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Samsung Galaxy S24 cameras: Here's what you need to know

AI, AI as far as the eye can see.
By
February 17, 2024

Another iteration of Galaxy Unpacked means another chance for Samsung to flex its photography muscle, and flex it did. The company announced its latest lineup of Galaxy S24 devices on January 17 with a few key hardware changes and a mountain of AI-powered software features to dig into, but how do you start making sense of all of the updates? Well, that’s where we come in. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Samsung Galaxy S24 cameras.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Bright, sharp 1440p display
Excellent update commitment
Handy Galaxy AI features
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung Galaxy S24
Slimmer than ever
Victus 2 glass
Bright display

Samsung Galaxy S24 camera specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 PlusSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Primary camera
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
- 50MP sensor
- f/1.8
- OIS
- 85-degree FoV
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 200MP sensor
- f/1.7
- OIS
- 85-degree FoV
Ultrawide camera
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
- 12MP sensor
- f/2.2
- 120-degree FoV
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 12MP sensor
- f/2.2
- 120-degree FoV
3x Telephoto camera
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
- 10MP sensor
- f/2.4
- 36-degree FoV
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 10MP sensor
- f/2.4
- 36-degree FoV
5x Telephoto camera
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
N/A
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 50MP sensor
- f/3.4
- 22-degree FoV
Selfie camera
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
- 12MP sensor
- f/2.2
- 80-degree FoV
-AF
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 12MP sensor
- f/2.2
- 80-degree FoV
-AF
Video capabilities
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
Rear:
- 8K at 24/30fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
- 4K at 30/60fps
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Rear:
- 8K at 24/30fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
- 4K at 30/60fps

What to know about the Samsung Galaxy S24 cameras

Galaxy S24 lineup 1
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

As you can see in the spec sheet, Samsung kept the base formula for its Galaxy S24 cameras almost unchanged, which makes sense as the previous series was among the best Android phones of 2023. All three phones still carry the “holy trinity” of wide, ultrawide, and telephoto sensors, with the top-end Galaxy S24 Ultra doubling up on the telephoto front. That second telephoto lens carries the only real hardware upgrade of the entire series, so we’ll dig a little bit deeper into it in just a moment, but first, we’ll start with a recap of the basics. Just keep in mind that we haven’t had the opportunity to fully test out the cameras yet, so we’ll update this post with even more detailed info once we do.

Samsung Galaxy S24 camera hardware

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera housing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S24 Ultra remains a megapixel monster. It still carries Samsung’s crisp 200MP Isocell HP2 sensor as its primary snapper and still bins down to more manageable file sizes by default. As for the base Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus, there weren’t even rumors of them picking up improved primary cameras this year, so it’s no surprise to see the tried and true 50MP snapper back from the previous Galaxy S23 series. There’s nothing wrong with continuity — it’s a reliable sensor — though it leaves the more approachable Galaxy flagships feeling slightly left behind.

Outside the primary sensor, all three Samsung Galaxy S24 devices carry the same ultrawide and 3x telephoto hardware. That means you still get a 12MP ultrawide sensor with a 120-degree field of view when you want to zoom out and a 10MP sensor when you want to zoom in. The zoom limit for the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus remains at 30x — the same as on the Galaxy S23 series. There’s not much else to say about either option, so let’s move on to the final rear camera.

Samsung swapped its 10x telephoto camera for a 5x option with more megapixels, but we'll have to wait and see if the change pays off.

That’s right, it’s time to talk about the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s new addition. It still packs a pair of telephoto sensors, but this time, the long-range option swaps focal length for megapixels, changing from 10x to 5x optical zoom and jumping from 10MP to 50MP resolution. We’ll have to wait and see how the change impacts the zoom performance, though our best bet is that it will rely on a 2x crop of the sensor once you stretch past the base 5x focal length.

All three Samsung Galaxy S24 devices once again carry 12MP selfie cameras in central-mounted punch holes, meaning they should perform similarly to the previous generation. Samsung hasn’t changed its camera housings, either, with each lens on all three devices occupying its own little island on the frosted panels of Gorilla Glass Victus.

Samsung Galaxy S24 camera software

Samsung Galaxy S24 AI Edit suggestions
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As for Samsung’s default camera app, that hasn’t changed too much either — which is a good thing. Google threw us for a loop last year when it added manual controls to the Pixel 8 Pro and shuffled its menus around, but Samsung kept the ship pretty steady. All the settings are right where you remember them, including various shooting modes like Nightography, Panorama, and Pro mode. Expert RAW remains an option on all three models, too.

However, the most significant changes to the Samsung Galaxy S24’s cameras come after you’ve pressed the shutter button.

Samsung Galaxy S24 image processing and updates

Samsung Galaxy S24 GalaxyAI Processing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

That’s right, we’re finally ready to talk about Galaxy AI. Samsung made its new artificial intelligence models the star of Galaxy Unpacked, probably more so than the phones themselves, with many features coming as part of the new ProVisual Engine. The new engine tackles everything from a dedicated color-tuning solution, which should give you more consistent colors across all lighting scenarios, to Instant Slow-Mo, which lets you turn a regular video into slow motion by long-pressing your display during playback.

Samsung also introduced Generative Edit — essentially its answer to the Pixel’s Magic Editor — on the Galaxy S24 series. It behaves largely like Google’s implementation, allowing you to select and resize elements of your image and expand your shots using generative fill. All images modified with Generative Edit will also bear a small watermark in the corner to show that they’re not entirely authentic.

As for the camera experience outside of Samsung’s apps, the Galaxy S24 series is conscious that people often use their cameras inside other apps. Instagram, for example, has finally been updated to support Samsung’s native camera power rather than the poor optimization that left Galaxy users with shaky footage and blurry shots.

Samsung Galaxy S24 camera samples

As always, the best way to check out our in-depth camera testing will be through our full reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. However, we know that not everyone likes to wait that long, so we’ve picked out a few early teasers. We’ll add sections as we upload photos from more devices, but here’s what you can expect from the Galaxy S24 series.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra samples

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus samples

Samsung Galaxy S24 samples

Samsung Galaxy S24 cameras vs the competition

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Now that you — hopefully — have a pretty good feel for the Samsung Galaxy S24’s cameras, let’s compare them to the best of the rest. As you probably remember, the Galaxy S23 Ultra floated around the top of our list of the best camera phones during all of 2023, and it’s safe to say that the updated version hasn’t lost a step. Neither have the more affordable Galaxy S24 or S24 Plus. However, we’ll know more once we fully test out the devices.

Samsung’s smaller flagships still offer more flexibility with their three rear lenses than the Google Pixel 8 or iPhone 15, each with two rear cameras. They’re a bit too expensive to count among the best budget camera phones, but they hit the sweet spot of power and price. The Galaxy S24’s telephoto sensor keeps it ahead of the pack, allowing for much further zoom than Apple or Google can match. For comparison, the Galaxy S24 tops out at 30x while its foes give up at around 8x or 10x. And then there’s the Galaxy S24 Ultra — the king of flexibility. We’ll have to wait and see how the new 5x telephoto fares when it punches to 100x zoom, but it’s already on equal footing to the Pixel 8 Pro, at least from an optical zoom perspective.

Samsung's hardware should continue to dominate, but now it's hoping to challenge Google's processing power.

Apple’s top-tier video recording might still have Samsung beat, especially regarding ProRes LOG output, but we’ll put the two head-to-head in the coming weeks.

The jury is still out on how Samsung’s Generative Edit compares to Magic Editor. It looks good on Samsung’s studio-shot sample images and videos so far, but we’ll have to wait and test it on our own photos. Google’s Magic Editor isn’t perfect and still tends to fill space with relatively artifact-heavy textures, so there’s a good chance that Samsung will level the playing field pretty quickly. The color-tuning solution should also help make Samsung’s finished images look a bit more natural, hopefully taking a little punch out of the reds and greens, but only time will tell.

See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Bright, sharp 1440p display
Excellent update commitment
Handy Galaxy AI features
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung Galaxy S24
Slimmer than ever
Victus 2 glass
Bright display

FAQs

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has four rear cameras, as well as a front-facing selfie camera. It pairs a 200MP primary camera with a 12MP ultrawide camera and two telephoto cameras: a 10MP option at 3x zoom and a 50MP option at 5x zoom. The selfie camera has a 12MP resolution.

Yes, the Galaxy S24 has a good camera. Although Samsung kept most of its hardware the same as the previous generation, the updated processor and new Galaxy AI features mean that the Galaxy S24 is more capable than before.

Although the camera hardware is essentially the same on both devices, Samsung’s dedicated ProVisual Engine and Galaxy AI features should make the new cameras more capable.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s cameras are built with durable glass protecting the lenses, so you should not need a dedicated lens protector. However, it’s a good idea to pick up a case that has a raised lip around the cameras for some added security.