DxOMark: Galaxy S21 Ultra camera loses out to last year’s Galaxy S20 Ultra

DxOMark has published its camera review for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. With a given score of 121 points, surprisingly, it is 5 points behind its predecessor, the Galaxy S20 Ultra which was given 126 points under the latest testing protocols. Both figures are for the Exynos variants which are sold in Malaysia.

According to DxOMark’s breakdown, the S21 Ultra scored 128 points for video, 76 points for zoom and 98 for video. As a comparison, last year’s S20 Ultra flagship also shares the same 128 points for video but it did better with 88 points for zoom and 106 points for video.

The camera benchmark site said the Galaxy S21 Ultra (Exynos) delivers a good camera performance but it lags somewhat behind its competitors in the ultra-premium segment. Although the latest flagship offers two telephoto cameras (10MP with 10x optical zoom and 10X 3x optical zoom), it says it couldn’t keep up with the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In the review, it mentioned that the S21 Ultra’s zoomed images show unnatural texture rendering and lower levels of detail compared to its predecessor. It added that this is partly due to its lower 10MP sensor and they noticed some ringing along the edges of the photo. As a comparison, the Galaxy S20 Ultra uses a single 48MP telephoto camera.

When it comes to video, the S21 Ultra is capable of recording 8K videos and HDR10+, but you’ll hardly get stabiliation for 8K recording and it lacks HDR10+ in 4K. They noted that the target exposure on the device can be low in low-light conditions. Overall, they reckon that the S21 Ultra is better than the Mate 40 Pro in video but not quite on the same level as the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

SEE ALSO:  New Galaxy Z Fold 3 leaks: IPX8 water resistance, 4MP under-display selfie camera and S Pen support

In their conclusion, it found the Galaxy S21 Ultra to offer a wide dynamic range with good contrast and they liked its smooth zoom action and exposure adaption in the preview when changing the zoom factor. White balance and auto focus is said to be stable in video recording and it offers smooth motion with its high frame rate recording.

However, they also said that the device exhibit noise in all conditions and it can come out strongly in both photos and videos. It also added that the camera has slow shooting time in low-light and high-contrast situations, and they noticed a strong jello effect when recording videos while the camera is held still.

You can read DxOMark’s full review here.

Related reading

Alexander Wong