One of the questions that digital photography enthusiasts have been asking for a few years is: “When will the first smartphone with a 200 megapixel camera arrive?” Now we can say it: soon, very soon, because Samsung’s marketing machine is already up and running.
What does the cat have to do with it? There is something to be said: an image of a gray cat wrapped in a green fleece jacket appeared on the wall of a building in Korea, and was printed on a sheet of 28 by 22 meters, about the size of a basketball court and a half. . The image, thanks to its extremely high resolution, is of enormous size and this allows it to show a level of detail never seen before. “Firepower” accompanied by the claim “Captured by ISOCELL”, i.e. “Captured with ISOCELL”, Samsung’s image sensor.
1 / 1.22, 200 MP
There are two important metrics in the new Samsung ISOCELL HP1 sensor (that’s its full name): sensor size and maximum resolution. Both, but in different ways, affect the quality of the captured photos.
The physical size of the ISOCELL HP1 is 1/1.22″, or just under an inch (that is, 2.54 cm) in diameter for this sensor. There are larger sizes, but they are still quite large. The larger the sensor, the more surface area the light has to capture, and therefore, the more successful images are in low light.
The second digit of the ISOCELL HP1 is the resolution, which is 200 megapixels, that’s 200 million pixels (201.326592 to be exact), and this time it’s the highest: no other image sensor manufacturer for smartphones today has a sensor of this resolution.
Big cat at an altitude of 600 meters
One of the things you can do with the 200MP camera sensor is take a photo of a cat and print it over 600 square meters (616 to be exact). It’s not something that would convince a lot of people to buy a phone with this camera, but luckily there are more practical ways to use this sensor.
Above all, there is “binning”, which is the technique of capturing information from many pixels and merging it into an image with fewer pixels. Thus, using binning, it is possible to take an image with a resolution of 200 megapixels and save it at 50 megapixels, each pixel is the result of the information of 4 adjacent pixels.
Then there is “cropping”, i.e. cropping a small part of the image at a very high resolution, which allows us to have a “virtual” program zoom without the need for a physical target.
These two technologies, as we know, are the basis of modern digital photography.