Samsung allegedly in talks with Sony to get the Xperia Z5 camera sensor for the Galaxy S7

Samsung allegedly in talks with Sony to get the Xperia Z5 camera sensor for the Galaxy S7
Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S7 was last rumored to host a 20 MP camera, with the company's brand new ISOCELL sensor of that resolution, which would be an upgrade over the current 16 MP unit that the Galaxy S6 is outfitted with, at least in terms of resolution count.

Sony's new IMX300 sensor, however, has apparently impressed Samsung so much, that the company wants to have it in the Galaxy S7, concurrently with the ISOCELL piece. It's not clear if Samsung will use the two sensors interchangeably, but given its track record, it might, so you could get a Galaxy S7 either with a Samsung, or a Sony sensor, depending on the region and model.

The IMX300 can be found in the Xperia Z5 trio, and already made a lasting impression over at DxOMark, occupying the top spot in their mobile camera test rankings. The problem is that Sony wanted to keep the sensor exclusive for its own Xperia line, and Samsung is allegedly in hard negotiations to get a hold on a batch for the S7. Given the millions of units that the Galaxy S7 will likely sell, Sony might very well crack and supply the goods, as its mobile camera sensor business is one of the few bright spots in its financial sheet right now.

There is speculation that the IMX300 is actually a 25 MP sensor, with some unutilized corners to scale it down to 23 MP in a 16:9 aspect ratio, or 21 MP in a regular 4:3 format, respectively. This has allegedly presented a problem for Samsung, whose own sensor is 20 MP - it can't advertise the Galaxy S7 with both 20 and 23 MP sensors, after all, so it has apparently decided to use some clever compression tricks to even out the 20 MP marks.


The IMX300 has a 192-point hybrid autofocus system, which is allowing the Xperia Z5 trio to have the fastest focusing times of a 0.03 second minimum. Samsung's own 20 MP ISOCELL is built on a power-efficient 28nm process, and features a new RWB color pattern for enhancing light sensitivity and improving the signal to noise ratio in low-light conditions, so whichever sensor the company places in the Galaxy S7 should create sights to behold.

source: Weibo via ITHome

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81 Comments

74. gosselin

Posts: 90; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Don't sell battery technology. It's Xperia exclusive

63. TPenn

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

That's why I love Sony

50. T-rex unregistered

23MP in 4:3 and 21MP in 16:9 aspect ratios

43. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Is the off the shelf non custom Sony sensor not good enough for the lesser markets Samsung? This is why no one should have a beef with Samsung. Unlike Apple, who would just buy the cheapest off the shelf component and charge you a ransom for it; Samsung actually negotiates for the superior custom part for at very little benefit for them, they can make the same scratch with an off the shelf Sony sensor.

41. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1489; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I'd suggest Sony ask for the Exynos 8890 SoC in return for the Z6. Would be a win-win situation for both companies. With Qualcomm dropping the ball with this year's SoC's its a good time for Samsung to make its Exynos mainstream.

47. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

OMG this is like the best idea ever but... Sony's sensor department is now separated from the mother company and has little connection to the mobile department, and the same thing happened to Samsung's, i doubt that there will be a "4-way" deal between them

39. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

I hope Sony says no :-D

36. Fire5

Posts: 315; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

I like the Android manufacturers push the limits of technology, the S7 can have the best camera on the market as Samsung is doing a great job and Sony knows how to design their cameras because until now they have no competition.

19. dimas

Posts: 3466; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Z5 compact's camera is best at taking raw files like lg g4 but most people will take pictures on jpeg so most of the xperia buyers won't maximize it to it's full potential.

20. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

There are many Pro who actually need those RAW shots. So your "most people will take pictures on JPEG" doesn't make RAW mean.

73. sunjay140

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Why would a pro use a smartphone for photography?

23. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

I'm having a Z5 in my hand right now can you show me how to save RAW photos on the phone? I tried a few apps that PA recommended few days go but they did work

29. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

it can't. it supports manual camera controls though.

46. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

those apps just FC once I open them or tap on the option to manually set the ISO or even EV I think Sony still doesnt want us to use those features

59. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Did you try Camera FV-5?

18. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Sony's camera software processing is nowhere near as good as it's IMX300 sensor.

17. rsiders

Posts: 2071; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

If Samsung includes just the addition of storage expansion which can definitely be done and keep the high end look then I'm all in. Any image quality better than what they are already produce would be more than perfect for me.

25. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Why? Have you worked out how to add sd cards with ufs, you just said it's easy done, I think you find it not?

77. rsiders

Posts: 2071; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Well the Sony Xperia Z3 and the others in Sony's line and even the HTC One M8/M9 offered expandable storage in a high end unibody form factor so....

58. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Exynos dont support the new speed for files system and SD at the same time.. SD820 do support it ( SD810 too btw ) so yeah its possible.

12. TyrionLannister unregistered

Disappointing. I was hoping for RGB sensor. The z5 is still not as good as S6 despite what dxomark says. Yes, it has better stabilisation and focus but everything else is worse.

13. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

Dont forget that sony's software processing never as good as samsung's one..

14. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

imx300 + samsung algorithms process = best photophone ever made

16. TyrionLannister unregistered

Maybe. But RWB sensors are way better.

37. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Lol... how can you say that RWB is better??? Just because Samsung shows you some nice looking slideshow??? You can say whatever you want but the proof is in the pudding, when Sony, Samsung, Omnivision and several other companies to send samples of their image sensor to their consumers. Most of them prefer sony sensor, although the price is not as cheap as sensors from other companies and the quality of the sensor sony also proved to be one of the important components of all the best camera in the world. Unfortunately, Sony has not been able to optimize their image processing even their Alpha series cameras are no better than their Xperia smartphones.

42. TyrionLannister unregistered

RWB is a better technology. And all sensor manufacturers are working on it, not only Samsung. It's simply superior to RGB. How are you even questioning it? Maybe you don't know how it works.

56. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We shall see when its come out if its better or not. Many technology thats came out lately was more to add to the price of the phones than to improve them...

65. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

RWB technology is actually pretty old and Aptina is already make RWB sensor since 2013.http://m.connect.dpreview.com/post/3175393898/aptina-explains-clarity-plus-clear-pixel-technology As you can see the RWB is already available but the RWB sensor still not good enough to reolace the conventional RGB sensor. My problem is how you can say that RWB is better even when you have no proof to back up your claims? I'm not an expert but i know a thing or two about image sensor. As far as i know RB will get far less light than W pixels, meaning they'll probably be noisier, and hence G derived from W-(R+B) will be noisy too. Then again, you could almost get away with just using the W channel as G or W is roughly Y in JPEG's YUV. White pixels also saturated earlier than Red and Blue pixels possibly limiting dynamic range. Showing some nice looking slideshow and talking about theory is easy but making it into a reality is not that easy. And so far there is no image sensor manufacturers can make the actual RWB sensor that is overall better than the RGB sensor.

68. TyrionLannister unregistered

All the pixels will get equal amount of light as they have equal size. This just craps on your alleged theory above. And you can sample G twice. Yes, the tech is new but I would prefer something new over something boring like the Sony sensor. I'm not going to buy a phone in 2016 anyway, so the more innovation the better.

76. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Hahaha... i think you doesn't like to see always Sony take the spot light when it comes to image sensor from your beloved company. The tech is new??? Dude did you even read Samsung just do the same thing that Aptina have done with RWB sensor in 2013. I think when it comes to image sensor Samsung is way more boring than Sony because other than DTI in ISOCELL samsung just redoing what others already have done. If you still think that RWB is overall better than RGB you need to read this publications from Eric R Fossum an American physicist and engineer known for developing the CMOS image sensor. See table II to see a comparison between various different CFA. http://ericfossum.com/Publications/Papers/2011%20IISW%20Two%20Layer%20Photodetector.pdf

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