Samsung announces new 64 MP image sensor for mobile devices
It’s commonly held that Samsung’s smartphones are some of the best when it comes to digital photography. That’s partly due to the excellent imaging sensors Samsung uses in their devices. Those pictures may get even sharper in the near future; the Korean electronics giant today announced two new imaging sensors designed for mobile devices, one of which offers a whopping 64 megapixels (MP) of details.
The two sensors (one 64 MP, one 48 MP) feature insanely small 0.8-micrometer (μm) pixels, allowing the sensors to cram more light information into a smaller physical area. The 64 MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 and 48 MP ISOCELL Bright GM2 offer the “smallest pixel size currently available in the market,” according to Samsung.
Yongin Park, Executive Vice President of Samsung’s sensor business, noted that smartphones have “become the main instrument for recording and sharing our everyday moments.” Because of this, Park said that Samsung hopes to “bring a new level of photography to today’s sleekest mobile devices that will enhance and help change the way we record our daily lives.” That’s where these sensors come in. The sensors also have a few tricks up their sleeves.
For one, low-light photography should greatly benefit from the smaller pixel size and Samsung’s Tetracell technology. Introduced last October, Tetracell can be used to merge four pixels into one larger pixel to capture more light detail in difficult conditions. As a result, the new GW1 sensor can “produce bright 16 MP images in low-light environments,” according to Samsung. In lighter conditions (like daylight), the GW1 can use all 64 MP to shoot incredibly detailed images. The GW1 will also support real-time HDR up to 100 dB, compared to the more typical 60-80 dB range of contemporary smartphone shooters.
There are a handful of other features baked into the GW1 and GM2, including faster phase detection autofocus and recording FHD video at up to 480 FPS. (It should be pointed out that Sony’s Xperia XZ3 can record FHD video at 960 FPS.)
Smartphone photography nuts can expect the new Samsung sensors to make their ways into handsets in the second half of this year.