Samsung launched the world’s first 200-megapixel smartphone camera, the ISOCELL HP1, earlier this month. This camera sensor is yet to debut inside devices. There’s no official confirmation yet as to which phone will use this camera first, though Xiaomi’s next-gen flagships appear to be the likely candidates. Meanwhile, Samsung has recently posted a video (embedded below) on YouTube explaining what this bonkers 200-megapixel camera has on offer.
Samsung explains its 200-megapixel ISOCELL HP1 smartphone camera
The video features Minho Kwon of Samsung’s image sensor design team talking about how ISOCELL HP1 can capture photos and videos with unprecedented detail on a smartphone. This sensor features 200 million 0.64μm-sized pixels to capture the “minute detail” in every scene, details that naked eyes sometimes may not see. It uses the company’s re-mosaic algorithm with deep learning to produce crisp and clear photos that let you see a whole world of detail when cropped or zoomed in.
When shooting 8K videos, the ISOCELL HP1 camera combines four nearby pixels (2×2 pixel binning) to create a single 1.28μm-sized pixel. This allows more light to come in, resulting in brighter picture quality. You can record 8K videos at 30fps (frames per second) with minimum loss in the field of view. This sensor also uses 2×2 pixel binning to capture 50-megapixel stills in dimly-lit environments.
If the surrounding gets darker, the camera will switch to 4×4 pixel binning (combines 16 nearby pixels) to create 2.56μm-sized pixels. This ensures that images are brighter with minimal noise and artifacts.
Technologies such as Smart-ISO and multisampling further help in improving the picture quality. The former enables the camera to intelligently adjust to various lighting conditions — high ISO in dim environments and low ISO in well-lit environments. The latter, meanwhile, reduces noise by averaging multiple readouts of each pixel in a frame. There’s also a Smart-ISO Pro technology to reduce motion artifacts in videos.
Staggered HDR and Double Super PD are other highlights
Staggered HDR (high dynamic range) allows ISOCELL HP1 to achieve dynamic ranges as wide as 100dB (decibels). So if your scene includes both bright and dark areas, you’ll still be able to capture color-rich images. Frames are captured at short, middle, and long exposures to accurately expose low and highlights. The frames are then merged into one image for clear pictures.
The ISOCELL HP1 also features Double Super PD (phase detection) technology for quick and accurate autofocusing. This sensor contains AF (autofocus) pixels with AF micro-lenses on top to quickly focus on fast-moving objects.
Samsung had also launched a 50-megapixel camera sensor, the ISOCELL GN5, alongside the 200-megapixel ISOCELL HP1 earlier this month. The Galaxy S22 and S22+ will reportedly use this camera. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, meanwhile, will use the 108-megapixel ISOCELL HM3 camera.