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Galaxy S22 Plus Camera Testing: How It Compares to the Galaxy S21

Samsung's Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus both come with a new 50-megapixel main camera, a sensor that's 23% larger and improvements to nighttime photography.

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Lisa Eadicicco

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1 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

This photo was taken on the Galaxy S22 Plus' 50-megapixel main camera, which has a wide lens. It's harder to notice in a busy photo like this. But look closely, and you can tell there's a bit more contrast in outline of the bricks against the buildings. The bushes also have a deeper shade of green. 

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2 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

And here's that same photo taken on the Galaxy S21. 

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3 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

You can see the difference more easily in this bouquet of flowers, captured with the S22's main camera. The rose is sharper, and its color is more accurate and vivid compared to the Galaxy S21's image. 

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4 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The colors look a little exaggerated and overblown in the Galaxy S21's photo, again shot with the main camera. In this case, the red carnation is in clearer focus. 

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5 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

This photo of snow-covered branches, shot on the S22 wide lens, may look similar to the one taken with the Galaxy S21 at first. But look closely, and you'll notice the snow is in sharper focus. The shade of green also looks more accurate. 

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6 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's the Galaxy S21's photo for comparison. 

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7 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

There's not much of a difference between this image taken with the Galaxy S22 Plus' ultrawide lens and the next photo, shot on the Galaxy S21. 

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8 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's that same photo on the Galaxy S21. They essentially look identical. 

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9 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

This photo was taken in my apartment with all of the lights turned off, but you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it. The focus could be better, but the S22 Plus' wide lens captured noticeably better brightness and color than the Galaxy S21's photo. 

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10 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's the same photo taken on the Galaxy S21. It's darker and the color of the subject's skin tone and shirt don't look as accurate. 

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11 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

This photo of a bowl of oranges was taken at night in a dim, candlelit bar using the Galaxy S22 Plus's telephoto lens. The orange in the foreground has a bit more detail than in the same photo taken on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You can tell by looking at the pores. 

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12 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's that same photo taken on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It's similar to the Galaxy S22 Plus photo, except there's a little less detail. 

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13 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

But Samsung's phones struggle when it comes to focusing on still objects in very dark scenarios. This photo of an owl kitchen timer was also taken with the S22 Plus's main camera in my apartment with all of the lights turned off. It's a little brighter than the Galaxy S21's photo, but both are unfocused. 

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14 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The S21's photo is also out of focus and it's a little darker than the one I shot with the Galaxy S22 Plus.

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15 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's another example of how the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S21 treat color differently in dark scenarios. I took this photo using the S22's wide lens at night. It's blurry -- partially because my cat Buddy hates to sit still -- but the color of his fur is more accurate. 

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16 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

And again, here's the Galaxy S21's photo. It's just as blurry, but the color looks more washed out. 

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17 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's a photo taken with the Galaxy S22 Plus' telephoto lens. It doesn't look all that different from the Galaxy S21's. But for some reason, the zoom on the Galaxy S21's looks a bit closer even though both cameras were set to 3x. 

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18 of 18 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Here's that same photo taken with the Galaxy S21. Again, there's nothing too different here. Check out our full review of the Galaxy S22 Plus to learn more about how it differs from last year's Galaxy S21. 

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