After uninstalling Samsung’s new Scene Optimizer option, one of my first actions when using a Galaxy flagship phone is to disable any additional picture processing that has been performed by default.
Due to the fact that camera image processing is typically sufficient, further improvement tends to overcook a picture with too much processing or colour saturation, resulting in strange photos. The same goes for Android phones with camera settings that include similar functionality.
Then the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and by extension, the whole S22 line, swayed my decision. Rather than just cranking up saturation and smoothness, Samsung seems to have concentrated on improving the clever processing of the Scene Optimizer mode.
With the Galaxy S22 phones, Samsung has already done a lot to enhance the cameras on the Galaxy line, with the Galaxy S21 phones improving upon the Galaxy S10 phones. Dynamic range and colour accuracy have improved greatly in the Galaxy S7 line of smartphones. Those enhancements have made it into the Scene Optimizer mode, which I tested on a Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Here is a picture of a flower garden to get you started. A variety of flowers were photographed in unusually brilliant London sunshine on a sunny day. Even the greatest camera phones had a hard time taking this picture.
For example, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s normal image has a lot of light coming in, however the bright red and yellow colours of the flowers are a little washed out.
We can see that when we turn on the Scene Optimizer, the brightness is reduced and the white balance is adjusted to make the flowers stand out more. The floating garden’s hardwood flooring, for example, seems to have a greater degree of roughness to it. Yes, the regular photograph may be more accurate, but I’d say that without Optimizer switched on, the photo tends toward overexposure and has a less visually appealing appearance.
An excellent example is the windy grey sky and furious slate-gray clouds shown in the shot of some gorse below, which was taken on a breezy grey day.
With the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP primary camera, the normal shot is quite well-balanced, bringing up a lot of detail while maintaining the contrast between the gorse and the blue-gray sky.
The sky darkens and becomes more dramatic when the Scene Optimizer is activated in the photo. However, the gorse blossoms’ yellow colour and the marking pole’s crimson cap remained intact.
In my opinion, the Scene Optimizer has done a good job with this one. I believe it produces images that fall between between the contrasty photographs of the Google Pixel 6 Pro and the natural colour tones that iPhone 13 Pro can generate; these both happen to be my favourite photography-focused phones.
The Scene Optimizer really shines in the dark. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s night mode will be activated in many circumstances. My camera struggled to cope with the low light of the pub, accented by candles and distant light sources, as you can see in the first picture of my buddy Claire. The typical image is a fuzzy mess.
Improved processing and edge recognition as well as sharper detail on both Claire and the backdrop were achieved using the Scene Optimizer, which triggered night mode.
This time, I used night mode to take a second shot of Claire, hoping that the first photo was just a fluke and that the second photo would be better. Given the bar’s dim illumination, the picture turned out well. However, it was a touch flat due to Claire’s face having an odd hue tone.
To my opinion, the image has a more appealing colour tone and greater contrast when Scene Optimizer is enabled. But even though the shot was taken in dim light, it shows that the sophisticated image processing was able to produce a better image rather than just boosting brightness or saturation.
If you’re going to disable Scene Optimizer, you may as well use it to hide up any sloppy mistakes you might make while playing the game.
Samsung has made significant improvements to the cameras and computational photography in the Galaxy S22 series, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra has caught up with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max in the easy point-and-shoot photography department. It also serves as a benchmark for other available Android processing modes.
As a result, I’m eagerly anticipating Samsung’s next Galaxy S23, which is expected in 2023.