it was not widely reported on at the time. Those S22/S22+ users who experienced it said the only way it could be resolved was to replace the camera unit itself.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra model is not affected by this issue. As it’s one of Samsung’s flagship phones, along with its folding devices, it sees a different 200-megapixel camera setup than that of the 50-megapixel arrangement used in the S23 and S23+ devices. In fact, not all Galaxy S23 and S23+ devices are affected by the issue, either. If they were, the fault should be relatively easy to find. But the fact that the problem exists in some devices but not in others pretty much rules out a software issue.
It looks like the same sort of artifact you’d get if you had a fingerprint smudge on your lens. I’ve seen that before but assuming these are brand new phones and that at least some of the people testing this out have thought to clean their lens beforehand, then this likely isn’t the case this time. If it’s something that can’t be corrected in software and is pervasive, then it seems that it might be a manufacturing defect in the consistency of the lens. If some areas of the lens haven’t quite been polished perfectly or are slightly thicker or thinner than other areas, it can potentially cause warping of this nature.
Whatever it is, Samsung doesn’t appear to have responded publicly to the issues, yet A lot of early adopters seem to be experiencing it, though. So, hopefully, Samsung will respond soon, suggest a fix for existing owners and ensure it doesn’t happen again in future batches.
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.