Samsung unveils the industry’s first 200MP sensor camera sensor, Isocell HP1
- Samsung has released two new smartphone camera sensors.
- The 200MP Isocell H1 sensor, which is the firm’s first, features new pixel-binning technology.
- The 50MP Isocell GN5 meanwhile offers improved autofocusing technology with smaller pixels.
Samsung is pushing the smartphone camera market into the 200MP era. Samsung announced the new Isocell H1 sensor. It offers new pixel-binning technology and claims improved low-light photography.
The Isocell’s first 200MP resolution sensor is the Isocell H1. The Isocell HP1 can use all 200MP of the 0.64-micron pixels in bright lighting. This is not the largest number of individual pixels we have seen on a smartphone camera. However, Samsung compensates for it in a clever way.
Samsung uses its new Chameleon Cell technology for pixel-binning, which allows it to group four or sixteen pixels into one larger pixel. These configurations make Isocell HP1 a 50MP sensor with 1.28micron pixels and a 12.5MP sensor with 2.56micron pixels. Samsung claims that this configuration increases light absorption and sensitivity, which allows for better low-light photography.
While pixel-binning is a popular way for sensors to extract more sunlight in dimming situations, it has its limitations. One is that the more pixels you combine, the less accurate your color rendering could be. The software could be used to overcome these limitations, but color accuracy is not the main priority in dark environments.
The 200MP sensor is also capable of shooting 8K/30fps video with four-in-one pixels binning.
Samsung also introduced a new sensor to its GN series. However, its main focus is not on adding more megapixels. The Isocell GN5 offers an improved autofocusing performance by using more photodiodes. Samsung claims that this improves autofocusing speed to a near “instantaneous” level. The GN5 has a smaller 1.0-micron resolution than the 1.4 microns of the Isocell GN2 earlier in the year.
When will phones have 200MP sensors?
It’s impossible to predict when the Isocell HP1 and GN5 sensors will be found in mainstream smartphones. There have been rumors of a Xiaomi flagship with the 200MP sensor, but we don’t know if it will be available. It is not clear if Samsung will use this 200MP sensor in its next flagship series. Although the Galaxy S22 Ultra has not been revealed, the tips suggest that there are no major camera upgrades. However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S22 Plus may have 50MP sensors.
We can now look forward to the day when devices will pack it, with a 200MP sensor finally being available.