The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will launch on February 1, will pay attention to the primary sensor. It’ll have a new 200MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 sensor that’s 1/1.3″ in size, nearly matching the latest iPhone. 200MP resolution is mostly a gimmick if it isn’t optimised correctly, and sensor size matters more than the megapixel count.
In the 2024 Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung might significantly change its video quality and telephoto cameras. Their current telephoto system is pretty decent, but the competition is rapidly catching up. Vivo’s 3.5X Periscope solution with their Custom NPU already takes better photos than the S23 Ultra until about 20X zoom.
It also does not help that Samsung’s 3X lens isn’t very high-quality. The 3X telephoto on the S23 Ultra is the same as the 3X zoom lens used on the S22 Ultra. A 1/3.52″ 10MP sensor with a 2.4 Aperture isn’t the best for shooting photos at 70mm, though it does have OIS.
The 10X periscope is industry-leading, but most other companies might catch up to it in 2023. It’s also heavily rumoured that Apple will enter the zoom game with the 15 Ultra or 15 Pro Max. Samsung is about to face some serious competition in this area. They plan to upgrade the 3X or 10X lens to keep their zoom crown.
The report from leaker Ice Universe does not specify which lens will see upgrades, so we can’t conclude. The 1/2.76″ JN1 sensor used for 3.2X optical zoom on the new Xiaomi 13 Pro already surpasses several telephoto cameras. It also comes with a 10cm focus distance for perfect Macro photos.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to replace the telephoto sensor and adopt a new solution. I think the main camera will remain the same or be slightly changed.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 28, 2022
There’s another rumoured improvement with the S24 Ultra, and that’s to video quality. The primary sensor will remain the same 200MP HP2 but with more refinement and optimisation. Capturing videos is much more challenging to do in contrast to photos.
Your phone has to shoot multiple layers of footage at varying exposures and frame rates for HDR videos. Then, it uses software to blend them in real time while maintaining stability and focus intelligently.
Capturing one stream of low-exposure video and another of high-exposure while capturing double the frames and merging them puts severe pressure on several components. The sensor, the ISP, and the entire SOC work at their maximum power, resulting in heating and a drain in the battery. The videos also occupy more space as a result.
In an official blog post, Samsung explained how they plan to improve video quality. In 2024, Samsung plans to strengthen depth sensing and light sensitivity with the help of better nano-structure for colour filters. They call it Nano-Photonics Colour Routing.
While shooting in 12 Bit HDR results in good videos, Samsung plans to move to 16 Bit HDR video capturing. This will enable much better Dynamic Range performance.
They plan to improve the Portrait Mode video too. Apple’s Cinematic Mode, which can do 4K30, currently leads. But Samsung is planning to change that.
Using better depth sensors (Time of Flight sensors), they plan to shift the entire depth mapping to hardware instead of straining the software. This will dramatically improve video quality for Portrait Mode videos.
So far, the S24 Ultra is pretty exciting. The S23 Ultra will focus on the primary sensor, but the 24 Ultra centres around the telephoto and video quality.