The camera has become one of the key factors when choosing a smartphone. That is why manufacturers pay a lot of attention to the photo and video capabilities of their devices. Android Authority spoke with a Samsung Semiconductor representative to learn about the South Korean giant’s vision for the future of mobile cameras.
To find out what to expect in 2021 and beyond mobile cameras, Android Authority reporters interviewed Jinhyun Kwon, vice president and head of sensor marketing at Samsung Semiconductor.
Recently, high-resolution sensors (up to 108 megapixels) with a pixel size of 0.7 microns were presented , but before that the company was betting on a larger pixel size. For example, the 50-megapixel Isocell Bright GN1 is comparable in size to a 108-megapixel sensor, but with larger pixels. When asked which approach is correct, the Samsung representative answered simply – both.
“Samsung’s thinking is simple: both approaches have their merits. We are a semiconductor solution provider and our goal is to offer the best in any of them: ultra-high resolution with smaller pixels and relatively low resolution with larger pixels, ”said Jinhyun Kwon.
The ultra-high-resolution sensors allow you to enlarge or crop images without losing quality, while the larger pixel size sensors produce brighter images and support ultra-fast Dual Pixel autofocus, according to a Samsung representative. He noted that the company plans to increase the matrix resolution, opening up new opportunities. According to him, the resolution of the human eye is about 500 megapixels – reaching this value should be an important event for the industry.
As for video shooting, now the main trend is recording videos in 8K format. Jinhyun Kwon said that sensors capable of shooting at this resolution have existed since 2018, but so far only flagships have this capability. He explains this by the fact that in addition to a sensor with a resolution of 48 megapixels and higher, an appropriate processor is also needed. Therefore, this option is not yet available in mid-range devices. The company expects 8K to follow the same path as 4K, offering 60fps and HDR support. It is noted that HDR is now one of the biggest problems for video on mobile devices, as this technology consumes too much power and causes various artifacts in the final image. As for 4K, then soon it is worth waiting for support for shooting slow-motion videos with this resolution and a frequency of 240 frames per second.
The representative of the South Korean giant spoke about other areas of development of mobile cameras. In particular, Samsung confirmed back in 2018 that it is working on sub-screen cameras, but has not yet implemented this technology in a commercial device, losing the lead to ZTE . Jinhyun Kwon noted that manufacturers have yet to resolve a number of related issues with the technology, such as screen transparency, light diffraction and color distortion. Users will have to wait a bit longer before sub-screen cameras can provide the same quality as conventional cameras, he said.
As for the use of different lenses in smartphones, Jinhyun Kwon assures that there is no need to expect any significant changes in 2021 – the priority will continue to be wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and telephoto modules.