(Pocket-lint) – To kick off 2021 there’s a big Samsung launch looming: the Galaxy S21 series launch event is expected on 14 January. But ahead of that date some more information has surfaced, this time specific to the flagship phone series’ camera arrangement. So what can you expect?

An article on Voice reveals some leaked Italian infographics about the S21, S21 Plus (or S21+ as it’s officially called), and S21 Ultra. The former pair offer a triple rear camera setup, the latter a quad setup. Both feature a single central punch-hole for the front camera. Here’s a summary of their biggest differences:

Samsung Galaxy S21 & S21+

  • Triple rear cameras:
    • Main: 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture
    • Wide-angle: 12MP, f/2.2
    • Telephoto: 64MP, f/2.0
  • Punch-hole selfie camera:
    • 10-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • Quad rear cameras:
    • Main: 108-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus
    • Wide-angle: 12MP, f/2.2
    • Telephoto #1: 10MP, f/4.9
    • Telephoto #2: 10MP, f/4.2
  • Punch-hole selfie camera:
    • 40-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture

Let’s start at the front, where the only difference is resolution, the S21 & S21+ getting a 10-megapixel selfie camera, the Ultra getting a 40-megapixel one – although we expect the latter will use four-in-one processing technology to output 10MP images anyway (or possibly 6.5MP like the S20 Ultra).

The bigger story, perhaps, is that Samsung has done away with the pill-shaped double selfie camera and stuck with a single punch-hole – there’s no under-screen camera to be found here, as you’ll find in, say, the ZTE Axon 20 5G.

The bigger focus for most will, of course, be those rear cameras. Samsung has been among the photographic leaders in smartphones, with the S21 series showing, well, a lot of that experience recycled – except for in the S21 Ultra.

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To start with, let’s look at the Galaxy S21 & S21+. Based on those specifications, it appears to offer the same setup as in last year’s S20 range. So expect a 12MP main with optical stabilisation, a 64MP tele with 3x optical zoom, and the tried-and-tested 12MP wide-angle.

It’s with the Galaxy S21 Ultra that things differ rather more. There’s the same 108MP main lens as seen in both the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra. The 12MP wide-angle is the same across the board. But the two telephoto lenses are entirely new.

VoiceSamsung Galaxy S21 cameras photo 2

Both the S21 Ultra’s zoom lenses are 10-megapixel, so rather low resolution, but it’s the aperture values that catch our eye. Long zoom lenses that are physically small can’t have large apertures (i.e. small values, such as f/2.0) as there’s just not the physical space. Therefore we have a suspicion that Samsung has a 5x and 10x optical zoom combination here – because even 3x zoom modules in its other cameras have had larger apertures in the past.

Nothing is set in stone just yet, but it looks as though the S21 Ultra will be all about big big zoom aspirations. We’ll find out more come the event on 14 January…

Writing by Mike Lowe.





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