Galaxy S23 Ultra – Galaxy S23 Ultra What is the secret weapon that makes him the prince of Samsung and above all?
With a new 200-megapixel image sensor in its Galaxy S23 Ultra, it is trying Samsung Giving smartphone photographers the best of both worlds thanks to a camera that takes highly detailed photos and also works well with challenging lighting conditions that many phones struggle with.
Why is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra the highest phone? Learn about the secret weapon
The sensor, called Isocell HP2, was at the center of Wednesday’s Unpacked 2023 launch event, which touted photo and video performance as the most important new technology in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung detailed the sensor exclusively to CNET in January.
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There are no HP2 samples to test yet, but Samsung’s engineering improvements have a proven track record of improving image quality to address the most competitive aspect of today’s smartphones.
More than a decade ago, Apple’s iPhones helped convince many people that their phone was the only camera they needed most of the time, but Google’s intelligent image processing has helped the Pixel phones overtake Apple in some ways.
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Samsung, which makes its own image sensors, is now also getting competitive, in part by packing multiple cameras into its phones. The addition of the larger, 200-megapixel sensor in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will provide significant improvements in both low-light camera settings and resolution, providing advanced features that still serve as important points of differentiation in a sea of upgradeable ease.
Image sensor designers face a trade-off. Increasing sensor resolution means that each pixel on the sensor is smaller, and for a given technology, smaller pixels can’t collect light as well. This means that shots taken in low light have spots of noise.
They lose detail in the shaded parts of the scene. And suffer from highlighting in bright areas such as the sky. However, the HP2 brings new ways to combat these problems and make the most of every photon of light, Samsung says.
The HP2 is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the HP1, but each pixel is more efficient at gathering light, an engineering trend that enables higher-resolution images and a smaller camera. The company said the South Korean electronics giant’s sensor can collect light more effectively in the first place, and enhance High Dynamic Range (HDR) images to better handle scenes with dark and bright elements. And when shooting at 200MP, Samsung uses AI technology to help render the finest details.
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Camera improvements are a major reason to upgrade phones, with significantly better photos and videos from marginally better processors, battery life, and network technology. “The full 200MP resolution especially shines when shooting at concerts or outdoors where there is a lot of detail to capture,” said JoonSeo Yim, EVP of Sensor Business at Samsung Electronics.
“This may not be the mainstream setting for most consumers, but we definitely see the need for very detailed images.” Likewise, Apple, Samsung’s biggest smartphone competitor, is investing heavily in its cameras. Relatively large lens elements protrude from the back of the iPhone 14 Pro models to show off the camera’s performance.
And Apple has upgraded its sensors for higher resolution and better low-light photography. And better pixel binning options One of the headline-grabbing techniques for improving smartphone images is called pixel binning. With it, groups of physical pixels can be combined into larger virtual pixels that collect more light when it’s dimmed, lowering the resolution for less noise and better color.
Samsung’s HP2 can take 200-megapixel photos under good conditions. When dimmed, adjacent pixels combine pixels into 2 by 2 chunks to get a 50-megapixel image. And when it’s still dim, Samsung’s 4×4 “Tetra2pixel” cutout captures a 12.5MP image.
And the two pixel levels were available on the 200MP HP3, announced in 2022. However, the HP3 uses smaller pixels, which, given the camera’s size reduction, aren’t as good at capturing light in the first place. The HP1, announced in 2021, also had it. But the HP2 adds a few more tricks that the HP1 lacks.
Samsung HP2 image quality improvements
The sensor has other tricks up its sleeve to boost image quality, particularly with high dynamic range scenes with bright and dark details. Here are a few: A technology called Dual Voltage Transfer Gate (D-VTG) gives each pixel a 33% better light-gathering ability, which improves image quality in dim scenes and reduces dull white spots in bright skies.
Samsung’s Dual Slope Gain (DSG) feature improves HDR images by digitizing exposure data for each pixel at two different scales to capture the bright and dark data when shooting in 50MP mode. The plentiful pixels on the sensor mean that some of the quad pixels are tuned for bright light and others for dim light.
And a related feature called Smart-ISO Pro is a separate HDR technology that adapts to different scenes, and uses different combinations of sensitivity settings appropriate for the different frames used to build an HDR image.
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