Samsung’s new image sensors may help do away with the camera bump

The two new image sensors will apparently keep Samsung’s next smartphone bump-free.

  • Published: October 12, 2017 4:26 PM IST
samsung galaxy note 8 review dual cameras

While the trend of the dual-camera assembly is nothing to dislike, but this fad has come with a little bump which we are not very fond of, and that is the actual bump that it sits in. Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were one of the smartphones to sport cameras jutting out of the device. While people widely criticized that, other smartphones makers, big and small, followed their lead. And that was because, all the companies are struggling to claim the top spot in smartphone imaging, and the popping out lens has just been a part of that struggle. However, it seems like Samsung is ready to change the patterns.

Samsung has created new image sensors that it thinks can keep things slim. The company has developed the duo of new ISOCELL sensors — two different components with different selling points. One of them is a 1.28-micrometer (μm) 12-megapixel ISOCELL Fast 2L9 sensor with dual-pixel technology, and the other is an ultra-small 0.9μm 24-megapixel ISOCELL Slim 2X7 sensor with Tetracell technology.

Those micrometers didn’t make much sense, did it? Basically, with the new sensors, you expected improved speed in the future smartphones to focus, as well as the ability for the camera to keep locked-on and track moving objects. On its blog, Samsung promises that this will all be possible in low light too, vowing that it’ll keep the next smartphone bump-free, while also delivering ‘bokeh’ depth of focus effects with just a single lens. We are hoping this hint is for the Samsung Galaxy S9.

“As market demand for sleeker smartphones with advanced features increases, ISOCELL Fast 2L9 and Slim 2X7 both offer high-resolution image sensors in small chip packages, delivering detailed pictures in low-light environments without a camera bump,” Samsung notes. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8 camera review: A closer look at the front and rear camera on the newest flagship out there


To explore the sensors a little to the depth. The ISOCELL Fast 2L9, with its dual-pixel technology, can be expected to deliver ultra-fast auto-focus at a reduced pixel size from the previous Dual Pixel sensor’s 1.4μm to 1.28μm. Essentially, the dual-pixel technology employs two photodiodes in each and every pixel of the sensor instead of only one. With 12 million focus detecting pixels, the sensor is able to not only quickly focus on small still objects, but also lock on and track moving objects without losing focus, even in low-light environments. Which means, with smaller pixel size, the ISOCELL Fast 2L9 can fit into slimmer camera modules, enabling bump-less designs for smartphones. Samsung says that the dual-pixel technology allows depth-of-field effect for taking bokeh, or aesthetically out-of-focused photographs, through a traditional single lens camera.


The ISOCELL Slim 2X7, on the other hand, will be able to slide itself into even more slender smartphone designs, despite its meatier 24-megapixel specification. Apparently, it’s the first mobile image sensor to have a pixel size below 1.0μm – 0.9μm, helping shrink that sensor size, but keeping color fidelity and low noise, which Samsung says has been achieved by the improvements with its ISOCELL technology and pixel isolation. The Slim 2X7 is also built for improved low-light photography. It does so by combining four neighbouring pixels to work as one, increasing light sensitivity. It’ll still able to tap into all 24-megapixels when lighting conditions are better. Samsung pitches it as a sensor that works at its best, regardless of how much light is around. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 Review: When you know you want it, but still ask questions

“Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L9 and ISOCELL Slim 2X7 are new image sensors that fully utilize Samsung’s advanced pixel technology, and are highly versatile as they can be placed in both front and rear of a smartphone,” said Ben K. Hur, Vice President of System LSI Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung plans to further develop the Dual Pixel and 0.9μm-pixel product categories, and expand applicable devices for ISOCELL image sensors that can enhance photographing experiences for consumers.” ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review: It’s glorious, but with some caveats

  • Published Date: October 12, 2017 4:26 PM IST