Samsung and NatGeo use a Galaxy S21 Ultra to record 8K underwater video of tiger sharks

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Last year, Samsung released an 8K video from the Arctic Circle shot on a Galaxy S20 +. However, the phone stayed above the freezing water. This year, the company partnered with National Geographic Traveler India to do the opposite – capture 8K footage under the hot waters of the Maldives.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was in the hands of NatGeo Explorer Malaika Vaz, who traveled to Fuvahmulah Island, aka Shark Island. The phone was used to record 8K footage and photos, which were used in the video below.

A few things to know before trying such a dive. First, Vaz is a professional with extensive experience filming wildlife. Second, the phone’s IP68 water resistance class is for fresh water only (and then only up to 1.5 m deep). As you can see in the video, you need a case to go deep into salt water.

In any case, most phones allow you to take pictures while recording video, but having 8K recordings makes things easier as you can do it after the fact – a single frame of 8K video has 32MP resolution, making it a high-resolution photo in itself.

And you can see Vaz make use of this option in the video, as well as just snap a few stills. NatGeo Traveler submitted some of the photos (but unfortunately not in full resolution):


Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108 MP camera
Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108 MP camera
Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108 MP camera
Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108 MP camera
Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 108 MP camera

Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 108 MP camera

Still images taken from 8K video recorded with Galaxy S21 Ultra
Still images taken from 8K video recorded with Galaxy S21 Ultra

Still images taken from 8K video recorded with Galaxy S21 Ultra

During the underwater film in the Maldives, I was surrounded by tiger sharks, sea turtles, fishing schools and corals, and I was able to take super high resolution in video recordings of these species almost without difficulty. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5Gs 8K Video Snap allowed me to focus on filming sharks with the confidence that I would never miss an opportunity for a great set of photos! As a National Geographic Explorer and filmmaker, I would say that my experience of filming with the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has been beyond special, ”said Malaika Vaz.

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