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Preview: Samsung related news: Digital Photography Review (

samsung related articles: Digital Photography Review (

samsung related articles from Digital Photography Review

Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:19:00 Z

Copyright: Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Digital Photograph Review

The Galaxy S9 Plus' camera is its third most expensive component

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:19:00 Z


Last week the team at iFixit undertook a teardown of the brand new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to examine and evaluate the device's repairability. Now analysts TechInsights have done the same thing, but with a focus on components and costs.

When taking the device apart the team found Samsung's Fast 2L3 third-generation 12MP, 1.4 µm pixel-pitch Dual Pixel ISOCELL sensor in the main camera and a 12MP, 1.0 µm pixel-pitch Samsung S5K3M3SM in the tele-camera, the same as in the Galaxy Note 8 dual-camera module.


TechInsights also provides cost estimates for all components and at $48 the Samsung's camera setup is the third largest cost block on the device. Only the display at $72.50 and the main chipset at $68 have a higher impact on the overall figure. Final assembly and testing is estimated as $12.50, and the overall manufacturing cost of the device is $379.

Given in the US the S9 Plus currently retails at $840 unlocked, this should leave a decent margin for covering overheads and, crucially, making a profit. For more technical details and up-close images of most components have a look at the full report on TechInsights.

Samsung wants to dethrone Sony, reach #1 in the global image sensor market

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 17:34:00 Z


According to a new report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors at its Hwasung, South Korea location in a bid to clinch the #1 spot in image sensors worldwide.

However, this feat is definitely easier said than done. Current market leader Sony has a comfortable advantage over its South Korean rival, and certainly won't go down without a fight. In the lucrative smartphone segment alone, Sony currently has a 46 percent market share versus Samsung's much smaller 19 percent.

That said, technologically at least, Samsung is well-placed to take on the challenge. Its latest Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9/S9 Plus devices all come with innovative imaging technologies and offer excellent camera performance built on Samsung's own sensor technology.

The company rebranded its image sensor range as Isocell in June 2017. Since then, Samsung has not only expanded its high-end sensor offerings, it also designed low-cost image sensor modules that are easy to implement into devices by other manufacturers. Several of those, for example Xiaomi and Meizu, are already using Samsung image sensors.

However, market leadership cannot be achieved with smartphones alone. Samsung is also planning to grow in the automotive space where CMOS sensors are increasingly used in the autonomous vehicle space and for other applications. In this segment, Samsung will face stiff competition from the likes of Bosch and Continental.

Whoever ends up ruling the image sensor market, a large company like Samsung challenging Sony's quasi-monopoly for image sensors can only be good news for consumers.

Teardown video shows how the Galaxy S9 variable aperture works

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:39:00 Z

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The YouTube channel JerryRigEverything recently tore down (or rather tore apart...) the new Samsung Galaxy S9, giving us the closest look at yet at the new smartphone's camera hardware. So if the still images in the iFixit teardown weren't quite interesting enough for you, this might just do the trick.

The camera teardown is about one minute and a half long, running from the 3:30 mark until about 5:00. In that time, we get to see the Optical Image Stabilization system demoed and torn open to reveal the magnets inside:


Then, we get really close look at one of the phone's most intriguing features: the variable aperture. It turns out the system works using a little lever on the side of the housing. So when the phone senses that there is enough light to justify it, it'll flip this switch electronically and switch from it's world's-brightest F1.5 setting to F2.4.

Here's a very close look at that switch in action:


You can check out the full teardown in the video at the top. And stay tuned, because we'll be bringing you a full smartphone camera review of the Samsung Galaxy S9 just as soon as we can put a unit through its paces.

iFixit teardown finds Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus difficult to repair, shows dual-blade aperture

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 13:41:00 Z


The team at has taken apart Samsung's brand new Galaxy S9 Plus flagship smartphone and given it a pretty low repairability score of 4/10 points. The testers liked the fact that many components are modular and can be replaced independently, but found accessing the battery to be an unnecessary challenge.

The device's display and glass back also increase the chance of breakage, and make repairs difficult to start. The need to remove the rear glass panel and disassemble the entire phone when replacing the display was listed as another negative point.

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During the teardown, the iFixit crew also had a closer look at the smartphone's 12MP optically-stabilized camera module with 2x zoom. The dual-camera comes as a single unit on a single PCB and with a single connector. Inside, they found the DRAM chips that power the 960 fps super-slow-motion mode.

The S9 Plus main camera uses a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture, and the close-up images show the design. Instead of a diaphragm-design with several aperture blades, the lens comes with a simpler construction, comprising of two rotating, ring-like blades for switching between its two aperture values.

Head over to to read the full report.

This Samsung infographic tracks the evolution of the camera phone

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 18:19:00 Z


With a variable aperture, super-slow-motion and (in the case of the Plus model) a dual-camera setup, Samsung's newly announced flagship smartphones Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus put a lot of emphasis on camera features and performance. But, of course, this is far from Samsung's first foray into camera phone tech.

Samsung has long been at the forefront of mobile imaging, and to visualize this fact, the company has released am infographic that puts its camera phone innovations onto a timeline of the past 18 years.

The graphic starts with Samsung's first camera phone—the SCH-V200—which was launched in 2000 and allowed you to shoot and store up to 20 0.11MP images (you still needed a computer to view them, though). From there, it move on to a number of flip-style feature phones and smartphone classics, such as the first Galaxy S or the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

As you would expect, the infographic ends with the new Galaxy S9 models, but it includes technical data and interesting tidbits about all the featured phones—well worth a closer look for anyone interested in tech history. Check it out for yourself below:


Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:00:00 Z

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung has announced its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and S9+, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. While changes on the surface are pretty subtle, under the hood the new models offer a range of interesting features and functions. With its dual-camera setup, the S9+ looks like the more appealing S9 model to mobile photographers. We've had the chance to take a closer look at the device during the launch event. Here's what you should know. Subtle design changes The S9 generation's design language is very similar to its predecessors, and with its rounded edges the new models are comfortable to hold. However, Samsung has made some refinements to refresh the devices' visual appeal and improve handling and operation. Most importantly, the fingerprint sensor has been moved from next to the the camera lens to below the camera module, preventing any accidental touching and fingerprint-smearing of the latter. In addition, the S9+'s 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display has been reinforced with thicker Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and both bezels and the screen itself come in a deeper black color to better conceal the iris sensor at the front and create a more minimalist look. Both S9 models are available in four colors: Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple. Dual-camera with tele-lens While the S9 comes with a "traditional" single-lens camera, the S9+ is the first Samsung Galaxy S model to feature a dual-camera for improved zoom performance and a background-blurring portrait mode. Both cameras come with a 12MP pixel count and optical image stabilization. The big news has to do with the wide angle lens on the main camera, which features a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture and dual-pixel AF. The 2x tele-lens comes with a slower F2.4 aperture and has to make do without dual-pixel technology. Super-slow motion video Thanks to an integrated DRAM buffer in the imaging chip, the S9 models are capable of recording HD-resolution slow-motion footage at 960 frames per second for 0.2 seconds. When played back at 30 frames per second that translates into 6-second slow-motion clips. Slow-motion clips can be saved as gif files and set as a background animation on the home screen. You can also "embed" up to 20 slow-motion segments into standard speed footage, creating much longer clips that only use the slow-motion effect at key moments. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="326" src="" width="580"> Variable aperture The aperture on the main camera automatically switches between a very fast F1.5 and a slower F2.4 value, depending on light conditions. In lower light, the large aperture is used in order to maximize light capture; in brighter conditions, the slightly slower F2.4 aperture can produce sharper images and a wider depth-of-field. We suspect that, in very bright light, it is also used to underexpose individual frames that are then merged with brighter frames to generate HDR images through a computational imaging algorithm. This has not been confirmed by Samsung, however. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="326" src="" width="580"> AR Emojis The new AR Emoji function isn't about serious photography, but can be fun to play with regardless. In AR Emoji mode, your face is turned into a cartoon-style emoji as soon as it is detected by the front camera's face detection. Taking off any eyewear or headgear tends to help. Your emoji can then be animated using facial expressions. Once you are happy with the result, you can save up to 18 personalized animated emojis and use them in the usual way in apps such as Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. The good news is that they can be shared with users of any smartphone, not just Samsung Galaxy m[...]

Samsung unveils Galaxy S9 with variable aperture and super-slow-motion

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:49:00 Z


Samsung has unveiled its new Galaxy S series flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today and the new devices' cameras deliver what Samsung's teaser videos had been promising: Variable aperture, super-slow-motion and AR emojis.

The main camera features an aperture that can switch between F1.5 for low light shooting and F2.4 in brighter light. The new aperture system is coupled with a 12MP "Super Speed" sensor that features an integrated DRAM module for more processing power when using computational imaging to reduce noise and increase image detail.

The additional processing power also comes in handy for the new super-slow-motion mode. Like recent high-end Sony Xperia models, the Galaxy S9 devices can record HD video at 960 frames per second for 0.2 seconds. That translates into 6 seconds playback time at 30 frames per second. Slow-motion videos can be converted into gifs or set as background videos on the home screen.

The new AR Emoji function allows you to create and personalize emojis based on your own face, using the front camera. In a second step emojis can be animated using facial expressions. You can save up to 18 AR emojis and share them with users of any smartphone, not just Samsung models.


New features aside, the camera specs haven't changed too much compared to existing models. The main camera features optical image stabilization and a Dual-Pixel AF. The Galaxy S9+ comes with a secondary tele-lens, similar to what we've seen on the Galaxy Note 8, allowing for better-quality zooming and a bokeh mode. The longer lens comes with optical image stabilization and an F2.4 aperture. The front camera on both models combines an 8MP pixel count with a fast F1.7 aperture.

Camera aside, the main difference between the two new models is display size. The Galaxy S9 comes with a 5.77" AMOLED display, the S9+ equivalent is a little larger at 6.22". Both screens offer WQHD resolution.

Both models come with a microSD card slot and a headphone jack and are powered by Samsung's Exynos 9 Series 9810 Octa Core chipset. In the Euro-zone the Galaxy S9 with 64GB of storage will be available from March for 850 Euros (approximately USD 1045). The S9+ is 100 Euros (approximately USD 120)more. No details on pricing in other regions have been released yet.

Samsung unveils massive 30TB solid state drive, the world's largest SSD

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:04:00 Z

Photo: Samsung Samsung has reached another solid state storage milestone with its newly-announced Serial Attached SCSI PM1643 30TB SSD. The drive, which was developed for enterprise use, has double the capacity of the 15.36TB SSD Samsung introduced in early 2016. The company packed 512Gb V-NAND chips alongside 1TB NAND flash packages into the new drive, the combination enabling it to offer a 30TB capacity in a 2.5-inch form factor. "With our launch of the 30.72TB SSD," Samsung's Jaesoo Han explained, "we are once again shattering the enterprise storage capacity barrier, and in the process, opening up new horizons for ultra-high capacity storage systems worldwide." In addition to hitting a record capacity, Samsung explains that its PM1643 is the first SSD to feature Through Silicon Via (TSV)-applied DRAM, which totals 40GB in this model. The company also managed to include an endurance level that supports writing 30.72TB of data to the drive every day for five years (the warranty period) without failure, an error correction code (ECC) algorithm for reliability, software offering sudden power failure and metadata protection, and sequential read/write speeds up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700MB/s. Photo: Samsung Samsung plans to offer other versions of this drive with capacities ranging from 800GB to 15.36TB. As for the 30.72TB model, the South Korean company explains that it started producing "initial quantities" of the drive last month, with lineup expansion planned for later in 2018. The drive price isn't listed, but we're less excited about this specific drive (since it's an enterprise drive) and more excited about the tech trickling down into consumer-focused higher capacity SSDs that photographers and videographers can use for backups. Read the full press release below for more details about these drives. Samsung Electronics Begins Mass Production of Industry’s Largest Capacity SSD – 30.72TB – for Next-Generation Enterprise Systems New 'PM1643' is built on latest 512Gb V-NAND to offer the most advanced storage, featuring industry-first 1TB NAND flash package, 40GB of DRAM, new controller and custom software Korea on February 20, 2018 – Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry’s largest capacity Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid state drive (SSD) – the PM1643 – for use in next-generation enterprise storage systems. Leveraging Samsung’s latest V-NAND technology with 64-layer, 3-bit 512-gigabit (Gb) chips, the 30.72 terabyte (TB) drive delivers twice the capacity and performance of the previous 15.36TB high-capacity lineup introduced in March 2016. This breakthrough was made possible by combining 32 of the new 1TB NAND flash packages, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512Gb V-NAND chips. These super-dense 1TB packages allow for approximately 5,700 5-gigabyte (GB), full HD movie files to be stored within a mere 2.5-inch storage device. In addition to the doubled capacity, performance levels have risen significantly and are nearly twice that of Samsung’s previous generation high-capacity SAS SSD. Based on a 12Gb/s SAS interface, the new PM1643 drive features random read and write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700 MB/s, respectively. These represent approximately four times the random read performance and three times the sequential read performance of a typical 2.5-inch SATA SSD*. “With our launch of the 30.72TB SSD, we are once again shattering the enterprise storage capacity barrier, and in the process, opening up new horizons for ultra-high capacity storage systems worldwide,” said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president, Memory Sales & Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung will continue to move aggressively in meeting[...]

Samsung teases Galaxy S9 low light and slow-mo performance

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:50:00 Z

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On the 25th of February, Samsung will unveil its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S9, and the Korean company is already heavily teasing some of the new model's new and improved camera features in a couple of short teaser videos on its Korean Youtube channel.

The first video (above) shows several low-light scenes in quick succession. Towards the end there is the silhouette of a deer in near darkness. The animal's head brightens up when the number 9 appears around it, hinting at some kind of low-light mode or improved low-light capability in the camera.

Previous rumors have mentioned a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture. The lower value would be one of the fastest apertures on any smartphone camera, but we'd suspect Samsung will add some clever multi-frame-stacking technology on top of that to achieve usable exposures in very low light and manage noise.

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Another video is a quick succession of action-packed scenes. At the end, a skydiver is almost frozen in time as the number 9 appears, hinting at some kind of super-slow-motion capture. From what we know so far, the S9 will come with a 480fps 1080p Full-HD slow-motion mode.

These kinds of teasers always leave you with more questions than answers, but fortunately we'll know more in 10 days time when the device is launched. We'll be at the event in Barcelona, so stay tuned for more details!

Samsung's new ISOCELL Dual module will bring dual-cameras to budget smartphones

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:28:00 Z


Dual-camera setups that allow for better zooming and a background-blurring fake bokeh effect have become pretty much a standard feature on flagship smartphones; however, they are still far less common on cheaper 'budget' devices. That's all about to change. The image sensor division of device maker Samsung just launched the new ISOCELL Dual camera module, which was specifically designed for use in budget devices.

The new module comes with a built-in set of algorithms and functions and can be configured two ways: either for low-light performance by combining image data from two sensor, or to provide a bokeh effect feature. For the low-light setup, Samsung couples two 8MP sensors; for the bokeh effect, the module is assembled with a 13MP and 5MP image sensor combination.

Samsung will likely use the module in its own entry-level devices but, like it does with its sensors, RAM modules and other components, the company is also offering the technology to other OEMs. This will allow smaller companies to integrate dual-cam technology into their products without the need for large R&D budgets and software optimization.

We should see the first production smartphones using the ISOCELL Dual module sometime later this year.

Samsung promises to 'reimagine the camera' on the Galaxy S9

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:59:00 Z


We've been expecting the upcoming Samsung flagship smartphone Galaxy S9 to be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (the last week of February) for a while now, but today the Korean manufacturer has made things official by sending out invitations to the launch event.

The event will take place on the 25th of February, the press day before the official start of MWC, and mobile photographers should be particularly excited. That's because, according to the invite, this phone is all about "The camera. Reimagined." There have been rumors about variable apertures and super-slow-motion video, and it seems like there's a good chance at least the larger Galaxy S9+ will come with a dual-camera setup, similar to the Note 8.

As usual, there's no way of knowing what exactly to expect, but we'll keep an eye on the rumor mill, and we'll definitely be in Barcelona to report from the show as well. If you can't be there, no worries—Samsung is planning to livestream the 'Samsung Unpacked' event.

Samsung's new smartphone sensors can shoot 480fps in Full HD

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:40:00 Z


Samsung has just announced a new mobile image sensor that may just reveal what's in store for the rumored Galaxy S9 smartphone—specifically in the slow-motion capture department.

Announced earlier today, Samsung's new ISOCELL Fast imager chips feature a 3-stack Fast Readout design that Samsung claims will shoot Full HD 1080p video at a whopping 480fps. That's not quite as fast as the eye-watering 960fps in Sony's high-end Xperia models, but the Sony mode can only capture for a fracture of a second—Samsung's super-slow-motion could potentially offer longer capture times.

According to Samsung's product page, the ISOCELL fast sensors also come with advanced autofocus technologies—such as Dual-Pixel or Super-PD—built into the chip, allowing for very fast focusing in all light conditions. ISOCELL Fast sensors with the aforementioned technologies are currently available with 12 and 16MP resolutions and sizes ranging from 1/2.8" to 1/2.56".

As usual, there is no way of knowing for certain if either of these sensor variants will make it into the Galaxy S9, but it's safe to assume we'll see the new 480fps Full HD mode in a Samsung mobile device in the near future.

Smartphone front cameras might soon be placed underneath the display

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:15:00 Z

Photo by Julián Gentilezza

With smartphone displays getting larger and moving to an 18:9 (or 2:1 if you prefer) aspect ratio and display bezels shrinking at the same time, there is hardly any space left at the front of new devices for physical controls or other components.

Physical home buttons and fingerprint readers have already largely disappeared from the front and moved to the rear or edges of devices; however, moving the front camera to the rear isn't really an option (for obvious reasons) which is why devices like the iPhone X or the Essential Phone have ended up with unsightly notches at the top of their displays.

A new patent by Samsung could offer a solution: moving the front camera and other components, such as the earpiece and proximity and ambient light sensors, underneath the screen. A camera that can see through the display would also offer an additional advantage, allowing manufacturers to place it towards the center of the screen so that the camera and the face of the person you're talking to would be roughly in the same spot.


While Samsung's idea definitely looks like an elegant answer to the space limitations at the front of modern smartphones, nobody has built a suitable camera yet. That said, an earlier patent that has been referenced by Samsung, Apple and LG among others, suggests using an OLED display with a very high refresh rate. The system could then activate and deactivate the screen at a very fast rate and allow for camera recording during the inactive periods.

As usual with patents, there is no way of knowing if and when the technology will make it into a production device, but the idea of a totally seam- and bezel-less display is certainly an appealing one.

Leaked photo hints at Samsung Galaxy S9 with variable aperture lens

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:30:00 Z


Samsung has confirmed its upcoming new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, will be launched at MWC in Barcelona, so we'll have to wait until late February to know for sure what features and specifications the new model will have to offer. That said, Reddit users have found an image of an alleged S9 retail box that is already giving us a good idea of what to expect from the new flagship.

From a photography point of view, the most interesting information on the box is the "F1.5 / F2.4" aperture specification, indicating that the Galaxy S9 might come with the same stabilized variable aperture 12MP camera as the China-only W2018 flip-phone.

On that phone, the camera switches between F1.5 and F2.4 when it senses there's enough light around in an attempt to capture the background as much in focus as possible. Whether or not that really makes a lot of sense, given the small image sensors in smartphones, is for you to decide. In any case, the F1.5 aperture value is the fastest on any current smartphone, which should be appealing to any low-light shooter.

Source: Reddit

If the specifications on the box are true, the S9 camera will also record super slow-motion videos, hopefully at similarly high frame rates as the latest Sony devices. In addition, there is a pair of AKG-powered stereo speakers, and we'd expect the S9 to come with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Most most of the additional information on the retail box is quite similar to the current S8 model: the S9 screen will have a Super AMOLED panel with Quad HD+ resolution (1440 x 2960 pixels), 18:9 aspect ratio, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and an 8MP front camera, all wrapped up in an IP68 water and dust resistant body.

Samsung's built-in storage chips might make microSD slots a thing of the past

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:40:00 Z


MicroSD storage expansion slots are a feature that is slowly but surely disappearing from high-end smartphones, with "cloud-focused" smartphone manufacturers such as Google or Apple leading the pack. However, at least Samsung users can stop worrying about a lack of expandable storage in the near future, because the built-in storage in their devices should soon be large enough to never need a microSD card in the first place.

The Korean electronics giant has officially started mass production of the world's first 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS). This means Samsung's 2018 flagship smartphones may have double the storage of this year's equivalents.

Users will be able to store up to 130 10-minute video clips at UHD resolution on these new chips, and read & write speeds have been improved as well, reaching 860MB per second and 255MB per second respectively. That is fast enough to transfer a 5GB video clip to an SSD in around six seconds. It is also eight times faster than a standard microSD card, making the internal storage solution much more suitable to anyone who requires fast data transfer.

Samsung says it is planning to steadily increase production volume to meet increasing demand for its high-capacity mobile storage, so hopefully we'll see the big chips coming to other manufacturers very soon as well.

Samsung's new W2018 flip phone features a variable aperture F1.5-F2.4 lens

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:25:00 Z


Samsung just announced something that looks like it belongs in the mid-2000s... but looks can be deceiving. Meet Samsung's new flip phone: the W2018. Announced earlier today at an event in Xiamen, China, the followup to the W2017 is an Android-powered flip phone that boasts smartphone-caliber specs. In fact, the 12-megapixel rear camera is nearly identical to the one found in the Galaxy S8, featuring dual pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization and 1.4μm pixels.

It does differ in one very interesting way though.

Not only does the W2018 boast an F1.5 aperture—the brightest you'll find on a phone—that aperture is actually variable, switching between F1.5 and F2.4 when it senses there's enough light around. In this way, the phone automatically captures as much of the background as possible.

You can see the trick in this close-up video uploaded to Weibo by Jason Wang:


Rumors have been floating around that the Galaxy S9 will feature a variable aperture F1.5 lens; as you might expect, the appearance of the selfsame lens in another Samsung phone makes us pretty confident that will, indeed, be the case. As to whether or not you ever really need to 'stop down' a smartphone camera lens... that's another topic entirely.

Like the W2017 before it, this phone will first be released in China, comes with a bunch of "VIP" perks like free tech support, and will probably cost upwards of $3,000... no, we didn't add another zero.

The Samsung 360 Round camera can capture 360° 4K 3D video at 30fps

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:42:00 Z


Samsung has just unveiled an interesting new gadget at their annual Samsung Developer Conference. Meet the Samsung 360 Round: a 3D VR camera.

The new device uses 17 total lenses—eight horizontally positioned stereo pairs and one upwards pointing single lens—to capture and livestream 4K 3D panoramic video at 30 frames per second. Each camera module features a 1/2.8’’ 2MP sensor and F1.8 aperture. All of this is housed in a compact and rugged (IP65 water and dust resistance) uni-body that Samsung claims can handle all weather conditions.

PC software for controlling the camera and stitching is included, and the camera features a range of interfaces for connecting external microphones, storage devices and more.

“The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content,” said Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team. “The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries.”

The Samsung 360 Round will be available in October in the United States, and should be introduced to other markets over time. Samsung says the camera is aimed at VR professionals and enthusiasts, and will be 'reasonably priced'... although the company hasn't yet specified exactly what that 'reasonable' price will be. For more information, visit the Samsung website.

Throwback Thursday: the Samsung NX1 is still impressive three years later

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:00:00 Z

We usually dig a bit further into the past for Throwback Thursday, but decided to make an exception for the Samsung NX1. Announced just three years ago, the NX1 is the camera that still leaves us wondering what might have been had Samsung decided to remain in the camera market. Alas, we'll never know. On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived. Samsung diligently improved the camera through a series of firmware updates over the following months, and the NX1 ultimately became a much more refined, responsive machine. On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived. The 'post-multiple-firmware-updates' version of the camera delivered technical innovation, pro-level performance, and a fantastic user experience all in a single package, earning it one of the highest scores we had ever awarded to a camera at the time, and winning the 2015 DPReview Innovation Award. In addition to impressive performance, the NX1 held up well in extreme conditions. When shooting in 0ºF (-18ºC) conditions the camera kept going as long as I did. We highlighted this innovation in our review of the NX1, writing "One can almost imagine a group of Samsung engineers sitting in a conference room and having the spec sheets of every leading APS-C and four thirds camera dropped in front of them, along with a directive to outperform the whole lot. And here's the crazy thing – to a certain extent they seem to have pulled it off." The NX1 was a mirrorless camera that looked and performed like a high-end DSLR. It included a hybrid AF system with 205 phase detect autofocus points covering 90% of the frame, and in burst mode could shoot up to 15fps. Impressively, in our testing the AF system was able to keep up. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 The AF system on the NX1 was very quick to keep up, even when shooting fast moving subjects at close range at 15fps in burst mode. In this example, the camera tracked Richard with a cloud of AF points that covered his body and the bike and kept him in focus, though there are minor differences in terms of where the camera focused on him between frames. Manually selecting an single AF point would have given us more precision. (Samsung 50-150mm F2.8 S at F2.8) It also delivered the goods when it came to image quality. Built around a 28MP BSI sensor, it held its own against the best APS-C cameras of its day. The ISO-invariant sensor also made it possible to push shadows 5EV in post without paying any additional noise cost (when shooting at base ISO). Even the ergonomics and shooting experience were excellent. It was comfortable in the hand, with most dials and buttons in easy to reach places. The bright and crisp OLED EVF had no perceptible lag (a common challenge back then), and was the first electronic viewfinder I really fell in love with. In our review I commented, "Once I started shooting with NX1 it was easy to forget that I was using an EVF and I just got on with taking photos." The NX1's OLED electronic viewfinder impressed us with its bright, crisp image and fast performance. Its layout was also well-designed and easy to use. The NX1 also excelled at video. Unlike many cameras – even some the ones we encounter today – there was no sense that video was wedged in to fulfill a spec sheet requirement. On the contrary, the NX1 was clearly designed with video in mind. The interface was e[...]

New Samsung image sensors use dual pixel for fast AF and synthetic bokeh

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:39:00 Z


Samsung Electronics has launched a couple of new image sensor—both intended for use in mobile devices—under its ISOCELL sensor brand—the ISOCELL Fast 2L9 and the ISOCELL Slim 2x7.

As the model name suggests, the ISOCELL Fast 2L9 is part of the Fast line-up, providing fast autofocus speeds, even in low light conditions. To achieve this, the chip is using dual-pixel technology with two photo diodes at each pixel location. This not only speeds up autofocus but, according to Samsung, also allows for creation of a software-based bokeh-effect without the need for a dual-camera, which is more or less what Google's new Pixel 2 devices do.

The 12MP sensor comes with a 1.28µm pixel size, which is slightly smaller than the 1.4µm currently used in Samsung flagship phones.

At 0.9µm, the pixel size is even smaller on the second new sensor, the Slim 2X7. Like the Fast 2L9, it is designed to fit into even very thin devices without the need for a camera bump, but this one comes with a higher 24MP pixel count. In low light, the sensor combines the image information captured by four neighboring pixels to increase sensitivity and reduce image noise, a process which Samsung calls Tetracell.

Like in other ISOCELL sensors, Deep Trench Isolation technology is applied to improve dynamic range and reduce color crosstalk on both sensors.

Looking at the technologies used in these new sensors it is evident that as a maker of both hard and software, Samsung is an excellent position to design its sensors with computational imaging applications already in mind. Unfortunately, there is no information yet on when we'll see the new sensors integrated in actual devices.

DxOMark: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ties iPhone 8 Plus as best ever smartphone camera

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 22:34:00 Z

News that Apple's new iPhone 8 Plus had suddenly taken the top spot on DxOMark's smartphone camera rankings was met with the expected range of praise and critique—everything from "of course, iPhone's are awesome cameras" to "how much did Apple pay DxOMark for this result!?" But it turns out the iPhone 8 Plus' ranking as the best smartphone camera DxOMark had ever tested didn't last very long. As of today, the iPhone 8 Plus has been tied by the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which significantly bested its Photo score and only tied the iPhone 8 Plus overall because Apple's smartphone does so much better in the video category. The full breakdown of the results can be found on DxOMark, but this comparison between the two phones' scores speaks volumes: The Photo categories where the Note 8 really outperformed the iPhone include Autofocus (94 vs 74) and Zoom, where the Note 8 got a score of 66 to the iPhone's 51. DxOMark's conclusion is appropriately praiseworthy: When all the tests are verified, the scores calculated, and the perceptual analyses discussed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes out as an outstanding choice for the smartphone photography enthusiast, matching the top overall score of 94 points of the iPhone 8 Plus. Dual-cam setups offering a second telephoto zoom for portraits are a real step forward for high-end smartphone photography, and the implementation on the Note 8 is exceptional, making it the best smartphone for zoom shots we’ve tested. Read DxO's full thoughts and see all of their sample and test photos at this link. And if you're an Android user in need of some serious photography power from you smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8 should definitely make it to the top of your list.[...]

Report: Samsung is developing a 1,000fps mobile image sensor

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:19:00 Z


According to sources who spoke to Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is planning to kick its mobile camera technology up a notch with a 1,000fps smartphone camera sensor that will compete directly with Sony's similar sensor. This technology is called a "3-layered image sensor," and Samsung has reportedly ordered special equipment necessary to start producing the hardware in November. Smartphones featuring this technology, like the Sony Xperia XZ, can record super-slow-motion video.

ETNews, which has a good track record in relation to Samsung leaks, claims that this 3-layered image sensor is comprised of TSV stacking technology alongside a DRAM chip and system semiconductor. Pilot production of the image sensors will start in October, the sources claim, followed by mass production in November. By comparison, Samsung currently uses 2-layered image sensors in its newest flagship smartphones.

It is the DRAM chip for temporary data storage that will enable the mobile image technology to capture at 1,000fps, and as we mentioned earlier, Samsung won't be the first company to develop this technology for mobile devices. Sony was the first to bring this 3-layered image sensor tech to commercial devices, though the sources say Samsung will use TSV stacking rather than thermal compression to avoid the costs that come with licensing other companies' patents.

Questions remain about which Samsung smartphones will receive the new 3-layered image sensors. Assuming mass production does start this November, it is reasonable to assume we'll see the sensors implemented into the next batch of Galaxy smartphones the company will unveil in 2018.

iPhone X vs. Samsung Note 8

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 13:00:00 Z

iPhone X vs. Samsung Note 8 Two big flagship devices, two big price tags: with the introduction of iPhone X, Apple now has a horse in the "all screen, all the time" smartphone race. Here's a breakdown of the specs with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features. Dual cameras You'd expect no less in the year 2017: each of these devices has a dual camera module. Both use two 12MP sensors with apertures as listed below. iPhone X Note 8 Wide-angle F1.8 F1.7 Telephoto F2.4 F2.4 It's welcome news that both of these dual cam units are dual-stabilized, meaning the wide and telephoto lenses offer optical image stabilization. The iPhone 7 Plus was only equipped with OIS in its wide-angle lens. The Note 8 offers 26mm and 52mm equivalent focal lengths, and if the iPhone X is consistent with the 7 Plus, it will come with a 28/56mm combo. The Note 8's ever-so-slightly wider view of the world may have some advantages, but that depends on your preferences. The 12MP sensors used by the Note 8 measure 1/2.55" in the wide-angle unit and 1/3.6" in the tele lens. Apple doesn't specify what size sensors it uses in the X, just that they're bigger, faster, and have deeper pixels than what was used in the 7 Plus. Relatively speaking, a slightly larger smartphone image sensor is still pretty small. Even if they are bigger than the Note 8's sensors, that's likely to have less of an impact than improvements in image processing and camera software. Still shooting features Apple and Samsung put their devices' depth-of-simulation modes front and center among camera features. It's called Portrait Mode on the iPhone X and Live Focus on the Note 8, but they do the same thing: use information collected from the dual cam to create a depth map of the scene and blur the background. Samsung lets users specify the amount of blur, while the Apple sticks with its classic "you get what we give you" approach and decides on your behalf how blurry the background should be. The Note 8 will also let you save a photo taken with the wide-angle camera; not so on the iPhone X. And Apple means it when they call it Portrait Mode: it can only be used when a face is detected. Samsung doesn't require a face to be in the scene. Apple promises better low-light results and more natural looking bokeh with its latest iteration of Portrait Mode. Additionally, iPhone X will include a new beta feature called Portrait Lighting, allowing users to apply different lighting effects, either in live view or after the photo is taken. Autofocus Apple doesn't go into specifics about its camera sensors and is pretty short on details at this point about the autofocus used by the iPhone X. The company claims autofocus is faster compared to the iPhone 7 thanks to a new image processor. Both the Note 8 and iPhone X offer some level of phase detection autofocus, which Apple calls Focus Pixels and Samsung calls dual pixel. Front-facing cameras Those who indulge in the occasional selfie will be glad to know that front-facing camera specs are improving with each smartphone generation. The Note 8 users an 8MP F1.7 unit and the iPhone offers a 7MP sensor with an F2.2 lens. That would seem to lend a slight advantage to the Note 8, though the X's differentiating factor is that it lets you use Portrait Mode with the front camera, as well as its Portrait Lighting feature. Video On paper at least, the iPhone X appears to sl[...]

Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 8, comes with 12MP stabilized dual-camera

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:10:00 Z


Earlier today, Samsung announced the latest high-end device in its Note series of large-format smartphones: the Galaxy Note 8. The new model is the Korean manufacturer's first device with a dual-camera on the back, but while Samsung is a little late to the dual-cam game, at least on paper, the Note 8's camera specs look quite promising.

The camera module combines a 26mm equivalent 12MP wide-angle module (with 1/2.55" sensor, F1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization) with a 52mm equivalent tele camera. Like pretty much all other tele implementations we have seen on smartphones, the secondary camera comes with a smaller sensor and slower aperture than the main module - 1/3.6" and F2.4 to be exact.

However, the Note 8 is the first dual-cam smartphone we are aware of to feature optical image stabilization not only on the main camera, but also on the tele lens.

As you would expect, the dual-camera comes with a background-blurring portrait mode and can also record pictures with both cameras at the same time. 4K video, a 240 fps slow-motion mode at 720p, and an 8MP front camera are on board as well.

Images can be viewed and edited on a massive 6.3" Quad-HD+ display that also allows for dual-window operation. Computing power is provided by an octa-core chipset that, depending on region, comes either from Qualcomm or Samsung's Exynos in-house brand. All of these components are wrapped up in a water and dust resistant (IP68) metal unibody that comes with the S-Pen stylus that is characteristic for the the Note series and offers improved sensitivity over previous models.

The Note 8 will be released in stores on September 15th. US pricing for the unlocked model has not been released yet, through carrier T-Mobile the Note 8 will be available from $930.

Key specifications:

  • Dual-camera
  • 26mm Wide angle with 12MP 1/2.55" sensor (1.4 µm pixel size), F1.7 and OIS
  • 2x Tele with 12MP 1/3.6" sensor (1.0 µm pixel size), F2.4 and OIS
  • PDAF
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K video, 240fps at 720p slow-motion
  • 8 MP / F1.7 front camera, 1/3.6" sensor, 1440p video
  • 6.3" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, 2.960 x 1.440
  • Octa-Core (2,3 GHz Quad + 1,7 GHz Quad) chipset (Exynos 8895 for EMEA /
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 for USA and China)
  • 6GB RAM / 64GB storage
  • Samsung S-Pen stylus

Super fast, tiny Samsung T5 portable SSD hits 540MB/s, can handle raw 4K video

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:26:00 Z

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="326" src="" width="580"> Samsung has introduced a new ultra-fast, teeny-tiny solid-state-drive called the Samsung Portable SSD T5. This model boasts up to a 2TB capacity alongside transfer speeds that reach up to 540MB/s, making it suitable for editing raw 4K footage and other large files. This drive is notable for its use of Samsung's 64-layer V-NAND technology, the driving force behind the rapid transfer speeds of this lightweight, pocketable model. Compared to the company's own testing with an external 500GB HDD, Samsung says its T5 SSD model is nearly 5 times faster, this despite measuring in at only 3 x 2.3 x 0.4-inches / 74 x 57.3 x 10.5mm. The South Korean company has also boosted the SSD's durability by using a shock-resistant internal frame, one capable of handling drops from heights as high as 6.6ft / 2m. The drive features USB-C, and is shipped with two cables, one featuring a USB-C connector and another featuring a USB-A connector. The T5 drive is offered in two finishes: Alluring Blue, which comes in 250GB and 500GB capacities, and Deep Black, which comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities. All four models feature AES 256-bit hardware encryption and are joined by a companion app that makes them compatible with Android mobile devices. The models are available as of today starting at $130 USD. Press Release Samsung Electronics Introduces New Portable SSD T5 – The Latest Evolution in Fast, Reliable Storage Built with V-NAND technology, drive features industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security in a compact and durable design Samsung Electronics today announced the introduction of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 – the newest portable solid state drive (PSSD) that raises the bar for the performance of external memory products. The T5, built with Samsung’s latest 64-layer V-NAND technology, delivers industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security in a compact and durable design, making it easier than ever for consumers to access their most valuable data anywhere, at any time. “Samsung has been pushing the envelope of what is possible in portable storage and solid state drives for years, and the Portable SSD T5 continues our legacy of leadership and innovation,” said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are confident that the T5 will exceed consumers’ expectations for external storage by offering faster speeds and a solid design that is lightweight and conveniently pocket-sized. It is the ideal portable storage product for consumers and professionals who are in search of a fast, durable and secure device.” Delivering stunning speeds of up to 540 MB/s1 – up to 4.9 times faster2 than external HDD products – the new T5 is designed especially for content creators, business and IT professionals as well as mainstream consumers to give instant, easy access to data. Also, the T5 is smaller than an average business card at 74 x 57.3 x 10.5 millimeters (3.0 x 2.3 x 0.4 inches) and incredibly lightweight at a mere 51 grams, comfortably fitting in the palm of your hand. The aluminum exterior comes in two distinct metal finishes – Deep Black (1TB and 2TB models) and Alluring Blue (250GB and 500GB models). With no moving parts and a shock-resistant internal frame, the T5[...]

Galaxy Note 8 to feature 3x zoom dual-camera

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:37:00 Z


After the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the upcoming Note 8 launch will be crucial to Samsung for recapturing consumer trust and confidence. And judging by a new leak, mobile photographers should have a lot to look forward to on the new model.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics, the division of Samsung that develops smartphone camera modules, has posted a document that explains in detail how dual-cameras and related features and special modes work. The Note 8 is widely rumored to be Samsung's first dual-camera device, which makes it a safe bet to assume the online guide is referring to the upcoming model.

According to the document the camera module will feature a Super Night Shot mode that combines image data from both sensors for better low light performance, and a 3D Depth feature that uses depth data to blur the background of an image and lets you refocus after capture. There'll also be improved HDR processing and and a couple of depth-related special modes.

However, the most interesting part of the document compares image output from a 3x optical zoom to a digital zoom. Samsung calls the feature Smart Zoom, which could indicate that optical zoom is combined with some sort of intelligent digital zoom to achieve a 3x zoom factor, but we'll have to wait for the launch on the 23rd of August to get more detail.

In the meantime you can have a look at dual-camera guide on the Samsung Electro-Mechanics website for more information.