What Is It and How Can It Be Resolved?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 1

Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

Too long; Didn’t Read

  • The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra purportedly experiences an “image shifting” problem that yields softer images with an evident change in perspective when employing the 5x optical zoom camera.
  • Samsung has not issued any official statements to acknowledge the issue.
  • Our inquiry indicates that the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s lens transition animation, automatic lens switching due to poor light and minimum focus distance, and change in perspective can result in an unpleasant experience that is being referred to as “image shifting.”

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is among the most fantastic camera phones you can purchase right now. Despite the fact that the S24 Ultra may not be the supreme alternative for specific situations, it continues to be the most adaptable camera setup you can find on a phone in 2024, covering all crucial use cases. However, initial adopters of the Galaxy S24 Ultra are struggling with a problem with the new 5x periscope zoom lens, where the viewfinder image “shifts” when switching between the 1x and 5x. We researched the issue on our end, and this is what we have discovered.

What is the “image shift” issue on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra?

Initially brought into focus by S M A Sithick, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra may exhibit a disconcerting transition animation when swapping from its primary camera (1x zoom) to its periscope zoom lens (5x zoom). You can also witness the viewfinder image visibly “shift” its position alongside a sluggish and evident animation and a contrast in image quality in the output.

I am experiencing image shifts on my device, while yours appears to have smooth transitions. I will contact the Samsung Store to inquire about this issue. I have already enabled Super HDR. 5x and 10x shots. pic.com/H2Hs4ZusF2

The shopper visited Samsung’s showroom to delve deeper into the matter. To their amazement, the Galaxy S24 Ultra demo units present in the showroom did not demonstrate this behavior.

1,3 – Faulty device
2,4 – Showroom device

Samsung customer service subsequently granted the user a “Dead on Arrival” (DOA) certificate, which enables them to receive a replacement device. Allegedly, support staff informed the user that this image shift issue is a hardware defect that has primarily affected many “first-batch” devices in India. The issue was apparently identified and corrected from the second batch onwards. For reference, the user’s phone was produced in December 2023. The replacement device they eventually received was produced in January 2024 and does not display the issue.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra image shift issue: Our investigation

I examined my Galaxy S24 Ultra retail unit (manufactured in January 2024), and I can perceive an “issue” where the viewfinder image shifts when you switch between the 1x to 5x cameras. Here is a screen recording of the issue as it exists on my personal device:

As you can see, there is a noticeable “shifting” from 1x to 5x and a more pronounced shift in the image quality when landing on the 3x camera in between.

Here is an example from my colleague Rita’s Galaxy S24 Ultra:

To claim that the camera zoom experience is seamless would be exaggerated.

We then examined the transition from the 1x camera to the optical zoom cameras across several devices, namely the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, the OnePlus 12, the vivo X100 Pro, the Pixel 8 Pro, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. While there is a difference in image quality between the lenses on some of these phones, the transition between the lenses is much smoother. There is a shift in perspective, but the animation does an excellent job of easing you in.

Here is an example from my colleague Rob’s Galaxy S23 Ultra:

The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s change in focal length as it switches cameras is apparent, and you also notice the change in the quality of the image. What is missing from the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the “shifting” of the image.

Convinced that my Galaxy S24 Ultra has the “image shifting issue,” I approached Samsung’s newest flagship store in BKC, Mumbai, which also has a customer service desk for mobile devices. The staff present had already heard of the “issue” and had even received a device from another customer for investigation. However, they neither confirmed nor denied the presence of the “issue.” Since I went in as a retail customer with a purchase invoice, I submitted my device for investigation by a senior engineer who was scheduled to visit.

I received my Galaxy S24 Ultra back the next day, along with remarks from the engineer that no faults were found. As per Samsung, the camera is working as intended.

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Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

The staff explained that the “shift” in the viewfinder image is because of the positioning of the camera lenses, which ever so slightly changes the perspective of what you are looking at.

We contacted Samsung India for comments on the “image shift” issue but did not receive an official statement.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra image shift issue: Our hypothesis

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