Samsung’s latest 200MP sensor could help slim down annoying camera bumps

The ISOCELL HP3 crams 200 million pixels into a 1/1.4-inch sensor

Samsung is a towering figure in the mobile industry, and more than just making phones itself, it manufactures the hardware components used in phones, such as their camera sensors. The company took the wraps off its 200MP ISOCELL HP1 image sensor last year, and we should be seeing it in phones soon. But before that, the South Korean manufacturer has already unveiled its latest 200MP image sensor, the ISOCELL HP3.

The name of the game here is “shrink things”, and the HP3 has a pixel size of just 0.56 m, which is 12% smaller than on the HP1. That leads to an overall reduction in size, and this 1/1.4-inch sensor is 20% smaller than its predecessor, which should help companies building phones around it to slim down their camera packages. Offering enhanced HDR performance while enabling faster autofocus, the ISOCELL HP3 can capture 50MP photos (1.12m pixels) with 4-in-1 binning, while 16-in-1 binning results in 12.5 MP images (with effective 2.24μm pixels). Overall, this should translate into significantly improved low-light performance.

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The new image sensor includes Samsung’s Super QPD autofocus system, which uses a single lens over four adjacent pixels to identify phase differences in vertical and horizontal angles – all you need to worry about is that this promises faster and sharper focus.

The ISOCELL HP3 supports 8K video recording at 30 fps and 4K videos at 120 fps. Samsung has teamed up with the new Super QPD technology and claims that this image sensor is capable of film-like movie quality.

The manufacturer talks about the inclusion of Smart-ISO Pro, which brings together data from the low, medium and high ISO modes for enhanced HDR images, with support for more than 4 trillion colors (14-bit depth), which is 64x better than the ISOCELL HP1.

While this feature set certainly looks promising, we don’t anticipate using the ISOCELL HP3 sensor on a commercially available smartphone any time soon – we still haven’t gotten our hands on our first phone with the HP1 image sensor. That means we may have to wait until at least 2023 or beyond to see what the ISOCELL HP3 can do in a flagship Galaxy smartphone.

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