Samsung reveals new 50MP smartphone sensor with faster autofocus

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Samsung has been making a big push when it comes to image sensors on its smartphones, debuting two high-end offerings that debuted in the firm’s latest flagship phones. Now there is another image sensor that has been unveiled by the South Korean firm in the form of the ISOCELL GN1.

It is a 50MP sensor, and while it may not be as large as what Samsung debuted last year, it is touting some important features. These include dual-pixel autofocus and tetracell pixel-binning.

While we cannot claim to know how the latter will enhance performance, Samsung does note that the ISOCELL GN1 yields rapid autofocus and improved image quality in low-light conditions.

Whether it will be able to go up against anything that Leica and Huawei have been able to muster in recent years remains to be seen, but it’s clear that those two photography elements are the key focus here.

Other details of the sensor include a pixel size of 1.2μm, which is not the same setup as we’ve seen on some of Samsung’s more recent boundary pushing offerings.

Either way it should serve up 12.5 megapixel photos when used, and Samsung says the features at work here can produce images comparable to that of a 100MP offering. There’s also support for 8K video recording at up to 30fps, so it should tick all the boxes for content creators.

We’ll need to test this performance out ourselves to confirm, but for now there is no word on when a Samsung device will be sporting the new ISOCELL GN1. That said the sensor will be heading into mass production later this month, so we could see something appear around the same time as IFA 2020 in September.

With Samsung placing a heavy focus on zooming functionality with the Galaxy S20 series, which produced some mixed results on different models in the range, perhaps a return to autofocus and low-light performance will stand the firm in better stead when competing against Huawei and Apple.

For now we’ll need to wait to see which Samsung device will be sporting the ISOCELL GN1.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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