New Galaxy S23 Ultra selfie camera and folded zoom sensor details leak out

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New Galaxy S23 Ultra selfie camera and folded zoom sensor details leak out
Samsung is preparing to release the best camera set it has ever put in a phone this side of the Galaxy K Zoom that was released way back in 2014 and featured 10x optical magnification mechanism akin to the real compact point-and-shoot cameras of yesteryear. Yes, we are talking about the Ultra model in the Galaxy S23 series with a few new camera sensor details that just leaked out.

The 200MP main sensor specs

Samsung will be equipping the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra flagship with a whopping 200MP camera sensor, but not the one it is selling to Motorola, Xiaomi, and the like, but a custom-made affair with 0.64 micron pixel size that will have pixel-binned resolution of 50MP.

Last year, Samsung unveiled the ISOCELL HP1, the industry’s first 200MP image sensor with 0.64μm pixels that was subsequently used on phones like the Motorola X30 Pro. This summer, it introduced the 0.56μm 200MP ISOCELL HP3 which reduced the camera module size by 20%. What seems to be a tailored ISOCELL HPX rebrand of the latter is used by Xiaomi phones like the recently announced Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus.

The custom 200MP ISOCELL sensor that Samsung will be using in the Galaxy S23 Ultra, however, is said to sit between these two puppies, having 0.6μm pixels, 1/1.3" sensor size, and f/1.7 aperture. 

The rumored 50MP pixel-binned mode of this one would return 1.12 micron virtual pixels, while in really low-light conditions the resolution may be lowered to 12.5MP, but with huge 2.4 micron light buckets that will give it unsurpassed night shooting mode abilities when couples with Samsung's other image processing technologies. 

Just as with the other 200MP Samsung sensors, the default 50MP mode will be able to record 8K video with the full size, and we can't wait to hear how many frames per second of 8K video would the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor support.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra zoom and ultrawide sensors

Samsung will allegedly keep the same zooming hardware that is on its predecessor with possible improvements only on the software side. We can't complain, as the Galaxy S22 Ultra possesses one of the mightiest phone camera zoom levels we've ever tested, with the only direct competitors being some other flagships with 10x optical zoom lens, or the Google Pixel 7 Pro's shorter-range periscope zooming.

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The Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, uses 10MP sensors with larger than on the Galaxy S21 Ultra pixels for the folded zoom camera to gather more light in, and does the same for the 3x telephoto lens that offers closer magnification range and is very useful for shooting portraits.

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That's exactly the setup we are advised to expect from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, too, with the lion's share of the possible camera upgrades going to the new and exclusive 200MP main camera sensor that Samsung is reportedly building to slap on its powerful 2023 flagship phone model.

Korean industry sources have tipped The Elec that Samsung will have new camera suppliers for the folded zoom optics 10MP sensor. Apparently, Sunny Optical will be the preferred sensor manufacturer for both the 10MP 10x zoom camera, and the 12MP ultra-wide camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. 

Whether or not this will result in new camera abilities on the hardware level, remains to be seen, but the sensor specs are most likely going to stay the same, as would those of the 3x telephoto camera.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra selfie camera, an upgrade or a downgrade?

Here the rumors become tricky. Instead of the 40MP selfie camera that Samsung is using since the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the report says that the camera will have lower resolution. One time it says that the "Galaxy S23 Ultra is to have four cameras on its back; 200MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto, and 10MP folded zoom telephoto," while the "front camera will be 12MP," then later when talking about its sensor manufacturers it casually mentions that "for the front 10MP camera, Namuga and Powerlogics are the suppliers."

This leaves us a bit perplexed whether or not the Galaxy S23 Ultra will come with a brand new selfie camera. The 10MP front camera resolution is somewhat explicable if the heretofore 40MP selfie shooter on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is used in Samsung's Tetrapixel binned mode that collates four adjacent pixel to create one big virtual to collect more light. The 12MP resolution, however, would be a new development and would suggest larger physical pixels. 

In both cases we may be looking at jolly new selfie camera development for the Galaxy S23 Ultra which only leaves us salivating about the real thing and hoping that more information will trickle down the proverbial rumor mill in the next two months leading up to its announcement.

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