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Last Updated : Aug 14, 2019 01:54 PM IST | Source:

Samsung's new 108-megapixel sensor can record video in 6K resolution

The tetracell technology effectively makes the ISOCELL Bright HMX a 27-megapixel sensor with 1.6μm pixel pitch.

Carlsen Martin

Samsung just took the lid off the world’s first smartphone camera that exceeded 100 megapixels. The 108-megapixel ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is designed for smartphones. The sensor was engineered in collaboration with Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker will likely debut it on an upcoming handset, possibly the Mi Mix 4.

Getting back to the sensor. The ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is the first of its kind mobile image sensor with over 100 million effective pixels. Its size is 1/1.33-inch, 125-percent bigger than the 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM1.

The 108-megapixel sensor is capable of outputting an image resolution equivalent to that of a high-end DSLR camera. According to the company’s press release, the 100 million-plus pixels will ensure “exceptional photos even in extreme lighting conditions”.


The new sensor employs pixel merging Tetracell technology. The Tetracell technology effectively makes the ISOCELL Bright HMX a 27-megapixel sensor with 1.6μm pixel pitch. The 108-megapixel sensor also features Smart-ISO, which intelligently selects the level of amplifier gains depending on the illumination of the environment. The 108-megapixel sensor also supports lossless video recording up to 6K (6016 x 3384 pixels) resolution at 30 fps.

Yongin Park, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics sensor business said, “Samsung is continuously pushing for innovations in pixel and logic technologies to engineer our ISOCELL image sensors to capture the world as close to how our eyes perceive them. Through close collaboration with Xiaomi, ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile image sensor to pack over 100 million pixels and delivers unparalleled colour reproduction and stunning detail with advanced Tetracell and ISOCELL Plus technology.”

But as the megapixel count continues to increase, have we really asked whether a higher megapixel count actually translates to better camera performance. Just ask the big boys like Apple, Google, and Samsung, who have all figured out that more megapixel isn’t always better.

When it comes to getting quality shots, megapixel count alone doesn’t mean much, sensor size plays a more important role. But unlike Samsung image sensors of the past, the ISOCELL Bright HMX is roughly thrice the size of the sensor found on the Pixel 3XL. And, while Samsung sensors may have failed to match Sony’s low light sensors, the HMX's sheer size alone will ensure better low-light photography.

Mass production for Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX will start towards the end of August, which means we could see it appear on devices towards the fall of 2019 or in early 2020.

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First Published on Aug 14, 2019 01:54 pm
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