Fresh off unveiling its Galaxy Note 10 phones, Samsung is looking to the future of cameras with its 108-megapixel mobile image sensor. On Monday, it showed off the 1/1.33-inch Isocell Bright HMX, developed in collaboration with Xiaomi.
Users would be able to take 108-megapixel pictures in brightly lit settings, while in low-light situations the company’s Tetracell tech will bump in and gather more light to create 27-megapixel images. In terms of video recording, it would be able to shoot 6K movies at 30 FPS.
It is the first-ever mobile image sensor to provide images of more than 100 megapixels, according to Yongin Park, the executive vice president of Samsung’s sensor business.
In reality, one is unlikely to ever need a photo with this high a resolution, so the sensor also can produce high-quality 27-megapixel photos by mixing groups of four pixels into one. That results in an image which is a lower resolution overall, however, it should mean it’s far brighter, helping low-light performance. Meanwhile, this sensor is also equipped with what the smartphone manufacturer (Samsung) is calling its “Smart-ISO” technology, which will automatically adjust the sensor’s ISO levels to compensate for brightly-lit or low light environments.
Neither Samsung nor Xiaomi have revealed which smartphone will be the first to use this sensor. However, its large 1/1.33-inch size, which Engadget notes are around three-quarters of the size of the 1-inch sensor found in the Sony RX100 VII compact camera, means it might not be an ideal fit for every smartphone present out there.
Samsung is yet to reveal which will be the first smartphone to use the new sensor, but one tipster has suggested that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 could be the first. With the sensor expected to enter mass production later this month, we could see the first handset that uses it before the end of the year.