While the Galaxy S21 Ultra that’s scheduled for an unveiling later this week will seemingly miss out on a five-camera system, it would appear the technology is getting prepped to launch with the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra. After all, Samsung SLI would have hardly bothered with implementing hexa-camera support into the Exynos 2100 otherwise (the sixth shooter being the selfie one).
And as it turns out, that’s precisely what the newly introduced system-on-a-chip offers: the ability to control six mobile cameras at once.
Will the Galaxy Note 21 be the ultimate smartphone for photo retouching?
Based on the last several product generations, it seems highly unlikely that the entry-level Galaxy Note 21 — if it exists — will feature the same number of rear-facing cameras as its more expensive counterpart. Much less certain is the actual composition of the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra’s camera setup. It should go without saying that the Galaxy S21 line might not be an accurate indicator of the exact sensor-lens combo Samsung has in store for its next family of stylus-equipped smartphones.
It bears repeating that a potential penta-camera setup will still be limited on the kernel side of things. Namely, today’s virtual event confirmed that the Exynos 2100 will “only” be capable of operating up to four cameras at once. Possible ToF capabilities notwithstanding, it’s probable that the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra will hence feature two telephoto lenses of different focal lengths. A zoom-superzoom combo wouldn’t just maximize the smartphone’s photographic versatility, but would also be in line with the technologies Samsung reportedly incorporated into the upcoming Galaxy S21 Ultra.
In terms of image fidelity, the Exynos 2100 will be capable of handling resolutions of up to 200 megapixels. That doesn’t guarantee the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra will actually allow for capturing of 200-megapixel stills, but it definitely spells good news for Samsung’s hybrid zoom technology. After all, getting away with a digital crop is much easier when your image signal processor is working with 200 million pixels.
Not to take away from the immense improvements in mobile imaging Samsung demonstrated over the last several years, yet software was hardly ever the company’s forté. Regardless, mobile photography aficionados have much to look forward to this summer as the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra is truly shaping up to be the retoucher’s dream. So, fingers crossed?