megapixel race

Samsung adds to the mobile phone megapixel monster

Samsung sensors

Whether or not the megapixel race has cooled down, or at least reached a simmer, in point-and-shoot cameras remains to be seen, but it seems to be hotting up in mobile phones. Last autumn Sony unveiled a 16mp sensor; now it’s Samsung’s turn, with 8mp and 12mp imagers for use in a smartphone. Because we all obviously need that much resolution in a device with the photographic control of an earth-bound asteroid.

The catchily named S5K3H2 is the 8mp sensor. It has back side illuminated technology, which will go some way to helping get a picture that is actually of something, especially in low-light conditions, as well as the ability to capture 1080p full HD video images at up to 30fps.

The S5K3L1 (now I feel as if the Samsung engineers are misplaced megalomanic chemists with naming conventions like these) is the 12mp sensor, which improves on the 8mp sensor with an optional RGB-white colour filter and a video capability of 1080p HD video at 60fps and 720p at 90fps.

They’ll be rocking and rolling later this year. I think I can probably contain myself until then.

World's first 16 megapixel mobile phone sensor


The megapixel race among camera phones continues as Sony just announced the world’s first 16.41 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor for mobile phones. While the sensor’s specs may rival, and exceed, those of some point and shoot cameras, it remains to be seen if it will actually result in higher quality images.

Keep in mind that a high megapixel count isn’t the only ingredient in the recipe for a crisp photo. If the small sensor doesn’t retain high light sensitivity or benefit from a proper lens module, the only thing those 16 megapixels will capture is an unaware public obsessed with pixel count.

However, Sony claims to have improved on high sensitivity and low noise in developing this new sensor. New and improved technology, or marketing ploy? We shall see next year as Sony plans on shipping these sensors in January of 2011.

Read Sony’s press release for more details.