Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra picture quality: Samples from Barcelona

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, and I had the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with me as my daily driver for the trip. Alongside its size, price, and specs, one of the aspects that makes this smartphone stand out is the camera system. It has a massive quad-camera system on the back, with the primary camera having an impressive 108 Megapixel sensor. But does all its tech translate into awesome pictures? Is the Galaxy S22 Ultra a good photo companion for your trips? To help answer these questions, I took many pictures, and now I’m ready to share my photographic experience with you:

Portraits and Selfies

You can capture portraits on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra using its selfie camera, the primary camera, or the telephoto one with 3x zoom. The selfie camera is surprisingly good - the days of grainy and soft selfies are behind us, at last!

The selfies look great in daylight, with plenty of details being captured, and a natural-looking bokeh effect. Subject isolation works well, and the contours are only slightly blurry in some places, depending on the shapes. In low-light, you must use the Night Mode for good results; otherwise, you’ll lose details in the darker areas of your pictures.

The cameras on the back work great for portraits, both in good lighting conditions and when taking pictures in low light. White balance and skin tones are accurate, and you’ll almost always be pleased with the results.

IMPORTANT: To view the pictures in each album, simply click or tap on the picture shown. The album will open in a new tab in your web browser.

Interior photography

I had the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with me everywhere I went in Barcelona: the Mobile World Congress, the few restaurants I’ve dined in, the Moco Museum (hosting an excellent modern art exhibition), and the Picasso Museum.

I loved taking pictures with this smartphone, as it helped me capture the atmosphere of each place. The colors looked great, even better than outdoors, and I especially liked the shots I took inside restaurants minutes before they were packed with people dining out. The pictures were always warm and vivid, perfect for sharing on social media.

Food photography

The Camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers a Food Mode that makes your pictures more appealing by enhancing their colors and adding a bokeh effect. By default, only a tiny portion of the picture comes into focus, and your initial results might be disappointing. However, the area that comes into focus can be enlarged with ease to capture the whole plate you’re photographing, not just a tiny area of it. In the gallery below, you see several pictures with Food Mode turned on and off. When Food Mode is disabled, the food you’re photographing has more natural-looking colors, but the images you get are a bit boring and not as “Instagramable.”

Instagramable… I can’t believe I’m using this “word”. 🙂

Outdoor photography

I didn’t have much time to walk around the city of Barcelona, but when I got the chance, I made sure to capture as many photos as I could with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. As you’ll see in the gallery below, this smartphone takes beautiful pictures in daylight, with accurate exposure and plenty of detail. Sometimes, there’s a bit of luminance noise, but the overall results are high quality. I’ve personally appreciated the 12 MP ultrawide camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which produced sharp and detailed images almost every time.

However, like all cameras, the one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is not perfect. Therefore, from time to time, when the sunlight is very powerful, your pictures may become a bit oversaturated and the sky “whiter” than in real life. Another minor aspect I’ve noticed is that the autofocus is slightly slower than the one on an iPhone. However, it is not a problematic aspect, but more of a tiny thing that most users won’t even notice unless they’ve used many high-end smartphones in general, or iPhones in particular.

Night photography

When taking pictures in low light, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra automatically applies its Night Mode on the primary 108 MP camera, the ultrawide and telephoto cameras. You can also manually activate Night Mode to ensure it gets used every time. Personally, that’s what I did during my short trip to Barcelona. When looking at the results, I very much enjoyed the images captured with this mode. In general, they have an impressive level of detail, there isn’t a lot of noise, and the shadows look good. Check out my gallery below to see the pictures I’ve taken. Some of them are downright impressive.

Zoom photography

This smartphone has two telephoto cameras: one with 3x zoom and the other with 10x zoom. Both feature optical image stabilization, meaning you get good results even if you don’t have a steady hand while taking zoomed pictures. Using 2x, 3x, and 4x zoom provides excellent results, with plenty of details in your photographs and good color reproduction. Going up to 10x zoom still gets you respectable results, even though they are noisier than images shot at other zoom levels, especially if you look at your pictures on a PC instead of your smartphone. Thus, I recommend using the zoom feature in well-lit environments. Samsung brags about offering a software zoom of up to 100x. While it works, it doesn’t provide satisfying results, and most people won’t need such zoom levels anyway. Personally, I rarely felt the need for more than 4x zoom, and I was happy with my results.

To get a better perspective, take a look at the gallery below:

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra picture quality?

After getting back home and looking at all the pictures I took with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I’m delighted with the results. This is an excellent smartphone for people who are passionate about photography, and I add it to my personal top 4, alongside the Lumia 950 I loved to use back in the days of Windows 10 Mobile, the Huawei P30 Pro I tested a couple of years ago, and the latest iPhone. How about you? What do you think about the pictures I’ve shared in this article? Are you happy with the photos you take with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? Comment below and share your perspective.

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