Samsung working on a 18-24MP camera with large 1/1.7" sensor and f/1.4 lens? Rumor says "yes"

Samsung is already rather well-versed in the camera game, which was proved by the admirable performance of the Galaxy S7/S7 edge, Note 5, and Galaxy S6. It seems that the phone giant has no intention of idly resting on its laurels, or at least this is what the rumor mill is trying to convince us in. 

As per the latest hearsay, Samsung is trying to develop a CMOS camera sensor with the pretty large size of 1/1.7" and a lens with wide, f/1.4 aperture. A rather notable far cry from the smaller, 1/2.5" Samsung and Sony sensors in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. 

As far as megapixels are concerned, Samsung's new sensor could be able to snap pics with a pixel count anywhere between 18 and 24MP. That's a notable increase, too — in case you've forgotten, the Galaxy S7/S7 edge are comfortably sailing in 12MP waters at the moment.

So, what would be the benefit of such a large camera sensor? Simply put, way more light information can hit a larger sensor, which is theoretically improving the camera's ability to produce more detailed and less noisy images with a better dynamic range than their small-sensor peers, all things considered. Additionally, the larger the sensor, the better the low-light performance. All of this comes with the slight downside of having a physically larger sensor, which has to be fit somewhere inside the already crammed up phones we use nowadays.

As a refresher, some of the phone cameras with larger sensor size can be found on such niche gadgets like the Panasonic Lumix CM1 (1" sensor size), Nokia Pureview 808 (1/1.2" sensor size), the Nokia Lumia 1020 (1/1.5" sensor size), and others. Actually, here is a pretty good selection of some, hm, well-endowed smartphones that we made a few months back. 

In addition, the rumor mill is also telling us Samsung is developing a new 1/2.3" camera sensor as well, but let's admit it, this one is not that interesting, is it?

All things considered, we are pretty intrigued by the thought of Samsung coming up with such a large-sensor camera on any of its future top-shelf phones. Can we say Galaxy Note 6? Or Galaxy S8? Only time will tell. Until then, we will be quite content with the camera performance of the Galaxy S7/S7 edge, no matter what sensor they employ.

Related phones

Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



2. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Holy s**t.

3. w1000i

Posts: 249; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

F1.4 is not good

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Agreed. Not only its not good but also it sounds very unrealistic. They're already struggling a bit with F1.7 on S7 going to F1.4 will create more trouble. Also, 1/1.7" sounds to big a jump to happen in a single generation. Also, it will make the phone quite a bit thicker which I don't think Samsung might want to do.

6. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Is depth of field on the S7 really that shallow? In comparisons I thought it didn't seem much shallower than the S6, except on macro shots I dont think I've any difference in chromatic abberration either That being said, jumping from f1.7 to f1.4 does seem too quick for only a year or so (unless if this rumor is for something 2+ years in the future)

9. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

It's like a 2/3 stop. But with the larger sensor is not going to happen. With the current 1/2.5 sure. But not 1/1.7.

50. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

And you know this because you're a camera expert?

74. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

You don't need to be camera expert to understand elementary physics. Also, I am only speculating.

4. Jairus24

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 20, 2012

I don't mind having a thicker phone as long as they can fit that kind of sensor size inside without having a ridiculous bump on the back and of course thicker phone means larger battery capacity as well, it's a bonus if they can add full manual video control like the V10 does. I'm just wondering how they will make use of that f/1.4 lens, I can only imagine chromatic abberration.

37. ..Z..

Posts: 85; Member since: Apr 16, 2016

It's just you and geeks on phone websites who are complaining. I don't see a big issue with a half an inch hump. Look at Pure view Lumia930. Back in 2002 till 2008 phones had humps even the Sony Ericsson K800 had the Xneon flash. It was protruding. So what's the big problem?

7. tyrionTheWise unregistered

And they will release the Note 6 with the same 'good for 2014' 1/2.5" sensor.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm hoping the Note 6 will have a new BRITECELL RWB sensor To me, it seems strange that they'd trademarked it over a year before using it

17. tyrionTheWise unregistered

I don't think so. Since the note series doesn't sell as well as the S series does, I think they are just making note as a bigger S with S-pen. If note 5 was any hint, they are not doing anything for note 6. S8 however, might have BRITECELL. Looking forward to it.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True, I hope they dont continue what they did with the Note 5

54. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

That sucks, if they release almost same phone with just an added s-pen, they could have done it in march, with fresh Marshmallow.

51. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Still better than the cheap crap, most phones have. The Note 6 is likely going to have the same camera as the S7. What's wrong with that?

53. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Maybe because S7's camera is not good. It has the smallest sensor in current flagships except LG. But that's not the issue. The issue is the oversharpening Samsung is doing with the S7 along with overexposing. Both these make the images look good but you start to see issues when you blow them up. Sorry, but even the cheap Nexus 5X has a bigger sensor. So does the Xperia Z1 from 2013. Go figure about who is cheaping out here.

56. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

This guy is known to be extremely biased, no one is cheaping out here (maybe Apple is, but I will probably argue that they don't). Oversharpening is a matter of taste... As long as it's not breaking the limits making the pictures look like a joke. In my opinion, S7's Oversharpening is fine. Doesn't make it bad at all (you can be wise not to like it because of the Oversharpening, but still, saying it's 'objectively bad' by saying Samsung hasn't done it right for everyone, in this regard, is a logical fallacy). However, what I agree with you is yes, low light performance, from the samples I've seen is disappointing, I don't object 'it's bad' because well we can proof that it's just not good enough against competition... You can say it's bad overall just because of this, honestly. Overexposure never makes the image looks better in most scenes (at least to my experience with photography) and 'blowing them up' problems is not an issue for almost all people.

58. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Oversharpening interferes with the depth of field since some points near the focal point are oversharpened, which is really bad. S7 is just colorless and bright in low light. What Samsung is doing is putting the shutter speed to be low with high ISO. It usually doesn't go below 1/20 shutter speed even in low light. However, they can easily go around 1/4 second because of OIS and have no shake. I have personally tried it on my s6 and S7 has better OIS. All in all, good hardware(not that good though) destroyed by pathetic processing and auto mode. If I had the S7, I would never use on auto. It's that bad. Regarding sharpening, I would rather prefer a soft image that I can sharpen in post.

60. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I don't think S7 oversharpens the background (if you try to play with DoF, according to the samples I've saw), Although that could be purely subjective. And that's my point earlier. Only few are able to shoot good low light pictures with the S7, the rest, not that good. Even G5 can beat it in low light I think. That's not good, and I'm sure I've done an objective judgement. Exposure, WB is not accurate enough. I always shoot RAW for still objects, but that's not the case with most people. Sharpening is just a subjective problem here. Even if low light shooting is objectively disappointing.

62. tyrionTheWise unregistered

The g5 beats it because it's using twice the shutter speed. If you use the pro mode of s7, it should destroy the g5 since you can match the shutter speed. And raw is a whole another beast. As I was saying, the auto mode is terrible, pro mode is good and the raw files out of the s7 are pretty darn good for a phone.

68. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Exactly what I've been seeing on the Internet. The pictures that I saw on the Internet are disappointing. The chance of the pictures being shot not with the auto mode is very small. I like this guy who thinks that we're talking nonsense... Very interesting. Let's see how he can show us that he's not lying.

64. Roeshak

Posts: 38; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Now I know you're just talking pure nonsense. You obviously don't own an s7. Well I do have the edge and I can tell you now it regularly takes lowlight photos with 1/4s shutter handheld without issues. A lot of you jokers that just criticise the performance of the s7 camera know nothing about it. Just talking stupid nonsense from online pictures. Heck it even goes as low as 1/2s handheld in auto without issues when needed

65. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Yeah, I totally believe you. Not Lol, I have seen a lot of low light shootouts of s7 and it never gets that low. You need to use pro mode to make it go below 1/20.

72. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Utter nonsense. The lowest it goes without overriding auto settings is 1/4s in very low light. See for example here: Bottom right picture is from the S7, shot in auto mode, with a shutterspeed of 1/4s. All the info to prove that is in the exif. And the S7 camera still pulls in as much light as the HTC 10 thanks to the brighter lens, more than the LG5 and iPhone 6. In other words, the comment that said "Maybe because S7's camera is not good. It has the smallest sensor in current flagships except LG", is fully cherry picked to needlessly bash. The only thing I'll give you is that the S7 shots are a bit oversharpened. RAW remains king, as always.

82. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Samsung? Overexposing? You probably haven't seen Sony and HTC's picture yet. And 1/2.5 is the average size. Smallest is the Apple's 1/3 sensor.

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Why the switch to 18-24MP after going down to 12MP? Also I wonder if they will have BRITECELL RWB sensors ready

12. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

1/1.7 is twice as large. No cameras uses the 1/1.7 sensor any longer. No clue what it would look like with today's BSI tech, ect....

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Woah, didn't realise how big 1/1.7" Sounds good then It means they have more resolution for EIS too

35. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

There are cameras with 1/1.7" sensors still, such as the current Pentax Q range. The Q7 for example has a 1/1.7" 12 MP Sony BSI sensor.

42. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Forgot all about those little guys. Though they have been out for while now

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