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 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
    Samsung TouchWiz UI
Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

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73 Comments

85. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

The 1/2.3" sensor will come in the S8/Note 7 and the 1/1.7" will come to the S9/Note 8 at the earliest.

77. rsiders

Posts: 2088; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

If they're going to go through all the trouble to advance the hardware they might as well take the camera UI right along with it. Max shutter speed should be increased to 30 seconds to match what LG is doing and all the manual controls should spill over into video mode. Right now I'd take the LG V10 over any new phone simply because the manual mode is top notch. Everyone is raving about the SG 7/Edge(which are at the top of the gsme) but I can simply out math anything they're able to do by increasing the shutter exposure especially if I'm using my tripod. These new expectations for smartphone cameras are beginning to become the new ironies. They do extreme low light tests in auto mode because that's what the average user uses and totally disregard the fact that the average person is going to fire up the flash anyway in low light situations and not be outside at night trying to capture the best detail with their phones. (especially without flash) Anyway, I'm all for pushing the boundaries even further as I am a photo enthusiast and shoot in manual(RAW) 99% of the time. Here's a few examples of my pics with the V10.https://flic.kr/p/F7961Shttps://flic.kr/p/GiiN3Mhttps://flic.kr/p/EchyyW

73. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Hahahaha! I love seeing dumb people with worthless opinions saying dumb things like: "Duh... I think more megapickles is bad." "Duh... I think less megapickles is bad." "Duh... I think ultrapickles is bad." "Duh... I think large f/1.4 aperture is bad."

49. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

WOW! I should be able to take a picture of Vy Canis Majoris with that power...lol (sarcasm) looks liek the Pureview 808 is about to get dealt with. The Lumia 1020 with Carl Zeiss and 41MP is about to get OWNED! BRING IT!!!!!!!!!!! No one is every going to have a better camera on their phone than Samsung if they keep this up. Death to all phones, sold at a high price and have sh!tty specs and takes sh!tty picture along with the high price. You don't need $200B to bring out the best. Samsung R&D budget being well spent!

47. det_bradlee

Posts: 164; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

Zero indication that this sensor is meant for phones.

36. Rocky1978

Posts: 41; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Just please bring back 16:9 screen ratio again. I love the 12 mp camera in the GS7 but I hate the 4:3 look. PLEASE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

45. combatmedic870

Posts: 987; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Or 3:2

33. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Too good to be true, to be honest. If you have no idea on how bad this will be, don't complain about f/1.4 just yet. Aberrations can be controlled if the design of the glass are good, with software corrections it can be even better. As far as depth of field goes, it's about equal to f/8 @35mm, which is still perfectly fine for casual shooting.

23. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

The problem is the lower the senser is.. The better it does at night time but the more it struggles during the day.. The S7 although some say has the best camera on the market (no it doesn't, the Note 4 clearly is still king) Using the S7 while it still easily beats other phones it does increasing struggle with bright environments.

25. cherry.dev

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

f1.4 will be a disaster.

27. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Have you ever tried taking a photo in extreme light conditions? In normal condition f1.4 will be amazing, but when taking photos on for example the beach, the light reflecting off the sand and water can and does over power and ruins the photo.. im not to sure whats missing, but something is.

29. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

Much faster shutter speed maybe?

66. Roeshak

Posts: 40; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Have you dimwits never heard of exposure correction. Every time I hear all this crap about over exposure. The damn phone has exposure adjustment not only in pro mode but also in auto. Geez!

31. Macready

Posts: 1834; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Uh. It's called adjusting shutterspeed.

44. combatmedic870

Posts: 987; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

You'd need 1/32000 of a second at min.

48. Macready

Posts: 1834; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Not really, since these cameras can often go as low as ISO 25, 1/8000 will do, if the camera doesn't have a built in switchable ND filter.

22. rency0722

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 12, 2013

Wew. Sony should up the ante on the image sensor game. They've been sitting on the 1/2.3"-sensor size throne for almost 3 years already and need to step up.

32. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

it is how you make money off the R&D, if you switch to fast you make nothing on the sensor/fabrication

20. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The Note 6 would love this camera. This camera plus a slightly improved soc, and 6gb of ram would have the Note 6 well ahead of the competition in the phablet category. Not to mention Sammy may just introduce some new features with this year's Note since the N5 didn't have any.

40. ..Z..

Posts: 85; Member since: Apr 16, 2016

Definitely agree.

19. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

And again they increase the MP...Looks like everyone is following Nokia and Sony.

21. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

I hope they do oversampling like the 1020. It's the smartest idea for average smartphone users.

26. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

You can only get so much detail with small MP count. It is physically impossible to get more than the MP count allows. High MP count overcomes this. Otherwise, we'd be all using 3.2MP cams with 1/2.3" "gigapixel" sensors!

10. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Great !! .. Hope that's true !! But to fit that sensor in a S7 like body is really a tough job .. Note series can probably cram that in ..

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5843; 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: 987; 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: 5843; 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: 1834; 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: 987; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

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

46. Macready

Posts: 1834; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

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