Samsung will do something interesting with the telephoto cameras of the Galaxy S20 and S20+
Thirteen days away from the Galaxy Unpacked event, there's little to nothing that we don't already know about the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones. Leaks have given information on most of the phones' camera hardware already, and a new tweet by popular leakster Ice Universe has now given a clearer look at the phones' telephoto camera.
According to Ice, the S20 and S20+ will use a 64 MP sensor as their telephoto shooter. That sensor is said to be the ISOCELL Bright GW2 (S5KGW2), a second-generation, improved model of the GW1 that has been used by a number of OEMs, including Xiaomi on the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
The ISOCELL Bright GW2 will apparently not use any pixel-merging technology. That means shots will have the sensor's native 64 MP resolution, unlike the ISOCELL Bright GW1 that uses Tetracell technology to ouput 16 MP images.
There are a few issues with that, of course. For one, the lack of a pixel-merging process means the telephoto shooter will likely produce...lackluster images in lowlight conditions. The ISOCELL GW2 likely has a pixel size of 0.8μm, like most of the newer high-res sensors, and the lack of any binning process does not bode well for low-light photography.
There's also the fact that shooting 64 MP images isn't easy on storage space. The average 64 MP image has a file size in the region of 30 MB and, with rumors claiming the S20 and S20+ will max out at 128 GB of storage, users could quickly find themselves running out of storage after extended use of the phone. Of course, this is only relevant when taking telephoto shots.
Lastly, shooting 64 MP images will undoubtedly stress the device. Post-processing times will go up, and battery drain may be experienced while shooting with the telephoto lens. Both the Mi Note 10 and Nokia 9 PureView are victims of the same issue.
According to Ice Universe, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will use the telephoto lens to shoot 8K video. The phones' main camera has 12 MP sensor, which is unable to shoot 8K (33 MP). We're not sure how Samsung plans on implementing this, though. It would be, well, inconvenient to only be able to shoot 8K video at the 3x zoom the telephoto shooter will likely offer.
Most of this is conjecture, though, as there just isn't enough information to go by. Real-world performance could be a lot different. We'll see next month.
The telephoto sensor S5KGW2 of the S20 / S20+ is a special pure 64MP camera. It cannot be 4 in 1 combined into 16MP. It will be used for pixel cropping zoom and 8K video.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) January 29, 2020