- Samsung used a stock photo taken with a DSLR camera to promote the camera on its Galaxy A8 Star smartphone.
- The photographer who took the original photo discovered it on Samsung's website.
- Samsung includes fine print under the photo saying it's simulated for demonstration purposes only, but it can still be considered misleading.
- This isn't the first time a smartphone maker has been caught using professionally shot photos taken with DSLR cameras and pretending they've been taken with its smartphones.
Samsung is using a widely-available stock photo taken with a DSLR camera to promote the portrait mode on its Galaxy A8 Star phone, which was released in June this year and aimed at Asian markets.
The photo in question is specifically being used to promote the Galaxy A8 Star's background-blurring feature, also known as live focus or portrait mode. Samsung even added to the photo the yellow "Live Focus Reader" notification that pops up when its phones are ready to take a portrait mode shot.
Here's the original photo from stock-photography marketplace, EyeEm:
To be clear, Samsung includes fine print below the photo that says "Screen images are simulated for demonstration only." So, technically, Samsung isn't deceiving potential buyers interested in the Galaxy A8 Star.
With that said, using a stock photo taken with DSLR camera does not accurately represent the abilities of a smartphone's camera. The Galaxy A8 Star has been out for several months now, and a real portrait-mode photo taken with the Galaxy A8 Star itself would better represent the phone's ability. Despite the technicality of the fine print, it's not a good look for Samsung.
The photo's original photographer, Dunja Djudjic, eventually discovered her photo seemingly being passed off as one taken by the Galaxy A8 Star on a Samsung website. The photographer wrote about her experience with the discovery in a story for DIY Photography .
According to Djudjic, she was excited when she saw that her photo had been purchased from EyeEm, a stock-photo marketplace. To find out where her photo would be used, she used a reverse image search to see where on the web it had been published. She was surprised to see that the only real result was with Samsung, she says.
"My first reaction was to burst out into laughter," Djudjic said of when she first discovered how her photo was being used. The original photo was edited to include a different background, as well as a few other changes. "Just look at the Photoshop job they did on my face and hair!" Djudjic said regarding the edits.
Despite negative press around the marketing photo, Samsung is still using the "simulated" image to promote the Galaxy A8 Star's camera features four days after Djudjic's article was posted on Monday. Business Insider has reached out to Samsung for comment and to inquire if the company plans to continue using the image.
Smartphone makers have previously used stock photos, or photos taken with professional cameras, to promote the cameras on their smartphones. Earlier this year, Samsung was discovered to be using stock photos in marketing materials for the very same Galaxy A8 Star phone.
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