Samsung goes even bigger with its shiny new 200MP ISOCELL sensor


Tech-maker Samsung has had its eye on ever-increasing sizes of camera sensors for smartphones. First, we saw them make a 64MP edition, then there was the 108MP attempt. Then the company took a step back and checked out what a 50MP camera sensor was like, which brings us to today and the hugely overkill 200MP ISOCELL sensor.

Sharing an ISOCELL with Samsung

The company recently took the wraps off its ISOCELL HP1 camera sensor, which crams 200 megapixels into something that’ll fit into a smartphone. It uses 0.64μm-sized pixels, the South Korean outfit’s smallest to date, resulting in a smartphone camera that can take 200MP images if you want it to, or increase the sharpness of a nighttime shot by merging clumps of sixteen pixels into one and spitting out a 12.5MP image (which will likely be a little kinder to your storage).

The HP1 sensor is able able to downscale to 50MP images (by merging clumps of four pixels) and will capture 8K (7,680 x 4,320) video at up to 30fps with, Samsung says, “…minimum loss in the field of view.” We’ll be the judge of that.

Whether you need all of this packed into a smartphone is another story but hey, it lets you stick higher numbers on the box, right? Samsung’s also got a new 50MP sensor, the ISOCELL GN5, in the works, that includes a new autofocus technology the company called Dual Pixel Pro. The hardware “…places two photodiodes, the smallest in the industry, within each 1.0μm pixel of the sensor either horizontally or vertically to recognize pattern changes in all directions.” Basically, you’ve got speedier autofocus to play with.

As for when we’ll see these in action? That’s not confirmed yet — the company’s shopping around samples to its various competitors. Expect everyone from Xiaomi to OnePlus to Samsung itself to start using them at some point in the coming months, however.


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Brett writes for Stuff's digital platform and edits Stuff's print magazine, in between reading science fiction and every Batman comic he can get his hands on.

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