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48MP cameras not enough for you? Samsung reveals 64MP camera sensor

Samsung's latest camera sensor is capable of shooting at 64MP resolution during the day and 16MP at night.

Published onMay 9, 2019

The Samsung GW1 64MP camera sensor.
  • Samsung has announced the ISOCELL Bright GW1 camera sensor, offering a 64MP resolution.
  • The new sensor is capable of taking 16MP 1.6 micron pixel snaps in low-light situations.
  • The ISOCELL Bright GW1 also has a larger sensor size than 48MP sensors.

48MP cameras have become one of the biggest trends in the past six months, offering high-resolution shots during the day and 12MP pixel-binned snaps at night. But why stop there? That seems to be Samsung’s thinking, as it’s just revealed a 64MP camera sensor (h/t: r/Android).

The ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor offers a higher resolution than existing mobile cameras on the market, but maintains the same pixel size (0.8 microns) as current 48MP sensors. Samsung is also using Tetracell technology (its take on pixel-binning) to merge data from four pixels into one, essentially resulting in 16MP 1.6 micron pixel snaps.

Read: What is Night Mode and how does it work?

The company has confirmed to Android Authority that the GW1 sensor size comes in at 1/1.72-inch. This is slightly bigger than the 1/2-inch sensor size of 48MP cameras, likely due to the GW1 needing space for its extra pixels. So you should expect the 64MP camera sensor to offer a similar level of quality in low light as 48MP cameras in theory. But Samsung is also touting the sensor’s HDR prowess.

“To take pictures resembling the way the human eye perceives its surroundings in a mixed light environment, GW1 supports real-time high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. In comparison, the dynamic range of a conventional image sensor is at around 60dB, while that of the human eye is typically considered to be around 120dB,” the Korean manufacturer adds in a press release.

This is why 100MP smartphones seem like a terrible idea

Furthermore, Samsung says the 64MP camera sensor also supports super phase detection auto-focus technology, 480fps video recording, and Dual Conversion Gain (DCG). The latter feature apparently allows the sensor to more effectively utilize received light in bright environments.

This isn’t the only new addition to Samsung’s sensor line-up, as it’s also revealed the 48MP ISOCELL Bright GM-2 sensor. This is ostensibly a follow-up to the GM-1 sensor seen in the Redmi Note 7 and other phones. The GM-2 offers DCG support and super phase detection auto-focus as well.

Samsung says both sensors are set for mass production in the second half of the year, which suggests we’ll see 64MP smartphones before the end of 2019. Would you buy a phone with a 64MP camera? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

NEXT: What a pro photographer can do with a cheap Android phone camera