Samsung's Camera R&D Team Talks About Dual Pixel AF

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Following in the footsteps of last year’s Samsung Galaxy S6 series which flaunted one of the best smartphone cameras of 2015, the new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge have been treated with some of the best mobile camera technologies available, and then some. For the first time in the history of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S7 lineup introduces Dual Pixel autofocus technology, and the results – judging by all the sample pictures, reviews, and comparison so far – are very impressive and speak for themselves. Needless to say, Samsung has put a lot of thought into making the Galaxy S7’s camera great, and the thought process behind the module’s creation was recently shared in an interview with the company’s senior manager of Global Product Planning Youngmin Nam, principal engineer Hwayong Kang, and Camera R&D senior engineers Beomjoon Kwon and Youngsoo Bok.

According to the interview, the main reason why Samsung has decided to use Dual Pixel autofocus technology in its latest flagship phone was the need of consumers. Cameras are devices designed to handle light and time, so in other words, a camera needs to be able to take pictures in low light conditions as well as in a timely manner. Hwayoung Kang revealed that the team has researched “all the possible areas related to a camera” in terms of both hardware and software before they have decided what the best course of action might be. After reviewing “almost all the latest” smartphone camera technologies, Samsung’s engineers have reached the conclusion that the best way to innovate would be to introduce Dual Pixel autofocus. By doing so, the camera on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge became extremely proficient in dealing with both low-light photography and fast moving objects.


Nevertheless, since no other smartphone uses Dual Pixel autofocus, Samsung took a big risk and needed to make sure that the technology will be implemented properly. The company’s engineers have encountered a number of challenges and new problems that had to be overcome throughout the developing process, and as they’ve built a brighter, new f/1.7 lens and the Dual Pixel sensor, the engineers also “needed a new part” that would be capable of collecting and processing all the information sent by the Dual Pixel autofocus sensor. Unlike Phase Detection autofocus technology which uses roughly 10% of its pixels for focusing purposes, Dual Pixel autofocus uses two photodiodes in each pixel. And with the addition of a new sensor and lens, the software also had to be prepared from the ground up in order to handle “Auto” mode using the new technology.

Throughout the lengthy interview, Samsung’s team also talked about the implementation of features such as Motion Panorama, Hyperlapse, and even shared a few tips on how, or when to take advantage of these modes. You can read the full interview by checking the source link below.