The Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108-megapixel primary camera has been marred by autofocus issues ever since it was released. Some of those issues were hardware-limited and couldn't be fixed with software updates. Samsung has now released a workaround for such issues. The May 2020 update introduces a new "close-up zoom" mode to the device's camera, which lets you take close-up shots without losing focus.
Among all the goods, the Galaxy S20 Ultra's powerful 108-megapixel primary camera has a limitation as well. Its longer focal length means the phone can't focus properly on close objects. If you get closer to an object, the camera loses focus.
As a result, you couldn't capture clear close-up pictures (macro shots) of objects through the S20 Ultra's main camera.
Samsung has already released multiple software updates to fix the autofocus issues on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
However, those updates could only do so much to fix something that is ultimately limited by the device's hardware itself. To get around this, Samsung has added a new "close-up zoom" mode to the camera.
Close-up zoom mode on the Galaxy S20 Ultra
Following the May update, the Galaxy S20 Ultra now shows a new "use close-up zoom" toggle when the device realizes that the object is close and it cannot properly focus on it. This toggle does nothing extraordinary but sets the zoom level to 1.5x.
Since this will zoom-in on the object, you can move the device farther to get a close-up shot. No need to keep the phone physically close to the object.
This will also allow the device to focus properly. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108-megapixel camera means the image quality will not suffer much.
This is not an entirely new possibility on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, though. Users could already do that manually. Samsung has just automated the process. And for those who couldn't think of this trick earlier, you can now capture clearer macro shots with your S20 Ultra.
Note that the vanilla Galaxy S20 and the S20+ don't get this close-up zoom mode as they don't have this autofocus issue.
These phones feature 12-megapixel main cameras that offer better autofocus capabilities when taking close-up shots. Taking pictures at 1.5x magnification through these 12-megapixel cameras will also result in reduced image quality.
As for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the image quality should not be compromised thanks to its 108-megapixel. You can watch the new "close-up zoom" mode in action in the video below.