New Samsung 20MP image sensor is the world's smallest

Samsung is making plenty of headlines at the moment, with a huge Samsung Galaxy S10 (opens in new tab) leak, and the Korean giant looking to acquire (opens in new tab) the company behind Oppo's 5x and 10x zoom technology. 

The company is hard at work on its own tech, too, having just unveiled a brand new 20MP smartphone image sensor – which is also the world's smallest, measuring just 5.1mm (1/3.4 inches). 

The ultra-slim Isocell Slim 3T2 delivers high resolution images for both front and back cameras, and should provide the imaging backbone for the next wave of slimline smartphones, which need the smallest possible sensors for their punch-hole or notch design. 

Don't get too excited about seeing it in the imminently arriving Galaxy S10 models, though, as the sensor hasn't yet entered mass production.

The sensor will benefit designs with punch-hole cameras, though it's too soon for the Samsung Galaxy S10

The sensor will benefit designs with punch-hole cameras, though it's too soon for the Samsung Galaxy S10

“As the demand for advanced imaging capabilities in mobile devices continue to grow, we will keep pushing the limits in image sensor technologies for richer user experiences,” said Jinhyun Kwon, vice president of System LSI sensor marketing at Samsung Electronics. 

The sensor uses Samsung's Tetracell technology to enable four pixels to "merge" and operate as one, resulting in larger photosites that result in the 3T2 taking brighter and sharper images in low light, with better colour reproduction. 

With such a compact form factor, the sensor can reduce the height of Samsung's tele-camera module by around seven percent. 

Read more:

Smartphones could halve camera market in two years, Canon warns (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.