Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S21 today and among the many claims about its feature prowess, Samsung is promising that it will deliver "Studio Quality" portrait mode photos.
Portrait mode was popularized by Apple on the iPhone a few generations ago. But Samsung and other manufacturers quickly picked up the feature. With the Galaxy S21 Samsung is improving the quality of portrait photos using the power of artificial intelligence.
Like some of the phone's other camera features, AI plays a central role in the leaps forward here. If you're planning on buying a Galaxy S21 for the camera, you'll likely be in good company. Because the phone is shaping up to present users with tons of cool camera features.
Galaxy S21 portrait photos use AI to improve focus on the subject
The benefit of portrait mode photos is the focus on the subject. You can use it to really zero in on what it is you want to highlight in the shot.
At its most basic level, all portrait mode is really doing is adding the bokeh effect to your pictures. Blurring the background while keeping the subject in focus. This makes the subject stand out much more. And with the Galaxy S21 Samsung has enhanced this effect by using AI to improve the bokeh.
This should help portrait mode photos look noticeably better. Especially compared to the portrait photos on current devices. Portrait mode photos on Pixel devices for example have the potential to look very good. But sometimes the AI software doesn't always perfectly blur the background.
Sometimes it blurs parts that shouldn't be blurred. With the Galaxy S21, you may not have this issue thanks to the AI-enhanced feature.
Adjust studio lighting and other effects for further polish
In addition to passive benefits like the enhanced bokeh, Portrait photos on the Galaxy S21 now come with new effects that can be added to your shots.
For instance, you can adjust the studio lighting on the images you capture while in this mode. Though it may not necessarily be as noticeable in some situations as it would in others. And your mileage may vary compared to someone else's experience with the same effect.
Nevertheless it still lets you add more polish to your photos. There are other effects too. However, at the time of writing Samsung didn't go into detail on what those additional effects were. The improved portrait photos is also something that's available on all three variants of the phone.