Samsung is once again reaching the limits of pixel size with its latest smartphone camera sensor. The Isocell JN1 fits 50 megapixels into a tiny 1 / 2.76-inch format with a pixel size of just 0.64 micrometers. That is significantly smaller than the 0.7 micrometer pixels of the 43.7 megapixel sensor Isocell Slim GH1, which was released in 2019. “The new Isocell JN1 with 0.64 μm will be able to equip the slimmest smartphones of tomorrow with ultra-high-resolution mobile phone photos,” said Samsung Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of electronics.
The tiny sensor size will be useful for multi-camera setups, so smartphone designers can use the sensor for front, ultra-wide, telephoto or standard cameras depending on the setup and required resolution. It will also reduce the thickness of the camera modules by about 10 percent, Samsung said.
The problem with tiny pixels is that they can’t collect as much light as larger pixels. For recordings in poor light conditions, the sensor combines four pixels in one, which increases the light by four times, while the sensor resolution is reduced to 12.5 megapixels. It also uses Samsung’s new Isocell 2.0 technology, which replaces metal barriers between the color filters with a material that reduces light loss and increases sensitivity by up to 16 percent.
The new sensor also includes Samsung’s “Double Super PD” (phase detection) autofocus with twice the pixel density of phase detection, which improves AF performance in low light conditions. The new sensor also supports 4K video at 60 fps or Full HD at 240 fps. Samsung said the JN1 is now in mass production, so expect it to appear in new smartphones soon.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independently of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.