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Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with ISOCELL sensor (plus more samples)

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with ISOCELL sensor (plus more samples)
Yesterday, we showed you the first camera samples out of the 12-megapixel Samsung Galaxy Alpha camera, but we did not know much about the sensor. We are still trying to dig up more information on it, but Samsung has now confirmed that it’s using its own 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor with the ISOCELL technology and a native 16:9 aspect ratio.

ISOCELL is a technology that took years in development and it made a debut in the Samsung Galaxy S5 on a 16-megapixel Samsung sensor. Now, in the Galaxy Alpha we’re looking at some of the same features: ISOCELL (but on a 12-megapixel scale, and unknown sensor size) and phase-detection auto-focus.

In its official blog, Samsung promises that images taken on the Galaxy Alpha will come out “sharper than ever with natural colors.” Skipping the PR talk, though, we should say that ISOCELL brings a couple of important advantages over non-isolated photo cells used in traditional BSI sensors: first, crosstalk is reduced from 19% to 12.5% in ISOCELL, next, luminance signal to noise ratio improved from 150 lux to 105 lux, and finally, full well capacity increased from 5,000e- to 6,200e-.

So far, Samsung is not revealing much specifically about this 12-megapixel sensor, though. We’ve heard rumors that the Galaxy Note 4 might also feature a 12-megapixel ISOCELL camera (rumor says the Note 4 might have optical image stabilization, something that is not present on the Galaxy Alpha), so that is one possible reason why more information is not being released just yet. Good news is that the Note 4 is coming in just around three weeks, and - if all those whispers turn out true - we’ll learn more about this sensor soon.

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posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:29 15

1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8240; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Those photos are beautiful.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:45 2

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5737; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Nothing like stoking the interest in camera sensors for Sammy's new toys.... The pic is impressive.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:36 1

11. sar44 (Posts: 197; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


waiting for tests, hope they fix rosines and oversaturate. need test also with lumia 1020

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:53

22. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 850; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


1020 still owns it.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:28 1

16. torr310 (Posts: 372; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I prefer 4:3 aspect ratio instead.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:44

18. nohatenofanboy (Posts: 380; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


Imma wait for night shots bfore judge the quality. most of the phones does good at day-light shots

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 23:26

26. JC557 (Posts: 1038; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


This was the one issue reviewers had with the GS5 is that low light photos weren't all that great. Hopefully Samsung will improve the lens or aperture a bit to help with that as there are times when using flash is not appropriate. They could also use larger pixels and maintain a high-ish MP count if they won't increase the sensor size.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:49 4

20. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4000; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I agree. Samsung's cameras on their phones are clearly the best!

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:53

21. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 850; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


Typical Samsung edge over sharpening still exists. They look great without blowing them up, but again, you're not looking at the details and you have no idea what the actual scene looked like at the time to judge coloring, exposure and dynamic range.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:31 6

2. JMartin22 (limited) (Posts: 973; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


This is easily the best mid-ranged phone produced to date, ever. But they should eschew that heart rate monitor for a second LED flash. My only real gripe with it.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:52 6

6. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


The problem is that it's not really priced as mid range..

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:06 6

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8240; Member since: 14 May 2012)


AMOLED screen, Exynos 5430 and ISOCELL make it borderline high end/top tier midrange.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:13 3

9. rockers123 (Posts: 40; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Its not a midranger at all. Check the specs

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:35 2

10. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I myself don't think it's a midranger. But many people seem to say so. But it's not very super high end either. Check the specs.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 10:15 1

14. The-Sailor-Man (Posts: 834; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Specs are good. But it's still midranger compare with this year's Samsung top-end phones.
'Don't be fooled , that iPhone 5s is top-end phone. It's midranger too.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 15:05

24. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Actually this is currently the best Samsung phone this year (maybe excluding the S5 LTE-A)
The 5433 has better performance than the 801/A7, and supposedly more efficient with its 20 nm process and A7 cores
Except the "low" res (which is still higher than Apple's 640p)

posted on 15 Aug 2014, 07:20

28. j2001m (Posts: 36; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Samsung can do nothing about the screen res due to the size of th phone limiting the battery that they can be included

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:32 1

17. hung2900 (Posts: 793; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


In my country the supposed price is 2/3 the price of 32GB iPhone 5S. Not mid-range?

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:37 2

3. majp89 (Posts: 98; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


Finally, a mid-range phone with a decent camera. The size of the phone is appealing as well.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 10:20 2

15. The-Sailor-Man (Posts: 834; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


But first that have not SD. And let's see the battery life, too.

posted on 15 Aug 2014, 07:22

29. j2001m (Posts: 36; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


I be thinking size of the phone and you also get 32gb out of the box, that's better anyways, the phone is made for the iPhone users

posted on 16 Aug 2014, 14:13

30. TheGenius (Posts: 326; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


Its not midrange -.-

Its amoled + high end exynos+ decent camera + premium metals and all the high end s5 features.

If you are complaining about res or battery .. then I guess iPhone is a midrange too

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 08:43 1

4. JMartin22 (limited) (Posts: 973; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


I'm assuming the Alpha is a market test for what direction they plan to take the Galaxy S6 based on its response.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:02

7. HouTexan (Posts: 310; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


Hmmm...that's actually a pretty smart guess.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 09:40

12. sar44 (Posts: 197; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


what abous ois?

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 10:04 7

13. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Great photos. Samsung has a really great camera software, all they need is OIS and better low light skills to make the ultimate kickass cameraphone.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 11:46 1

19. Carlitos (Posts: 320; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


I agree with better low light performance.
But the GS5 proved OIS is obsolete with Samsung's own DIS.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 13:48 2

23. erikngn (Posts: 7; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


These are some very good quality photos. As good as LG G3's, and Lumia 1020's. And I hope that Note 4 camera will be even better.

posted on 14 Aug 2014, 17:13

25. gigaraga (Posts: 901; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Unrivalled photos and HDR. Simply beautiful (including the phone itself!~) and perfect...

posted on 15 Aug 2014, 01:44

27. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


I was pretty up on this phone until I found out that Samsung included a GoogleNSA processor in it -- a Cortex A5 core that is always on/always listening. No thanks, Samsung.

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