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Samsung says smartphone cameras will get a big improvement with ISOCELL upgrade

News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday September 24, 2013.

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Samsung BSI on the left, ISOCELL on the right
Samsung BSI on the left, ISOCELL on the right

Samsung today revealed a new camera component designed to improve the effectiveness of managing light when taking a photo with a smartphone. The new ISOCELL pixel technology should lead to better photos taken with the next generation of smartphones, and not just on Samsung devices. It might seem a bit early to talk about the next breed of Samsung phones when the Galaxy S 4 is only six months old and the Galaxy Note 3 launches next month; however, Samsung is actually a component supplier to many companies, so we should see this new ISOCELL technology appearing in devices before the next round of high-end Galaxy phones.

ISOCELL increases light sensitivity to improve conditions in low light scenes, and it also benefits from more accurately recognizing how to treat light. You may have taken photos in the past that are bright but not very good because the camera absorbed a great deal of light and the subject looking washed out or overexposed. ISOCELL works to combat that by better managing light absorption and color accuracy.

A drawback to current camera sensors is that decreasing pixel size can lead to crosstalk, a situation where one pixel correctly absorbs light but the pixels around it mistakenly react to it and throw off the resulting image. Crosstalk can lead to an orange flower mistakenly having bright white areas, as seen in the photo at the top of this post. Samsung explains that ISOCELL puts up "a barrier between neighboring pixels" in order to reduce crosstalk by 30 percent. By limiting the amount of mistakes at pixel level, Samsung has increased the probability that a photo will absorb more light but still accurately reproduce the real-world color.

Samsung claims that its switch from Back Side Illumination (BSI) to ISOCELL will allow it to balance out the demands of a high resolution, larger pixel size in its sensor, and being small enough to fit inside a mobile device without adversely affecting design. Samsung is currently developing the S5K4H5YB 8-megapixel camera to be the first to feature ISOCELL. Manufacturers are already testing the new technology and Samsung expects to begin producing the new camera by the end of the year.

source: Samsung Tomorrow

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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