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Olympus x Samsung camera phones to have IBIS (report)

Olympus x Samsung
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Technizo Concept)

UPDATE: In addition to featuring Olympus cameras, upcoming Samsung phones could be set to feature the camera manufacturer's industry leading image stabilization system.

That's according to a new report, which suggests that the best camera phones from Samsung – potentially starting with the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 – could benefit from the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) wizardry of the best Olympus cameras

This would be a huge step for Samsung, whose phones have thus far only featured optical image stabilization. Other manufacturers – including Apple, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max – have started incorporating the same sensor shift technology principles seen in the IBIS systems of the best mirrorless cameras

SamMobile speculates that Samsung's rumored partnership with Olympus / OM Digital Solutions isn't just to adorn its phones with superior camera and lens tech, but to catch up to its rivals with sensor stabilization from the camera company that is widely regarded to have the best IBIS in the business. 

If that proves to be the case, this could be a genuine game changer for camera phone photography…

A concept render of an Olympus x Samsung collaboration, courtesy of Technizo Concept / LetsGoDigital (Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Technizo Concept)

ORIGINAL STORY (08 April): Olympus is set to partner with Samsung to provide cameras for upcoming phones, potentially including the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy S22, according to the latest reports.

The South Korean giant already produces some of the best camera phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, so the addition of Olympus' camera expertise and technology could result in smartphone photography unlike anything we've ever seen before. 

• Read more: Best Olympus cameras

The news comes courtesy of reliable smartphone industry leakers Yogesh and Ice Universe, who each have a solid track record when it comes to these rumors. 

"As per the info I got, both Samsung and Olympus held talks about a possible partnership," tweeted Yogesh. "The current status and extent of this partnership is not exactly clear. They could work on a special edition Fold or we could see this happen on 'H3' (S22 Ultra)."

This was corroborated by Ice Universe on Chinese social media platform Weibo (as reported by Gizmochina. "My source told me that this is reliable news Samsung x Olympus". 

The reports come just months after Olympus (under its new ownership, OM Digital Solutions) announced at CP+ 2021 that it would collaborate with other companies. 

"I believe we can provide value to the photography activities and culture of our customers in areas other than cameras and lenses," said Setsuya Kataoka, OM Digital's chief technology officer. "Instead of just doing things on our own, we will work with other partners when necessary."

It has been rumored that Samsung is working on a new processor codenamed 'Olympus', which is either a huge signpost as to the veracity of the reports or could be the root of miscommunication (with leakers potentially spotting the chip's name on a spec sheet and mistakenly thinking it's a brand collaboration).  

If this does come to fruition, Olympus would join very prestigious company – including Leica and Hasselblad – in providing camera and lens technology to a smartphone manufacturer. And it could also learn some valuable new tricks from Samsung in the realm of computational photography, which it could bring back to the world of mirrorless cameras…

Read more: 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review
Samsung Galaxy S21 review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to 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. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.