Samsung’s new 108MP ISOCELL HM3 sensor offers better autofocus and low-light output
Samsung has today launched the Galaxy S21 series smartphones, with the star of the show being the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and for good reasons. While it packs top-of-the-line smartphone hardware, it also serves as the debut platform for Samsung’s latest camera innovation – the 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM3 sensor that comes with a host of notable upgrades and new tricks for an even better output in terms of image clarity, dynamic range – and more importantly – autofocus performance.
The ISOCEL HM3 is a 1/1.33-inch sensor that uses 0.8μm pixels, and performs 9-in-1 Nonacell pixel-binning to deliver images of 12MP size. However, the biggest upgrade here is the introduction of a new technology called Super PD Plus for improving autofocus stability. “Super PD Plus adds AF-optimized micro-lenses over the phase detection focusing agents, increasing measurement accuracy of the agents by 50-percent,” claims Samsung. The company adds that its latest innovation makes sure that moving subjects are always in sharp focus, and low-light performance gets a boost as well.
In addition to it, the ISOCELL HM3 has another trick called Smart ISO Pro, which Samsung defines as a high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging technology that relies on an intra-scene dual conversion gain (iDCG) solution. When it comes to action, it clicks two frames at low and high ISO value, and then combines them to deliver a sharper image with 12-bit color depth and a lesser amount of noise. This approach is different from what many other sensors do, something that involves merging shots captured at different exposure values.
The sensor also takes advantage of a dedicated low-noise mode that is said to enhance light sensitivity by up to 50% to capture brighter and more detailed photos in low-light scenarios. Samsung also claims to have reduced the energy uptake under preview mode, thanks to the new sensor design for ISOCELL HM3, which is already under mass production.
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