Next Samsung Flagship to Feature 16MP Camera; Note III Won't Feature OIS

Samsung Galaxy S5

Remember the 16MP camera we saw on the Galaxy S4 Zoom? Well that may be on the next-gen Galaxy S5 next year – without the “zoom” part, of course. We know this from a recent report that Galaxy S5 will come with a 16MP camera and optical image stabilization (OIS). Unfortunately, it also states that the Galaxy Note 3 won’t arrive with OIS this year.

I think OIS is an amazing addition to smartphone cameras, and every phone from at least mid-range to high-end should have one, just like flash LED’s. OIS fixes the old problem with smartphone cameras – blur. Many smartphone photos are blurry because either your hand moves too much when taking the picture, or the phone itself moves when you press on it to take the picture, or it has a slow shutter, which means that even if you’re perfectly still when you press on the button, it will still get blurry if you move right before it actually takes the photo.

OIS fixes all of that. It also allows for much longer exposures without making the photos blurry, which means it will be able to capture a lot more light, and it will take great photos in darker environments, too, without a lot of noise. So OIS is definitely worth its cost, which is why most phones should have it.

I’m glad Samsung thinks so, too, at least with the Galaxy S5, but it’s unfortunate the Note 3 will not have it, if true. I wouldn’t buy any phone without it at this point, which is why I was also very disappointed the Moto X didn’t have it either, but I’m hoping the new Nexus phone will.

As for the 16MP camera, I’m sure it will be pretty decent, since the Galaxy S4 already had a pretty great camera, that was second to none in normal lighting conditions in the Android ecosystem, but I fear that next year it won’t be so easy for Samsung. Sony will step in with a 20 MP camera with a larger sensor this year, inside the Sony Z1 (Honami), and it’s very likely it will beat the Galaxy S5 camera, too, especially if Samsung keeps refusing to use larger sensors.

Plus, Sony tends to make better cameras than Samsung in general, so it’s going to be tough for Samsung, if they only want to do an incremental improvement to their Galaxy S5 camera. They need to come out with something new and much better if they want to win. I’d also really like to see a fierce and ruthless competition spark in smartphone camera performance in the Android ecosystem next year.