Samsung is poised to redefine the landscape of smartphone photography with its groundbreaking vision for telephoto modules. The tech giant envisions telephoto sensors evolving into what they dub as a “second main camera.” Presently, telephoto sensors lag in size, resolution, and features compared to the primary camera on smartphones.
For Samsung, the solution lies in their impressive 200MP sensors, such as the ISOCELL HP2 and HP3. These sensors are seen as the ideal candidates to elevate telephoto photography to the next level.
Currently, some smartphones incorporate 200MP sensors, allowing for 2x and 4x zoom capabilities while maintaining high resolution, typically at 12.5MP – a resolution comparable to the primary camera.
The advantages of such sensors become evident when users zoom beyond the limits of a lens’s focal length. With a 4x zoom using a 200MP sensor, it can potentially outperform a lower-resolution sensor combined with a longer lens.
Samsung’s vision extends to the future, where 200MP sensors could be paired with 3x telephoto lenses, offering users the ability to achieve 3x, 6x, and 12x zoom. This advancement promises a significant leap in smartphone photography capabilities.
The ISOCELL HP2 and HP3 sensors, sized at 1/1.3″ and 1/1.4″, respectively, share common traits. They employ a sophisticated 4×4 deep-learning remosaic algorithm, optimizing the Tetra²Pixel arrangement into RGB. This process is executed efficiently using modern smartphone chipsets’ fast DSPs and GPUs. These sensors boast advanced autofocus and HDR capabilities, setting them apart from conventional telephoto camera sensors.
Samsung underscores the importance of telephoto lenses in portrait photography. The standard wide-angle main camera on most smartphones can distort subjects due to its width. Longer lenses are preferred for portrait shots, and telephoto lenses naturally create a pleasing background blur or bokeh.
Moreover, larger sensors, like the HP sensors, produce a shallower depth of field compared to smaller ones at the same focal length. This attribute enhances the quality of portrait photography.
While Samsung’s vision for 200MP telephoto cameras promises a revolutionary shift in smartphone photography, concrete plans for their market introduction remain undisclosed. The upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra is rumored to feature a 50MP 3x camera, which is a significant improvement but falls short of the hypothetical 200MP 3x camera Samsung has demonstrated.
Samsung’s approach differs from Sony’s, which utilizes variable focal length lenses. Sony’s approach, seen in Xperia phones, remains distinct, although other brands are also exploring such lens technology.
As Samsung pioneers the evolution of telephoto photography with 200MP sensors, the future of smartphone cameras holds exciting possibilities, offering users enhanced zoom capabilities and superior image quality.