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Samsung Raising the Bar in Mobile Camera Sensors

Summary

Basic Specs - 50 MP sensor (8160x6144), 8K video, 1080p 480fps slow motion, and re-mosaic super resolution shots using the full 50MP sensor to shoot red, green and blue frames then upscaling and merged to 100MP resolution. 

Low Light reduces resolution and combines pixels for more light processed without adding to ISO or noise. 

 

Dual Pixel Pro - Samsung has developed a way to use every pixel as a phase detect point using 8 direction differences (Diagonal, Vertical and Horizontal) for distance calculations and autofocus. In previous systems the 50million pixels would each need 2 photodiodes divided into left and right looking but this causes issues with horizontal stripes and various patterns. 

To fix this they had to use standard left and right splits for red and blue pixels with green split diagonally. This gives the processor vertical and horizontal phase information which improves low light autofocus as well as the speed of the autofocus. 

 

Latest leaks suggest Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra may be the first phones with the sensor but expect to see it in flagship Samsung next year. 

Quotes

Quote

"using an intelligent re-mosaic algorithm, creating three individual layers of 50Mp frames in green, red and blue. These frames are then up-scaled and merged to produce a single ultra-high 100Mp resolution photograph." It can perform this operation at an astonishing rate: 10 times per second.

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My thoughts

I love the idea of fast autofocus on a phone camera, anything that can improve how slow some phones focus when the shot actually counts is a huge win. IF they allow more control over the sensor than previously given (ie let me pick what resolution and adapt the pixels to match instead of the current way of reducing resolution by just turning off pixels or post processing a smaller jpeg from the full sensor/resolution.) Then you can prioritize what you are wanting to shoot, If I'm going for high speed I want the lower resolution but more light for a higher shutter to keep everything in focus. Most cell phones will never catch a DSLR or mirrorless in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing and I often find myself reaching for the old D800 when I could try to use my phone but can't trust it to get the shot. 

 

Very excited to see if this narrows the gap and if the quality is good enough to compete with a ZV-1 or other VLog cameras to lighten my kit. 

 

Sources

https://newatlas.com/photography/samsung-isocell-gn2-camera-sensor/

https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/xiaomi/155862-xiaomi-mi-11-ultra-first-to-get-samsung-s-new-isocell-gn2-camera-sensor

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Very nice, having more control over the sensor would be neat indeed.

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From the title, I thought it was something to do with rbar 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Neat, it won't be long until they're releasing the 200mp sensor they're aiming for. Nice to see them improving on other aspects too, IIRC they also have drastically improved low light performance. 

 

I've gotta say though, I'm pretty sure slow autofocus is a software issue a lot of the time. 

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This is probably a relatively large sensor for a phone. Hard to imagine anything 1/2.3” or smaller not having issues with diffraction at 50+ Megapixels.

 

While not a big sensor relative to proper cameras, the lightning fast pixel readouts are what enables a lot of computational processing. 

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