New leak suggests Samsung has a new 200MP sensor in the works

Samsung 200mp phone sensor
(Image credit: Samsung)

Serial leak'ster Revegnus has been at it again, this time with a rumor that Samsung has a new 200MP sensor in its arsenal. In resolution terms, that's been done before, as the Galaxy S23 Ultra already employs a 200MP sensor in its primary camera module. Where this new leak gets interesting concerns the size of the rumored sensor: 1/0.98 inches. This would make it significantly larger than the current 1/1.3-inch size of Samsung's existing 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor. Given the same pixel count, this chip size increase means individual pixels get a corresponding size boost, from 0.6µm to 0.8µm. Bigger pixels equal more surface area with which to gather light over a given exposure time, and greater light intake should result in a better signal to noise ration and reduced image noise - potentially good news for low light shooting. The new sensor is also said to be capable of 4x zoom, presumably by cropping in on the central region of the sensor - another benefit of having such a high pixel count.

(Image credit: Revegnus / Twitter)

Not only is the new sensor rumored to be physically larger, the leak also specifies 'H/V DPAF', which translates to horizontal and vertical dual pixel autofocus. However what advantages this may bring are rather ambiguous. The wording alone implies that the sensor can detect a subject aligned along vertical and horizontal planes. This is a substantial improvement over conventional DPAF, which is much better able to detect vertically aligned subjects. Should you happen to be focussing on a horizontally aligned subject, conventional dual pixel AF becomes much less effective and focus hunting can quickly become an issue.

An illustration of Canon's conventional DPAF system (Image credit: Canon)

However, Samsung already addressed this with its existing ISOCELL HP2 sensor, built in to the S23 Ultra. This employs Samsung's Super QPD focussing technology: micro lenses cover four adjacent pixels on the sensor, allowing it to detect movement in both horizontal and vertical directions. Since the micro lenses cover groups of four pixels across the entire sensor, it means every single pixel is used to detect autofocus information. While Samsung call the tech Super QPD, it's also referred to as multi- or omni-directional  DPAF, as well as QPAF (quad-pixel AF). With all this in mind, is the rumored 'H/V DPAF' really a new AF technology, or just a another label for Samsung's existing Super QPD AF tech?

Given the leak only lists the sensor specs, we don't know where such a sensor is along Samsung's development timeline. It's plausible the leak is referring to the primary camera sensor for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, meaning it could materialise as early as Q1 2024.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.