The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

The first megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras started in 2004 (when the camera resolution exceeded 1 megapixel) and in 2013 with the launch of Nokia 808 equipped The competition subsided to the 41 megapixel camera. But in 2018, this record was broken, and in about 5 years, companies decided to focus on other camera features instead of focusing on sensor resolution. But over the past few years, the competition between companies over camera sensor resolution has heated up again, and it seems that this competition is not going to end anytime soon. It turned out that companies eventually decided that using larger pixels had more advantages. On the other hand, we should mention the advancement of software algorithms, which is why Samsung, Apple and Pixel flagship phones used the 12-megapixel main camera for years.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

The first megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras started in 2004 (when the camera resolution exceeded 1 megapixel) and in 2013 with the launch of Nokia 808 equipped The competition subsided to the 41 megapixel camera. But in 2018, this record was broken, and in about 5 years, companies decided to focus on other camera features instead of focusing on sensor resolution. But over the past few years, the competition between companies over camera sensor resolution has heated up again, and it seems that this competition is not going to end anytime soon. It turned out that companies eventually decided that using larger pixels had more advantages. On the other hand, we should mention the advancement of software algorithms, which is why Samsung, Apple and Pixel flagship phones used the 12-megapixel main camera for years.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

But these days, companies are once again interested in increasing the number of pixels. Of course, on the other hand, increasing the size of the sensor has also been considered. The second round of this competition started with the inclusion of 48 megapixel cameras. For example, we can point to ISOCELL GM1 manufactured by Samsung, which was introduced in 2018 as a 48 megapixel sensor. The size of this sensor was not big at all and it uses 0.8 micrometer pixels, which were increased to 1.6 micrometers with pixel combination technology.

The GM1 sensor used Tetrapixel technology, which is the chosen name It is from Samsung for the Quad Bayer filter. Simply put, as you can see in the image below, 4 adjacent pixels in the sensor use a color filter. Therefore, software-wise, when the information of every 4 pixels is converted into one pixel, we end up with bigger pixels.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

Currently, due to the increase in the size and resolution of the sensors, some of them support the combination of 9 in one and even 16 in one. Therefore, although currently 108 and 200 megapixel sensors are on the market, these sensors record 12 megapixel photos by default.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

  • How does the pixel binning technology of mobile phones work?

After learning about 48 megapixel sensors, companies decided to reduce the cost of making these sensors for Bring down cheap phones. Reducing the cost naturally means reducing the size of the sensor. Therefore, although the GM1 sensor uses 0.8 micrometer pixels, in 2020 Samsung unveiled the 48 megapixel ISOCELL GM5 sensor with 0.7 micrometer pixels. On the other hand, in 2021, the 50-megapixel JN1 sensor arrived with 0.64 micrometer pixels.

In 2019, Samsung unveiled the first 108-megapixel sensor that uses 0.8 micrometer pixels. This sensor was first installed in the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro phone, which by default could record 27-megapixel photos.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

The next generation of this sensor was placed in the Galaxy S21 Ultra phone and by using the 9 in 1 pixel combination technology, it could record 12 megapixel photos. But like the same 48 megapixel cameras, in this case, the size of the pixels decreased day by day, and for example, we can point to the HM2 sensor released in 2020, which is based on 0.64 micrometer pixels.

Now we have to Let's talk about the next phase of the megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras, i.e. 200 megapixel sensors. Samsung has so far introduced two 200 megapixel sensors, the HP1 model is equipped with 0.64 micrometer pixels, but the HP3 model uses much smaller pixels and their size reaches 0.56 micrometers. OmniVision has also introduced two 200 megapixel sensors. Currently, 200 megapixels is the highest resolution available for mobile camera sensors, but according to published reports, Samsung wants to increase the resolution of these cameras to 600 megapixels.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

In the meantime, the question that arises for many users is whether the embedding of all these pixels in Does the sensor have many benefits? First of all, we must mention the role of this number in the advertisements of phones. The fact is that most users still think that the higher the number of pixels, the better the quality of the phone's camera.

Of course, on the other hand, we cannot hide the practical benefits of this feature. For example, the more the number of pixels in the sensor, the more the camera will have to say in terms of digital zoom. Also, companies can use one sensor with a very high resolution as multiple sensors. For example, half of the pixels can capture the image at high ISO and the other half this They get the job done at low ISO. As a result, the final photo will have a lot of detail in both bright and dark areas. In the field of HDR photography, the pixels can be divided into several parts in terms of exposure, so that the final photo has a much better dynamic range.

BingMag.com The megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is heating up again

In general, it seems that the second phase of the megapixel competition of mobile phone cameras is not going to end soon, and we have to see when cameras based on resolutions higher than 200 megapixels will enter the market.

  • Should we be worried about the 200 megapixel camera of mobile phones?

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