Samsung faked "moon photo" tech

Take a photo of the moon with a Samsung smartphone and it'll be remarkably crisp and detailed. Turns out, though, that the company's gadgets are faking it by slapping AI-aligned moon textures onto the shots. Reddit user ibreakphotos demonstrated the shenanigan by deliberately blurring a professional photo of the moon then taking a photo of the blurry smear with a Samsung handset, thereby proving that it adds the detail algorithmically.

The moon pictures from Samsung are fake. Samsung's marketing is deceptive. It is adding detail where there is none (in this experiment, it was intentionally removed). In this article, they mention multi-frames, multi-exposures, but the reality is, it's AI doing most of the work, not the optics, the optics aren't capable of resolving the detail that you see. Since the moon is tidally locked to the Earth, it's very easy to train your model on other moon images and just slap that texture when a moon-like thing is detected.

The Verge's Allison Johnson points out that there is a lot of algorthmic trickery now in mobile photography. So while Samsung is particularly egregious in lying about it, the underlying technology is part and parcel of making those tiny little image sensors seem better than they are.

The thing is, every photo taken with a digital camera is based on a little computer making some guesses. That's true right down to the individual pixels on the sensor. Each one has either a green, red, or blue color filter. A pixel with a green color filter can only tell you how green something is, so an algorithm uses neighboring pixel data to make a good guess at how red and blue it is, too. Once you've got all that color data sorted out, then there are a lot more judgments to make about how to process the photo. 

Year after year, smartphone cameras go a step further, trying to make smarter guesses about the scene you're photographing and how you want it to look.