Samsung held a surprise livestream event to announce its latest development in camera technology, the ISOCELL JN1 50-megapixel sensor. It’s a record-setting sensor, cramming all of its pixels into a 1/2.76-inch format for a resulting pixel size of just 0.64 micrometers. And according to Samsung, the ISOCELL JN1 could help slim down the camera hump that’s become standard for flagship devices.
With its 0.64 micrometer pixel size, the ISOCELL JN1 is considerably smaller than the company’s last breakthrough, the 0.70 micrometer Isocell Slim GH1. Samsung says that it can reduce camera hump by 10%, and because the sensor is already in production, we could see it used in a phone within the next year.
Reducing pixel size does have a few drawbacks, though. Smaller pixels take in less light than larger pixels, leading to noisy or blurry images, especially in low-light settings. But Samsung has a few remedies that should help the ISOCELL JN1 shoot better photos than its predecessors.
One of the biggest advancements is Samsung’s new ISOCELL 2.0 tech, which replaces the light-blocking metal barrier between color filters with a less obstructive material, increasing light sensitivity by 16%. Other tricks include the double super PD autofocus system, plus a low-light mode that combines pixels into groups of four, boosting light sensitivity by 400% (but reducing the sensor’s resolution to 12.5 megapixels).
Samsung says that the ISOCELL JN1 is currently in mass production. It will probably debut as the main camera in an upcoming device from Samsung or another manufacturer, though it could also find use in ultra-wide, telephoto, or selfie cameras.