Samsung is not going to abandon the megapixels war any time soon. The Korean giant is said to be preparing 16MP and 20MP camera sensors for its 2014 flagships, while optical image stabilization (OIS) will have to wait.
According to the Korean IT news portal ETNews, citing industry sources, Samsung is planning to fit the Galaxy S5 with a 16MP Isocell sensor that will be manufactured by its System LSI division. As previously reported, Samsung won’t be able to equip the Galaxy S5 with optical image stabilization, due to difficulties in securing the 50 million actuators required for the production of the high-profile device.
With optical image stabilization unavailable until the second part of next year, Samsung is gunning for more pixels, in an effort to differentiate its products. The System LSI division will be churning out 13MP and 16MP Isocell sensors starting early 2014, while Sony will reportedly supply Samsung with 20MP sensors starting with the second half 2014.
Sony is already manufacturing 20.7MP mobile sensors, which it uses on the flagship Xperia Z1. If this report turns out to be accurate, Samsung may follow suit with the Galaxy Note 4, due in fall 2015.
Phone makers have begun to shift their focus from high sensor resolution (more megapixels) to improving the general quality of images taken with mobile devices. HTC even took the unprecedented step of reducing the camera resolution on the HTC One, in favor of a sensor with larger pixels, that can capture more light. Motorola, LG, and Sony have also explored new camera technologies on their 2013 devices. Samsung’s own effort in this direction is Isocell, a technology that insulates individual pixels from light hitting adjacent pixels, thus increasing performance in low-lighting conditions.