Samsung continues to push innovation, especially in the relatively new territory of cameras: the camera of the future is already among us
Samsung is involved in many mobile phone businesses, but among those embraced only a few years ago is the production of photo sensors. The company has inserted itself in a production sector in which Sony had its way, but despite this it has managed to carve out more than a small space.
Samsung's cameras are now adopted on many models, and this has happened in a relatively short time in which the Seoul multinational has pushed on innovation. And we can only speak of innovation for the latest Samsung, the Isocell HP1 sensor that comes to the highest resolution ever had on a smartphone, 200 megapixels. It was rumored for some time, to tell the truth, on the arrival of a smartphone with such a high resolution, but the rumors reported in the months by informants had never materialized for lack of "raw material", ie a sensor capable of pushing a resolution so high. Now there is thanks to Samsung, and there are few doubts that it will be used soon on a smartphone.
Isocell HP1, never so many megapixels
Samsung Isocell HP1 is therefore the sensor for smartphones with the highest resolution ever. There are no tricks, they are 200 megapixels "real": the actual resolution is 16,384 x 12,288 pixels, but do not think you can ever exploit them, if only for a matter of space that a photo would occupy in the phone, perhaps more than 100 MB. So why have such a resolved sensor if it's just not convenient to shoot at 200 megapixels? At least for two reasons.
The first: to take full advantage of pixel binning or ChameleonCell as Samsung calls it, i.e. the system that combines pixels in groups of 4 to obtain 50-megapixel images or in groups of 16 for 12.5-megapixel photos. The advantage lies in the fact that in this way from the union of 4 pixels in the first case or 16 in the second "comes out" a significantly brighter one, so the photos gain in quality in all conditions, especially at sunset or at night.
The second reason why it is convenient to have such a high resolution is related to the zoom lossless or "without loss of quality", as the marketing men of the companies often like to call it. Being able to start from a 200 megapixel shot you can get lower resolution shots with 3 or 4x zoom, which means you could get more than pleasing results without having a dedicated zoom camera. It's never going to be the same in terms of quality, mind you, but it's a good compromise between photographic performance and price, since a dedicated zoom lens has costs that are reflected in the list price.
Some technical data
Having said about the "real" implications of Samsung's new 200-megapixel camera, some technical data. The Isocell HP1 has 0.64 micrometer large pixels on a 1/22-inch sensor. It can capture video in 8K at 30 frames per second, in 4K at 120 fps and in Full HD (1080p) at 240 fps. It's not yet clear which product will adopt Samsung's new sensor first, but we should find out soon.