26 February 2020
Samsung has introduced a new 108MP ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor which is said to be the industry’s first to feature Nonacell technology. This is different from the sensor that the company unleashed last year, called 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor which is being used in Mi Mix Alpha and Mi Note 10. The new 108MP image sensor has been used in the new Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G smartphone.
The new 108MP image sensor from Samsung has enhanced pixel-binning technology that features a 3x3 pixel structure for maximum light absorption. Compared to the last year’s 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX Tetracell pixel-binning, the new 108MP sensor uses 9 to 1 pixel binning tech (combining nine pixels into one at the sensor level) in 3x3 fashion.
Samsung claims that S20 Ultra takes things further as its 108MP sensor can shift dynamically between a high-resolution 108MP mode and a 12MP mode. In daylight, it should be able to take ultra-high-resolution 108MP photos to capture even the details of the objects which are available far away and in low light, it will dynamically shift to a 12MP mode, using the Nonacell technology. The sensor is also able to produce images up to 3x zoom at a 12MP resolution without upscaling.
Compared to the last year’s Samsung108MP Bright HMX sensor, the next-gen 108MP HM1 produces 12MP photos at an effective pixel size of 2.4 microns and low light photography is directly affected by the pixel size. A larger pixel size enhances low light sensitivity as it maximizes the light absorption.
The other improvement in the ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor is the ability to 8K videos at 24fps, which isn’t present with its predecessor.
Samsung’s ISOCELL 108MP Bright HM1 sensor has some advanced pixel technologies as well, including the Smart-ISO technology to produce vivid and vibrant images by intelligently selecting the optimal ISO. Also, it offers real-time HDR technology in challenging mixed-light environments. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the first smartphone to allow HDR on the 108MP camera. The real-time HDR tech optimizes exposures for more natural-looking videos and still photographs.
The HM1 also supports a gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) and Super-PD, an advanced phase detection technology for fast and accurate auto-focus.
Samsung says the 108MP ISOCELL Bright HM1 is currently in mass production.