[Updated] Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra inconsistent Camera HDR or dynamic range issue reported by users

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on March 25, 2022) follows:

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the highest-end smartphone available in the current Samsung catalog. The device is quite different from other models in the lineup as it is the Galaxy Note series spiritual successor.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra differs from the rest in areas such as the screen, design and photography. The company often touts the device’s camera system as one of the best in the industry.

However, not all S22 Ultra users are having the best possible experience with the rear cameras’ behavior under certain conditions.

More specifically, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a Camera HDR issue where the dynamic range can be limited at times, behaving inconsistently (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra inconsistent Camera HDR or dynamic range

According to multiple reports, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera HDR does not perform at its best in all situations.

The reports describe issues such as chromatic aberrations when subjects are small and exposed to the sky. Also the processing could blow out the picture highlights or bump the shadows way too much.

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S22U Camera HDR

The photos taken during sunset looks over-processed to me. I suspect it is due to HDR processing. Anybody knows how to turn it off in the default camera app? I came from S10+ where I was able to do it so should be possible.
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Also, S21 Ultra tends to have more muted colours (especially reds and whites) when compared to S22 Ultra. Then, S21 Ultra usually handles highlights better than S22 Ultra, which is also quite weird. Sometimes, S22 Ultra also bumped the shadows way too much, revealing noise.
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In the screenshot below you can clearly see how the device’s cameras have trouble handling backlit situations.

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It seems that even the highlights control of its predecessor (the Galaxy S21 Ultra) is better than that of the most recent model.

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S21 Ultra (left) vs S22 Ultra (right)
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S21 Ultra (left) vs S22 Ultra (right)
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S21 Ultra (left) vs S22 Ultra (right)
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Flagship phones from other brands that stand out in photography (such as Huawei) also outperform the Galaxy S22 Ultra in terms of HDR, dynamic range or highlights control.

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S22 Ultra (left) vs Huawei P50 Pro (right)
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Exynos variant handles dynamic range better than Snapdragon

Some users suggest that the Exynos Galaxy S22 Ultra features better HDR, dynamic range and highlights control than the Snapdragon variant.

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It is normal that there are differences regarding pictures taken between devices with different chipsets, due to the SoC ISP (image signal processor) not being the same.

However, it’s worth pointing out that the Galaxy S22 series Snapdragon version has experienced a delay in its updates. So, the Snapdragon one might be expecting some camera optimizations already received by the Exynos models.

Galaxy S22 Ultra lost Camera HDR toggle after GOS update

Related to the above, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra users report missing the ‘HDR’ toggle in the Camera app after the GOS update (1, 2).

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So, now the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is in the same situation as the iPhone 13, where users cannot avoid HDR issues due to not having an HDR toggle.

There is no official acknowledgment on the issue from Samsung yet. We will update this story if there are any related changes in the future.

Update 1 (May 18)

04:44 pm (IST): Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera appears to be struggling with HDR against its predecessors. The device’s camera is overexposing certain areas in images taken in the daylight.

This can be clearly seen in the comparison images taken from Galaxy S22 Ultra, S21 Ultra, and S20 Ultra under the same conditions.

Update 2 (June 20)

03:45 pm (IST): HDR is still an issue for the Galaxy S22 Ultra camera under certain conditions, according to reports.

In indoor environments, the highlight control still does not work properly, burning out the lights in the scene (1, 2).

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Meanwhile, in outdoor environments, HDR is like a ‘hit or miss’, offering very different results in the same setting and under the same conditions.

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NOTE: You can also check the Samsung Galaxy S22 series bugs/issues tracker.

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it.