As expected, Samsung has released information regarding some Galaxy S22 camera features coming to older phones. These include things like improvements to night photography, enhancements to picture quality with images from third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and more.
On the company's Korean community forums, a Samsung moderator detailed all of the photography features that will trickle down to older Galaxy phones. We don't have precise timelines for any of these, but at least we know that they're coming.
Here's what we know so far.
Night telephoto portraits
It might be a niche feature, but the Galaxy S22 supports night time portraits with the telephoto lens. Samsung will bring this to older models that sport telephoto lenses — which is a lot of Galaxy S and Z phones going all the way to 2020.
Supported phones: Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2
Auto-framing in video
The Galaxy S22 has an auto-framing function for videos. This allows the phone to zoom and pan to keep up to 10 people in frame. We didn't get a chance to fully test this feature, but it sounds like a useful option if you're having trouble keeping people in frame.
Supported phones: Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G.
Video calls effects in more apps
When the Galaxy S22 launched, Samsung introduced video call effects in other apps. Now this will roll out to older phones that use other video chat apps like Google Duo, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom, Webex Meetings, Knox Meeting, BlueJeans, and KaKao Talk.
Auto-framing will also work in these apps, but with fewer phones.
Supported phones (effects): Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Supported phones (auto-framing): Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Improved photo quality from third-party camera apps
If you want the full power of your Galaxy phone's camera capabilities in third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram, you'll love this update coming to older models. You'll get the full breadth of the Samsung Camera app's power, like HDR and image stabilization.
Supported phones: Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Pro Mode and Expert RAW
Wrapping things up, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is getting enhancements to its Pro Mode and access to Samsung's Expert RAW app. The Fold 3 will be able to use its telephoto camera in the Pro Mode, letting you have fine-tuned control over zoomed-in images.
Expert RAW is Samsung's answer to Apple's ProRAW — we even compared the two. As the name suggests, you will shoot photos in RAW, which is a professional file format that is much easier to edit in post-processing.
Galaxy camera features outlook
It makes a lot of sense to let some older Galaxy S and Z phones have access to the newest camera features. We definitely approve of this decision, especially giving much older devices, like the Galaxy S20 series, these capabilities.
Samsung has done a pretty good job of keeping its device portfolio updated. It might take a while for these new features to come out — we don't have a timeline except that some phones will get their updates in H1 2022. Obviously, it's probable that Samsung will field these features in its home country of South Korea first before pushing them out worldwide.
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Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.