Samsung will let you unlock your Z Fold 3’s bootloader, but at the cost of your cameras

Samsung appears to be trying discourage users from changing the software on the new Galaxy Z Fold 3s. They are telling them that unlocking the phone's bootloader will make the phones cameras useless (via Android Police). Although this isn't a new tactic, it appears to be an increase in Samsungs battle against users who want complete control of their phones.
A user of XDA Forums confirmed that the Z Fold 3s cameras stopped working after unlocking their bootloader. Facial recognition, loading the camera application, and even trying third-party apps were all unsuccessful. According to the user, the cameras worked again after unlocking the bootloader.

A photo posted by a member of our forums shows that the message users get when they try to unlock their Z Fold 3s Bootloader is:

To install custom operating system software, unlock the bootloader. This will disable the camera and cause apps or phones to cease working properly. Your phone will be factory reset to prevent unauthorised access to your personal information. This will wipe all data including downloaded apps. Volume up: Yes Unlock bootloader (may invalidate warranty). Volume down: No Do NOT unlock bootloader or restart your phone

After a bootloader unlock, a factory reset is a common procedure. There is also the possibility of a voided warrantee.

This may seem like an escalation. However, Samsung has historically been quite hostile to modders. Samsung's Knox documentation states that if you root your phone or flash it with unofficial Android builds, any Knox security features will be permanently disabled. This can only be restored if the phone is replaced. If you root a Samsung smartphone, Secure Folder and Samsung Pay will no longer work. This doesn't occur if you unlock your phone's bootloader. It only happens after you modify the OS of the phone.

It seems unreasonable to give up your camera.

Although it is more damaging and permanent than the previous, it could be argued that you should give up Samsung Pay or Secure Folder if your only goal is root access to your phone. It is not an easy task to give up your ability take photos. Rooting your Fold 3 after unlocking will not change how Knox works. This will leave you without any cameras, NFC payments, or Secure Folder.

It is possible to disable features for root users in certain ways. Knox is unable to guarantee security because it doesn't know which code is running on your phone. It wouldn't be unreasonable for Samsung to deny you access to the Fold 3s facial recognition unlock function. It is hard to imagine how the camera shutters being shut off completely would be anything other than a punishment for those who wish to modify their phones.

It is hard to imagine how the camera can be turned off completely.

However, if you are a US-based Samsung customer, it will be more difficult to get around these problems. According to Samsung, bootloader unlocking is not allowed on Snapdragon-based phones sold in America. You can get bootloader unlocking services for your US-based Samsung phone, but it is not as simple as the global version.

It is not clear if the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have the same limitation. However, a member of XDA Forums posted a photo of their unlock bootloader screen and it does not mention the cameras. Samsung did not immediately respond to The Verges' questions about whether the policy applied to the Flip or if it was general.