Samsung just a unveiled a 64-megapixel image sensor, far more than any manufacturer has ever put out. It's called the ISOCELL Bright GW1, and it uses the same 0.8μm-sized pixels as the company's current 48-megapixel lens, which means it'll be a physically larger sensor that'll be able to capture more light. In turn, that means more vivid photos and better low-light shots.
Samsung Teases Bright GW1 Sensor
Samsung's new sensor doesn't capture 64-megapixel images outright. Instead, it produces 16-megapixel images by merging four pixels into one, which is also how current 48-megapixel cameras render 12-megapixel shots.
The Bright GW1 sensor will also be able to descramble the color filter for full-resolution 64-megapixel shots with good lighting. The 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor, from Sony, pulls off a similar capability. Samsung's existing 48-megapixel sensor doesn't. However, the company is also announcing an upgrade to that offers the color filter descrambling feature.
"Over the past few years, mobile phone cameras have become the main instrument for recording and sharing our everyday moments," said Yongin Park, Samsung's executive VP for its sensor division. "With more pixels and advanced pixel technologies, Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 will bring a new level of photography to today's sleekest mobile devices that will enhance and help change the way we record our daily lives."
Bright GW1 Features
Samsung's new sensor is also equipped with a so-called Dual Conversion Gain, or DCG, that converts received light into an electric signal according to the illumination of the environment. This way, the sensor can optimize its full well capacity, or FWC, and utilize gathered light more efficiently when shooting in bright environments.
Another feature called Super PD will be able to deliver high-performance phase detection and autofocus. It will also offer full HD recording at 480 frames per second, which should make for pretty sick slow motion shots. It also aims to capture images the way human eyes see images through the use of real-time high dynamic range, or HDR, of up to 100-decibels, which should provide richer hues. By contrast, the dynamic range on conventional phones is around 60 decibels. The human eye is typically considered to be around 120.
Samsung says the that both the Bright GW1 sensor and its upgraded 48-megapixel shooter are currently in testing but expects them to go into mass production in the second half of 2019. They might not show up on phones until early 2020, however.