16 Megapixels (MP) camera on the horizon for the S3?

  • SumoMe

Samsung may really be preparing to step up the Galaxy S3 camera with a possible 16 megapixel (MP) camera being talked about as a possibility.

But what does 16 MP really mean, I hear you ask. Well, a megapixel is one million pixels, and is a term used to denote both the number of pixels in an image and to express the number of image sensor elements on digital cameras or the number of display elements of digital displays.

To put this into perspective, my current bulky camera (and not on my mobile phone, the one I carry around) is only 10MP.

This would really be a major step into the future for mobile phone cameras for Samsung and would leave Apple struggling to match it in the iPhone5.

Some Nokia phones already have 12 MP and the S2 phone has an 8MP camera, but if the 16MP rumours are true, it would be a major coup for Samsung.

Just another reason I am so excited about the possible release dates for the Samsung Galaxy S3.

This entry was posted in Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 Design. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 16 Megapixels (MP) camera on the horizon for the S3?

  1. Saverio says:

    Camera sensors have a given amount of sensor surface area, which is split between the number of capacitors (pixels).
    Given the same area and technology, increasing the pixel density decreases the per-pixel quality, because each capacitor receives less light.

    So with each generation of a given camera, increasing the pixel count would lead to a loss of (per-pixel) quality, which is generally balanced by improving the quality of the sensor.

    Now, the point of the anti-“pixel race” idea is that in the vast majority of the cases, beyond a certain number of pixels (say, 6 MP), increasing the pixel count doesn’t lead to a better perceived quality, so it would lead to better pictures to keep the pixel count fixed, and improve the sensor quality.
    Problem is that, thanks to the power of marketing, a relevant number of people still associates the number of pixel with the quality of an image.

  2. DarkAngel says:

    Exactly. It’s like trying to watch a full HD Movie at 1920 x 1080 in screen resolution of 1280 x 800…all the details will be downsampled and your quality goes down the drain. 5MP is about the max you can go with a small sensor in a phone (you can’t put big sensor in a phone…coz your phone is small) and between 5MP and 8MP phone cameras the difference is hardly existant. Putting it 16MP is just pure stupidity if the sensor size remains the same.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for pointing this out DarkAngel and Severio. I am by no means an expert in the topic so it was good to read your comments.

  3. Rauf says:

    I hope the sensor is better than the one found on the Iphone 4s especially in the low light conditions

  4. Jupiterthedog says:

    Very true about the size and density of the sensor.
    After a certain point (already exceeded in most newer phones), if you want to improve the image, you must improve the glass. You can do that in two ways.
    1) Get better-designed, better-quality lens elements, so that the light that reaches the sensor is arriving straight (focused properly, edge to edge) and color-accurate.
    2) Use a bigger lens that is simply able to gather more light than a tiny one.

    A bigger lens means you can get more detail to the sensor in shorter time, so images are crisper, and brighter. Crisper and brighter in daylight (when it’s due to bigger, better glass) also translates to FASTER in daylight, able to capture more motion without blur. Crisper and brighter in daylight also translates to better performance when the light gets dimmer. If you still have a big, wide-open eye (lens) doing the gathering, then in low light, the amount of light arriving at the sensor is still considerably greater than those tiny little pin-head lenses (on most smart/super-phones) can deliver to their sensors. So the sensor has more to work with, and doesn’t start “faking” it with guesses and interpolations. Also, with more light arriving, the sensor is less likely to generate unintended blips that show up as color blotches and other low-light “noise” on dim photographs.

    If you witness (or experience) a car wreck at night – and you are still able to move – you whip out your camera-phone to record the scene. If you have the usual tiny lens, you get a dark, muddy photo with pixelations and little random color blips in all the darker areas, obscuring detail. If you have bigger, better glass, your sensor and its processor are able to gather more light in a shorter time, deal better with your shaky “I’ve just been T-boned by a drunk” camera hands, and deliver a clean, detailed image lit by nothing more than a streetlight nearby.

    The problem with bigger, wider glass, however, is that it usually needs to be thicker, just when phone purchasers are demanding ever-thinner phone chassis. So manufacturers try to make you believe that jamming in more pixels – each one getting less light – is going to make a better photo. Mostly, it’s not, because it can’t. Especially in less-than-perfect light.

    I’d rather have a 5MP phone camera sensor behind a wide, clear, sharp lens, than an 8, 10, or 16 MP sensor behind a pin-hole or cheap-glass (even plastic) lens.

    Also, remember that when you increase the number of pixels, you increase the processing power that’s needed just for the photo, which can make your camera (phone) take longer before it’s ready to snap another. That’s not just CPU processing to translate the image data, it’s also internal phone bandwidth to get all that data into memory. When you are saving to internal memory, that imposes a certain penalty on the whole system. When you are saving to a removable memory card, the signal paths are longer and the whole process is slower, tying up the phone even more, each time you click a photo.

    Yeah, OK…. more than you ever wanted to know. But at least one or two people might get the idea that a bigger pixel count for the camera is not equivalent to better pictures until bigger, better glass, more CPU (quad-cores anyone?) and faster memory are provided to match the big, crowded sensor that the vendor is waving at you.

  5. Patty says:

    Saverio, DarkAngel and Jupiterthedog thanks for the insight guys, your statements really help understand and reinforce that it’s not simply the mega-pixels but the glass optics which must be recognised as an imperative factor.

  6. Smokerboy says:

    It will end up been a 5mp camera.
    Just like the Nexus.

    We will just have to lap it up as all we’ll need anyway, like we did with the nexus.
    I’ll feel like an Apple fan then, but what else can you do.

    Leaked picture show it’s 5mp

  7. joses says:

    By far, the camera of the nokia N8 had the best optics in a smartphone, so stop running for more MP, and start “talking” to Carl Zeiss.. this kind of alliance would make SGSIII THE best smartphone.

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