What should the Pixel 6 use?

Samsung Isocell Dual Pixel Pro

  • Samsung has announced the Isocell GN2 50MP camera sensor.
  • It offers larger pixels and a larger sensor size than its predecessor.
  • The new sensor is currently in mass production.

Samsung announced the 50MP Isocell GN1 last year, moving away from its 108MP sensors. The GN1’s lower resolution was offset by its much larger pixels, allowing for significant improvements for shooting on paper in low light.

Now, Samsung has announced a successor to the Isocell GN1, called Isocell GN2. This is a 50MP sensor too, but it offers a larger sensor size (1 / 1.12 inches) and larger pixels (1.4 microns) than its predecessor. The pixel size in particular is remarkable as it is the same size as the IMX363 sensor used in most of Google’s Pixel phones.

A larger pixel size results in better image quality when the sun sets, so we expect to see standard images from the new sensor. In any case, the Isocell GN2 is also capable of using four-in-one pixel grouping to deliver images roughly comparable to a 12.5 MP 2.8 micron pixel camera.

The improvements don’t end here either, as Samsung says that Isocell GN2 is its first sensor to offer Dual Pixel Pro technology. This is an improved version of phase detection autofocus, which sees two photodiodes within each pixel that are used for a faster autofocus. But the improved technology also allows “all-direction focus” due to the fact that pixels can be divided both vertically and diagonally. Samsung claims that diagonal focus enables “focus agents” to better recognize the top and bottom of a frame.

Samsung Isocell GN2 Samsung Isocell GN1 Samsung Isocell Bright HM3
Resolution 50MP 50MP 108MP
Sensor size 1 / 1.12 inch 1 / 1.31 inch 1 / 1.33 inch
Pixel size 1.4 microns 1.2 microns 0.8 microns
Pixel grouping 12.5MP 2.8 microns
(grouping four in one)
12.5MP 2.4 micron
(grouping four in one)
12MP 2.4 microns
(not binning)
Video 8K / 24fps
4K / 120 fps
FHD / 480 fps
8K / 30fps
4K / 120 fps
FHD / 400 fps
8K / 30fps
4K / 120 fps
FHD / 240 fps

Samsung’s latest 50MP camera sensor also brings the tiered HDR functionality, which was lacking in the Isocell GN1. This sounds similar to traditional HDR technology, as the sensor captures short, medium, and long exposures. But this approach is claimed to offer 24% lower power consumption compared to the real-time HDR seen on the previous sensor.

The old sensor and the new sensor feature Smart ISO technology, which intelligently chooses the best ISO for a scene. But the Samsung Isocell GN2 also brings the Smart ISO Pro functionality, so how is it different?

“Unlike Smart ISO, which uses single ISO readings per image, Smart ISO Pro, which uses an in-scene dual conversion gain (iDCG) solution, takes high and low ISO readings to instantly create high-resolution images. high dynamic range with fewer motion artifacts, ”Samsung explained in an emailed press release. He adds that Smart ISO Pro also enables multi-frame capture and processing at high ISO, taking it to nearly a million ISO for extremely dark scenes.

Like the previous sensor, the Isocell GN2 is also capable of producing 100MP images through its 50MP sensor. This is accomplished by creating “three individual layers of 50MP green, red, and blue frames” and then using a remosaic algorithm to produce a 100MP photo. We guess a 108MP sensor might be better with 100MP + real images.

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Samsung’s new 50MP sensor also works in the video field, capturing 4K / 120fps slow motion video or 480fps video in FHD. You’re also getting 8K / 24fps recording, which looks like a slight degradation on paper over the GN1’s 8K / 30fps capabilities.

The Isocell GN2 is currently in mass production, which suggests we’ll see it sooner rather than later. For what it’s worth, Vivo was the only brand that used Isocell GN1 on their phones. But tipster Ice universe estimates that the new sensor will land on the Mi 11 Ultra. Xiaomi previously used a 48MP Omnivision sensor in the Mi 10 Ultra and Omnivision recently launched its own 50MP sensor. So we will have to wait and see if the new Xiaomi phone has the Samsung sensor.

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