Samsung wants to rival the human eye with 600MP camera sensors

Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy S20 Ultra (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung is working on 600MP camera sensors, which will be able to capture more detail than the human eye.
  • In addition to smartphones, such high-resolution sensors could be used in other fields, such as autonomous cars, IoT, and drones.
  • While the 600MP sensor isn't expected to arrive anytime soon, Samsung is rumored to launch a new 150MP camera sensor later this year.

In August last year, Samsung announced the industry's first 108MP camera sensor for smartphones. While some of us believe that the 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is overkill for smartphones, Samsung thinks otherwise. In an editorial published on the company's website (opens in new tab), Yongin Park, who heads the Sensor Business Team at Samsung's LSI division, has revealed that his team is working on a camera sensor that will be able to capture more detail than the human eye.

As noted in the article, the human eye is said to match a resolution of around 500 megapixels. Samsung, however, is working on bringing a 600MP camera sensor to the market, which could be used in various fields such as smartphones, autonomous vehicles, drones, and IoT. As you would expect, however, it will take a long time for the company to actually launch a camera sensor with such a high resolution.

A 600MP sensor would be massive in size, making it nearly impossible to fit inside a modern smartphone. In order to shrink the sensor, Samsung will have to reduce the pixel size, which would require the use of pixel binning tech to ensure the smaller pixels don't result in dull pictures. Samsung's 108MP ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor uses its proprietary 'Nonacell technology,' which boasts a 3x3 pixel structure. This allows nine 0.8μm pixels to function as one large 2.4μm pixel to deliver impressive low-light performance.

If rumors are to be believed, Samsung will be launching a new 150MP Nonacell sensor for smartphones in Q4 2020. Like the 108MP sensor last year, Xiaomi could be the first manufacturer to release a phone with the new 150MP sensor. Phones with a 192MP camera sensor are also rumored to arrive sometime later this year.

Babu Mohan
News Writer
  • So Samsung's camera will do an even better job of making hair a blurry mess.
  • I don't believe them. S20's were meant to be the massive leap back into camera relevance from their outdated and average photography but it turned out to be just more of the same. I hope they prove me wrong with the next ones but I doubt it
  • I have an S20 and unless you are a professional photographer what is there to complain about? I compared dozens of shots against my son in laws 11 Pro max and he even admitted that the same pictures looked better on my phone.
    Neither of us analyze pictures on a computer monitor nor does the average person. I also have a Pixel 3 and 3a and I prefer the shots from my S20.
  • The inabily to trust the phone to take a decent photo of your kids or pets if they dare move a fraction of an inch especially indoors with imperfect lighting conditions. Or the ability to take a photo of someone without it looking like their faces are porcelain. Love my Ultra overall but do I hell trust the camera. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro and even the overhyped Pixel 3xl I had before it were far more trustworthy
  • I exected my ultra to be a big leap forward in smart phone camera hardware, and it is. I epected the software to be up to the task, and, by and large re the 4x optical zoom, it is. But it is kinda mind blowing that the auto focus issue got by the testers, and subsequent sofware fixes still leave me wanting significant improvement.
  • Samsung, stop trying to come up with ways to charge more for your phones and work on the software instead.
  • Pretty sure the last thing we need is an overkill megapixel count. Even at that resolution, it will still likely capture less overall detail than a Phase One IQ system with much less megapixels. Sure, you can't completely compare the two, but the whole "capture more detail than the human eye" thing is just marketing heresy especially on such a small sensor that's inevitably going to be pixel-binned so that those tiny pixels don't wreck the IQ. I still think computational software is the way to go for smartphone photography. Those who need more IQ from their cameras will have already gone to invest in a proper arsenal of camera gear. I just don't see much of a benefit of having that much pixels on a phone.