One of the things that Google highlighted when they released the flagship devices for 2021 is that the Galaxy S21 series brings better, calling it “stunning images”, even in low light conditions. Taking photos at night and in low light areas can be especially challenging but with the power of multi-frame layering and Artificial Intelligence restoration, they are able to improve the quality during the capture and processing stages. The Korean OEM shares how they are able to achieve this with a 3-phase process.
This is how the camera AI on the Samsung Galaxy S21 series works. The first phase is of course the capture phase. What the camera does is capture multiple pictures of the scene at different exposure levels even though you only press the shutter once. After it has captured all possible photos, it will being the all-important Multi-frame Processing. This means it combines all of the captured images into one and in the process, the brightness is enhanced.
The third phase is where AI kicks in. The image signal processor begins the post-processing of the image. Part of it is reducing the noise and then fine-tuning the details. So the final product that you get is a “crystal clear” image that has been stripped off almost all the noise and blur. The main work of course is performed by the multi-frame layering and the AI restoration. The former is where the sharpest frame is used as the reference image while the latter aligns and registers the rest of the images.
All of this is of course done in seconds. This process also allows support for high-resolution images even when you’re zooming in on a neon sign or on distant objects. The capture of the different exposure values lets the camera produce a sharper final image. The AI helps in determining whether to use ever frame or just a subset of it. But with more data from the multiple frames, the more it can give you “bright, tack-sharp images” even in less than ideal lighting conditions or when zooming in on far objects.
Obviously, this technology is only available in the Samsung Galaxy S21 family. No news if it will be available in other older devices but hardware limitations may hinder such an update. Let’s see where else the multi-frame layering and AI restoration will be available.