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Galaxy S11 tipped to offer 48MP telephoto camera (Update: 5x optical zoom)

We've previously seen 16MP and 20MP telephoto shooters, but what about a 48MP zoom camera?

Published onDecember 20, 2019

Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus Renders OnLeaks 4

Update, December 20, 2019 (04:21AM ET): Following up on their claim about the Galaxy S11 Plus getting a 48MP telephoto camera, tipster Ice Universe has now revealed that it will enable 5x optical zoom.

S11 + 5x optical zoom 48MP
P40Pro 10x optical zoom 16MP
Two very different approaches
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 20, 2019

Interestingly, the tipster notes that the upcoming HUAWEI P40 Pro will feature a 16MP camera with 10x optical zoom. Clearly, the two smartphone makers are taking two different approaches in implementing zoom cameras on their upcoming phones. You can read about the implications of Samsung’s 48MP zoom camera in the original post below.

Original post, December 19, (12:00PM ET): We’ve already heard rumors about the Galaxy S11 family apparently packing a 108MP camera sensor and 5x zoom cameras. Now, another purported leak has emerged online, and it looks like Samsung might offer a zoom camera with a very high resolution.

Frequent tipster Ice Universe has claimed that all three Galaxy S11 phones will pack telephoto cameras with a 48MP resolution at the very least.

Samsung will lead the high-pixel telephoto lens, and the telephoto cameras of the S11e, S11, and S11 + are not less than 48MP.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 19, 2019

The likes of Apple, Google, Huawei, and Samsung all offer 8MP to 16MP telephoto cameras. But 2017’s OnePlus 5 topped out at 20MP with its 2x zoom camera. Nevertheless, this would be a massive step up in resolution over virtually all previous telephoto snappers.

We’re not sure whether this apparent 48MP+ telephoto setup would offer 5x zoom or something a little more modest. But an ultra high resolution telephoto snapper shooting at full resolution would theoretically offer good detail in broad daylight. This approach would line up well with the supposed 108MP main camera, allowing for full-resolution results from both cameras during the day, and pixel-binned 12MP snaps from either sensor at night.

How the Samsung Galaxy S11 camera could make magic out of 108 megapixels
samsung galaxy s11 render 3

We’ve also seen some brands such as OnePlus and Xiaomi crop their telephoto cameras, with the OnePlus 7 Pro actually featuring a 13MP 2.2x telephoto zoom and outputting an 8MP 3x zoom image. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s Mi Note 10 touts 5x telephoto zoom with a 5MP camera when it’s actually got a 3.7x zoom 8MP sensor. So this is another potential approach for Samsung if it’s indeed adopting a 48MP telephoto snapper, allowing the company to claim a high level of lossless zoom while using a telephoto camera with a lower native zoom factor.

Video recording might also be a motivating factor if the Galaxy S11 series has a 48MP telephoto camera. It’s possible that the firm wants to support 8K recording via the telephoto camera as well, which necessitates a 33MP+ sensor.

This is all just a rumor at this stage, but it definitely looks like the Galaxy S11 series is going to be a camera powerhouse of note. What would you like to see from Samsung’s 2020 phones? Let us know in the comments!

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