Video of Florence Cathedral Sparks Debate on Samsung’s 100x Space Zoom

A photographer started a social media debate about Samsung’s powerful 100x Space Zoom after he used it to focus on Florence Cathedral’s iconic dome.

Amateur photographer and student Cole Boehlke posted a clip on TikTok in which he centered in on the people standing on the famous dome of Florence Cathedral in Florence, Italy from a distance of 0.8 miles away.

@colethazine #florence #samsung #spacezoom100x #photography ♬ Aces – dkj

In the viral video, which was captioned “Samsung zoom is crazy,” Boehlke begins with a tight shot of the tourists standing atop the historic dome– using the 100x zoom on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Boehlke then dramatically zooms out of his shot of the dome of Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, to show the considerable telescopic power of Samsung’s Space Zoom.

In the final shot of the clip, it is revealed just how far away the photographer is standing from the historic building.

‘I Want a Camera, Not a Telescope’

The video amassed over 5.8 million views on TikTok and almost 700,000 likes. However, the clip fuelled a debate among social media users over the real-life functionality of Samsung’s 100x Space Zoom and whether it is genuinely impressive.

Some viewers praised the feature: “That’s something everyone can agree Samsung has over Apple.”

“As an Apple user, you win this one,” another TikTok user says.

However other TikTok users mocked Samsung’s 100x Space Zoom’s usefulness when it came to taking photos. “I want a camera, not a telescope,” a viewer comments.

Another writes: “They add useless features to get people to buy their phones.” Others criticized the low quality of Samsung’s 100x Space Zoom, calling it “blurry.”

“But look how pixelated it is,” a TikTok user writes. “When Apple zooms in, it may not zoom in far but it keeps its quality.”

Boehlke, from Alberta, Canada tells PetaPixel: “I love playing with Samsung’s zoom and taking photos of the moon and far away things so I just thought it would be cool to record the process.

“The response in the comments was mostly debate about Apple vs Samsung but I only intended on showing the cool feature of the zoom.”

Samsung first announced Space Zoom, which allows its cameras to offer a total combined optical and digital zoom of 100x, with the release of the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020.

Samsung achieved Space Zoom through a combination of optical zooming hardware, image processing, and a high-resolution sensor. However, some users have complained that the resulting 100x zoom photos can be pixelated and low quality.

Last week, PetaPixel reported on new data that suggests that Generation Z’s adoption of Android phones is shrinking at a startling rate as younger consumers increasingly prefer iPhones.

More of Boehlke’s work can be seen on TikTok and Instagram.

Image credits: All photos by Cole Boehlke.