Samsung has announced the 200MP ISOCELL HP3, the industry’s smallest image sensor with 0.56-micrometer (μm)-pixel. The new sensor is big news for the smartphone industry as it will enable manufacturers to enhance the image quality in their best smartphones, while also keeping them slim.
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“Epic resolution beyond the professional level for smartphone camera users.”
Junseo Yim, Samsung
“Samsung has consistently led the image sensor market trend through its technology leadership in high resolution sensors with smaller pixels,” said Junsio Yim, executive vice president of the sensor business team at Samsung Electronics. “With our latest and advanced 0.56μm 200MP ISOCELL HP3, Samsung will move forward to deliver epic resolutions beyond professional levels for smartphone camera users,” Yim continued. A bold claim indeed, but the ISOCELL HP3 certainly looks impressive on paper, featuring some of the smallest pixels we’ve seen to date, yet autofocus capability in every pixel, binning for better low-light shots, and multi-tasking. -Gain is the technology boasted including ISO. max dynamic range
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small is beautiful
Impressively, the ISOCELL HP3 has a 12 percent smaller pixel size compared to the predecessor’s 0.64μm, packing 200 million pixels in a 1/1.4-inch optical format—the diameter of an area captured through the camera lens. Essentially, this means that the new sensor camera module could enable a reduction of about 20 percent in surface area, allowing smartphone makers to keep their premium devices slim.
The ISOCELL HP3 is equipped with a Super QPD auto-focusing solution, which simply means that all pixels on the sensor have auto-focusing capabilities. In addition, Super QPD uses a single lens on four-adjacent pixels to detect phase difference in both horizontal and vertical directions—which Samsung says will allow for more precise and faster autofocusing.
Users of smartphones benefiting from the new 200MP sensor will be able to take videos in 8K at 30 fps or 4K at 120fps, with minimal loss of field of view when taking 8K videos.
low light hero
The ISOCELL HP3 is also being touted by Samsung as a low-light hero and with good reason – its Tetra2pixel technology to replace the 0.56μm 200MP sensor with a 1.12μm 50MP sensor, or the 12.5MP sensor with a 2.24μm four-pixel connects to. -Pixel by combining 16 pixels into one. This means that this technology will enable the sensor to emulate the sizable pixel sensor to take brighter and more vibrant shots, even in low light conditions – we can wait to test it out.
To maximize the dynamic range of the new mobile image sensor, Samsung has equipped it with an enhanced Smart-ISO Pro feature. The technology merges image information made up of the two conversion benefits of low and high ISO modes to create HDR images. The upgraded version of the technology comes with triple ISO modes – Low, Mid and High – which further enhances the dynamic range of the sensor.
The improved Smart-ISO Pro also enables the sensor to convey images in over 4 trillion colors (14-bit color depth), which is 64 times more colors than the predecessor’s 68 billion (12-bit). Finally, thanks to support for staggered HDR with Smart-ISO Pro, the ISOCELL HP3 can switch between the two solutions depending on the filming environment to produce high-quality HDR images.
Samsung said the Isocell HP3 will go into mass production this year, but didn’t specify which smartphone models will be the first to benefit from the new sensor.
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