Probably, for three years now, how cameras, and not processors or something else, have been the key component that defines flagship smartphones. Moreover, the more modules that form the camera, the more attractive the device looks, and it does not matter whether customers will use these modules in reality. The main thing is that they are, and it is the tenth thing to apply them in practice or not. In light of such reasoning, the idea of the need to increase the resolution of cameras no longer looks so unpromising. Korean engineers seized on this.
According to Jinhyun Kwon, head of marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, one of the three largest mobile camera manufacturers on the market, the company plans to develop in two directions. The first involves the release of modules with high resolution, but small sizes of each pixel. The second approach is to release modules with large matrices and even larger pixels. Both approaches are fundamentally different from each other, Kwon emphasized, but each of them maximizes the benefits in the area for which they are manufactured.
What’s More Important: Resolution or Pixel Size
It is impossible to say unequivocally which is more important: the number of megapixels or their size. Large pixel sensors may not have high resolution, but they can offer ultra-fast autofocus, Dual Pixel support, and high-quality results. As far as high pixel count modules go, we are approaching a very important milestone here. The fact is that the resolution of the human eye is about 500 megapixels, and reaching this mark is a goal not only for us but for the entire industry as a whole, – said Kwon.
In addition to the resolution of photos, Samsung plans to develop the resolution of videos that smartphones record. Despite the fact that the 8K mark was passed back in 2018, today, Kwon says, videos with this resolution are at the initial stage of their development, and their quality will certainly increase in the future. After all, to record such videos, just a compatible module is not enough. You need to think about the processor, the codecs that will encode the videos, as well as the processing algorithms. So far, Samsung’s closest goal in this direction is to equip cameras with support for video recording in 8K at 60 frames per second, as well as in 4K at 240 frames per second.
Selfie Camera Under the Screen
But the under-screen selfie cameras will have to wait, Kwon hinted. According to him, the industry has yet to assess the prospects for such a phenomenon, as well as its problem-free and rationality. Despite the fact that ZTE has already released the first smartphone with a camera under the screen, this technology is still very crude for large-scale use, Kwon noted. The main disadvantages it possesses are non-absolute transparency, light diffraction, and color distortion. Therefore, Samsung is not yet going to use sub-screen cameras in its branded devices in order to avoid negative reviews.
In general, the top manager of Samsung Semiconductors told quite a lot, given his immersion in the project. Thanks to him, we can now know for sure what chips the future Samsung smartphones will have, where the company is striving in the development of cameras for branded devices, as well as what the Koreans are not planning to do yet. After all, the sub-screen camera is today one of the main trends in the industry, which so far only ZTE has managed to master. However, perhaps Samsung’s reluctance to force things will play into our hands.