Optical Image Stabilization is the new trend for smartphone cameras, but Samsung may be bucking the trend. A report by ET Times suggests that Samsung will continue to fight the megapixel battle, rather than improve on the hardware itself. If the report is correct, we may end up seeing 16MP and 20MP cameras in their devices, starting early in 2014.
Of course, ET Times is citing “industry sources”, which automatically puts flags up for us. The report notes that Samsung is planning to fit their Galaxy S5 device with a 16MP Isocell sensor, manufacturer in-house by their Systems LSI division. Other reports suggest Samsung can’t source enough of the OIS cameras for their Galaxy S5, which they think will be wildly popular.
Does this mean Samsung photos will be inferior? Not exactly. Isocell is a lot like HTC’s Ultrapixel, in that it takes a different approach to image production. By isolating pixels from other surrounding them, the light sensitivity is said to improve. If one pixel has a clear shot, and can be isolated from others that have absorbed more light than normal, we could end up with more clarity. We could also end up with grainy or unusually darkened shots, or slow shutter speeds.
As for the megapixel count, Samsung already makes 13MMP and 16MP cameras, which they’ll continue to use. They’re also said to be sourcing a 20MP camera from Sony, perhaps the same as their Xperia Z1 shooter. If accurate, the report notes that Samsung is going to be adding that 20.7MP camera late in 2014, which could be for a Galaxy Note 4 or — dare we say — Galaxy Gear refresh.