Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 200MP camera rumor just squashed one of my biggest worries

Image of a leaked render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
(Image credit: OnLeaks/SmartPrix)

You may have heard about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's rumored 200MP main camera already, but leaker Ice Universe (opens in new tab) has just provided new detail that could make using the full potential of this camera day-to-day surprisingly practical.

As IU shows us in some Samsung photo browser screenshots, the 200MP photos that the Galaxy S23 Ultra produces will take up 20 megabytes (MB) to 40MB of space. This information isn't easy to parse by itself, so let me give you some points of comparison.

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A regular 12MP photo takes up around 3MB. Using the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's 108MP main camera at its full resolution produces photos around 20MB in size. The 200MP camera on the Xiaomi 12T Pro that I tried recently took shots closer to 50MB in size.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro's 48MP image can take up over 100MB per shot, since the only way to shoot at that resolution in the default camera app is to use 48MP ProRAW mode, which records even more information and therefore needs even more space.

The S23 Ultra's rumored shot sizes therefore seem fairly compact for the amount of detail they could contain. And this has a couple of big benefits.

Why this is good for Samsung S23 Ultra buyers

Most users of the Galaxy S23 Ultra are likely to stick with the default shooting mode most of the time, which we'd assume to be 12MP as it is with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. But anyone wanting to take advantage of the full 200MP sensor will be glad that its shots won't take up too much space.

While the S23 Ultra is tipped for 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options, it's still good if you don't fill that too fast. You need room for the photos, videos, apps and games you've already downloaded after all.

Of course, if you take enough photos, you may want to offload the photos onto a laptop or computer, or a USB flash drive. Well that would also take less time with smaller files, which will save you frustrating wait time and let you get to sorting or editing your pics.

I'm still not sure chasing higher and higher camera sensor resolutions is what's best for Samsung's photography though. As I recently wrote about with the rumored new selfie camera for the Ultra model, Samsung would be better off focussing on its camera software than changing up the hardware. That said, I'm definitely glad that Samsung's making using its super-sized photos less of a burden on users' built-in storage, at least according to this rumor.

With the next Galaxy Unpacked event taking place on February 1, it's all but confirmed that the Galaxy S23 series will be debuting on that day. We expect the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its cameras to steal the show, but we're looking forward to seeing if the rumors about the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and revised design for the base and Plus models turn out to be true, too.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.