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Samsung may be mulling a 12 MP camera with big sensor size for the Galaxy S7

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Samsung may be mulling a 12 MP camera with big sensor size for the Galaxy S7
Hot on the heels of yesterday's tip that Samsung is in talks with Sony about the camera sensor that can be found in the Xperia Z5 trio, testing the waters to fit it in the upcoming Galaxy S7, now comes a rather contrarian rumor. A blog post on Weibo, from an account with an already established track record, mainly about upcoming chipsets and other hardware components, claims that Samsung is mulling a rehash of its phone camera strategy.

Instead of chasing an ever-increasing pixel count - the Galaxy S6 has a 16 MP camera, while the S7 is rumored to have a 20 MP one - Samsung is apparently planning to bet on much larger sensors with smaller resolution. We can only applaud such a decision, if the rumor turns out credible, as larger sensors with smaller resolutions mean larger pixels and/or more space between pixels, which on theory will be able to collect more light with less crosstalk and signal distortion.

In fact, the source claims that Samsung has one specific resolution in mind - 12 MP - which will be fitted on a largish for a mobile camera, 1/2" sensor area size. This means that the individual pixels which be much bigger than the puny 1.12 micron dots on current 20 MP or 16 MP phone camera sensors. Google took a similar approach with the new Nexus 5X and 6P phones, outfitting them with 12 MP cameras that sport a large 1/2.3" sensor size with pretty good camera sample results. 

The source claims that this new Samsung sensor is nearing mass production, and might end up in the Galaxy S7, though the only rumors we've heard so far about the camera on the S7 are for a 20 MP unit, and it might be a bit late in the game to swap sensors at this point, unless Samsung is testing the upcoming flagship with both sensor sizes. The large 12 MP sensor is said to be with a dual-PD (dual-photodiode) technology, too, so we can't wait to hear more info on if and when this thing will make it to Samsung phones, and to which ones.

source: IIceUniverse (Weibo) via G4Games

48 Comments
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posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:02 17

1. nightfury (Posts: 71; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


Go for it samsung

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:09 4

5. korean411 (Posts: 79; Member since: 04 May 2009)


yea go for it. the s6 sensors is from sony as well and it works great.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 09:12 3

25. zeeBomb (Posts: 2139; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Samsung....seems like they want to make ends even tighter with competing with iPhone. As what MKBHD would say for team crispy...

"Just do it. Team crispy welcomes you".

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 09:40 3

27. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


finally samsung is having a sane approach instead of chasing useless mega pixel race

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 11:50 4

31. Ruturaj (Posts: 1450; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


Samsung already has better cameras on their phones note 5 and S6 variants.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:06 1

2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Great!

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:08 11

3. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


My ideal phone camera will have 8.3 MP with 1/2" sensor. 8.3 MP is more than enough for even watching on a 4K monitor. And 8.3 MP(3840x2160) means you can shoot 4K too. And that 8.3 MP sensor will have humongous pixels; so better dynamic range, sensitivity and general quality.

HTC had an amazing approach with ultrapixel, but the execution was just poor with pathetic lens and dismal post-processing.

This one is pretty close to my ideal camera.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 05:26 2

12. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


I can still see the difference of 13MP Note 3 vs 8MP Note 2 on my FHD monitor.
Should leave room for cropping also.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 05:45 2

13. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


You can tell the difference because of better camera tech not more pixels.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 06:36 1

14. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Exactly. Note 3 images are a lot better than note 2. As simple as that.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 07:00

17. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


What tech? Can you tell?
Note 3 is not better than Note 2 in low-light mode, for sure.

Simply the most difference is the resolution. Sensor from 1/3.2 inch to 1/3.06, not a lot.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 08:53 1

24. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


Of course it's about the tech with it having a newer type of sensor put in that's better than the older, because if they used a newer sensor in the Note 3 but kept it at 8mp you'd still notice the difference.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 10:00

46. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3319; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


MP Make a difference by giving better detail of objects. Zoom into an 8MP photo and it'll quickly start blurring compared to a 16MP photo of the same scene shurnk down to the same size. That's 'cause shrinking it down sharpens the image, making a noticeable difference.

If other sensor properties remained the same, more MPs = better quality, especially of further away objects.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 07:36

20. elitewolverine (Posts: 5188; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


For my my ideal would be a 1" or APS-C sensor

But I could settle for a 24.5MP, 1/1.2 or 1/1.5 as well.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 07:44

21. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


At those sensor sizes, the phone will at least be 2 cm thick at thickest points. I would rather have a proper camera if I'm THAT much into photography.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 12:48

34. elitewolverine (Posts: 5188; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I would say a 10mm body, with exchangeable lens' is able to be done in that body. but who knows im no physic major for lens creation. But a 1in should be doable.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 10:41

28. Danny86PV (Posts: 11; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


Not quite enough for 2160p because of Bayer filter, even if you ignore the fact that consumer (4:2:0) video discards 3/4 of chroma information.

Oversampled 1080p from a 2160p source though, at 50/60 fps and high bit rates, now that would be great.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 17:38

38. zeeBomb (Posts: 2139; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


What is your 4k monitor? Just curious

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 22:04

41. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


I don't have one yet. I have a really old 7 year old PC. I'll make a new one next summer and will choose a 4k monitor then. But it will most likely be an Asus or LG.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 21:12

40. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1959; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


"HTC had an amazing approach with ultrapixel, but the execution was just poor with pathetic lens and dismal post-processing."
totally agree with this

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:08 1

4. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


I begged Samsung for this for so long.
12-13MP with big sensor size. 16MP is too much needed

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:16 4

6. tango_charlie (Posts: 254; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


LG is also rumored to use a 1/2" sensor on the G5. Increasing sensor size and megapixel is the way to go. Hopefully this will be a new trend along with bigger batteries.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:18 12

7. Odeira (Posts: 253; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


I'd wanted Samsung to increase sensor size AND maintain a high resolution, instead of SHRINKING the resolution - small resolutions are a nightmare for advanced image editors (over 4K UHD iMacs and PC's.) Samsung CAN maintain the 16MP resolution and increase the sensor size,...

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:28 3

8. Shocky (unregistered)


Dropping down to 12MP is fine so long as the benefits are worth it, low light performance has improved this year but there is still a long way to go.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 04:32 2

9. vuyonc (Posts: 1023; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


16 MP 1/2" sensor makes more sense IMO. Decently sized pixels, high number of OSPDAF focus points rivaling that of the Xperia Z5, high detail under low light as well. The iPhones and Nexuses are great but were losing to the Xperia Z5 and Note 5 because of the difference in resolution!

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 05:09 3

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 22116; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Hope they find a way to stay at 16, and do it.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 05:20

11. mattkl (Posts: 212; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)


Yep +1

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 06:55

16. bur60 (Posts: 853; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


This! They already added the hump, make it a bit bigger and more streamlined. Done.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 06:42

15. Andrewtst (Posts: 642; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Increasing sensor size is great idea. 12MP is enough and not too small like what HTC did.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 07:30 1

18. NonFanBoy (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 May 2015)


The non-techie masses normally have the opinion, more the pixels, better the camera. So it won't be a great decision from marketing point of view. But it would be a bold move by Samsung, something that many people would welcome.

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