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March 20 2014 5 20 /03 /March /2014 09:29

16 megapixels , 4K video , a larger sensor and a hybrid approach are some of the benefits of the new flagship of the South Korean firm


For weeks it was officially announced and not actually go on sale until next April. Nevertheless, Samsung seems determined to follow the Galaxy S5 making headlines by continuous drip of details about their services. So before the rumors about the future Galaxy S5 Zoom 20 megapixel remove him prominence, time to take out the camera of this smartphone has arrived.

Faithful to the tradition of the sector , yes , even the new 16 megapixel camera is one of the star features of the Galaxy S5 is not easy to give the technical details of this new photographic module.

What sensor used? And the goal? How does this system approach that promises to be the fastest seen so far in a mobile work? And the ability to refocus after the shot ? Nothing better than trying to answer some of these questions while we wait to get their hands on the new Galaxy and try it on the ground.

A larger CMOS

" A larger sensor. " That was the only clue that gave Samsung S5(samsung galaxy note skins) during the presentation of a few weeks ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As a really vague as it does not seem enough , after asking responsible for signing we have discovered that the phone uses a CMOS 1/ 2, 6 inch.

Size , indeed greater than the Galaxy S4 and that of most mobile - 5S iPhone uses one 1/3 of an inch , for example , but smaller than the Sony Xperia Z2 and most compact ( 1 / 2.33 inch) and of course the Nokia Lumia 1020.


Why a bigger sensor? Very simple: to increase the resolution to 16 megapixels without affecting the size of each of the cells, which seem to continue to maintain its size of 1.12 microns.

There is also no changes - as confirmed in us - optics, featuring a 31 mm equivalent coverage and F2.2 brightness . Data , coupled with the absence of image stabilization, place the S5 one step behind other handsets in this section.

An object that also seems to be giving occasional headache for Samsung . And according to the latest rumors , the change in the structure of the optical and the addition of a fifth element is complicating production. Something that could directly impact the timing of the arrival terminal to some markets.

Technology ? Isocell ? it seems

But beyond size , the most interesting of the new sensor is its Isocell technology announced by Samsung in late 2013 and whose first commercial application will materialize in the S5 . At least that is what is assumed , because the truth is that , even though we fetched, there is no official track that confirms that the smatphone use this type of sensor instead of CMOS backlit used so far .

Neither the official presentation and nothing was said in that video demonstration of the recently published Isocell technology is specifically indicated for use in the S5 (in fact , the silhouette that appears different from the mobile ) . Nor in the press release of the semiconductor division of Samsung Galaxy notes this as the model to brand captor said .

Isocell The key technology is the separation of the photodiodes to prevent light leakage and improve color reproduction and dynamic range

In any case, the figures seen and dates coincide , we are optimistic and demos by valid theory that the Galaxy S5 uses a CMOS technology with Isocell . Something that certainly would be good news in view of the promises of Samsung regarding this system.

The key is in the sealed cell of each of the photodiodes of the sensor to prevent leakage between them. Something that, at least on paper, direct impact on color reproduction and improved dynamic range. In other words : the classic and annoying effect of burned areas in the image would be one of the potential improvements of this system.

Hybrid approach

Although these details were not mentioned during the presentation of S5 in Barcelona- not is curious that if the camera is so important, the premiere of a new technology like this, Samsung is obviated itself emphasized the focusing system S5.

And it is the first mobile hybrid approach, a technology seen so far in some compact cameras in many of the mirrorless interchangeable lens . The idea is to mix two systems approach : the contrast used in compact and phase difference , traditionally reserved for SLR.

Thus, the S5 includes in its image sensor some cells dedicated to this system approach phase difference , combined with the contrast promises reaction times of 0.3 seconds would have little to envy to the most advanced cameras .


At Mobile World Congress had the opportunity to try for a few minutes the S5 , and the truth is that we approach behavior was excellent , even under very poor light. We'll wait to shoot with it more calmly , but first impressions are good.

There was also time to check that offers manual controls - "shoot like a pro ," promises nevertheless this Page Samsung UK - , which we assume will be reserved for said S5 Zoom. What we offer is a HDR mode that allows improved screen - preview during capture both photos and video - effects exploiting the raw processing power .

The S5 is the first smartphone(iphone 5c cases) that uses a hybrid approach , inherited from the latest models of interchangeable lens cameras

Another development that reaches the S5 is the function that allows refocus after shooting. Something that threatens to be the new fad of this generation of phones: the Nokia Lumia 1020 already provides (actually all Lumia with Windows Phone 8 ) , and the new HTC One that will be released in a few days seems willing to convert this tool on one of the stars of its dual camera .

In this case the operation is similar to that seen in the mode Refocus Nokia : from a burst allows the user to vary the focus from the front to the rear area of the image. Does it work ? Yes, but from what little I 've been able to test it lacks some agility and flexibility - we could only take the focus from foreground to background , not - for intermediate points it becomes more useful and not a curiosity.

Photographic Evolution

Many people have criticized the new features of the Galaxy S5 warm , calling it more like an updated S4 than a revolutionary terminal. A classic that is repeated every time he touches renewal at the top of the window.

Applied this idea to the section of the image, the truth is that the S5 comes with much of the homework done . Increase resolution but also the size of the sensor to keep quality on the road suggests that it has been understood , at last the message that more megapixels is not always better .


And the latest news on the approach , 4K video - another benefit largely ignored in official discourse , by the way - and the overall performance of the camera interesting craved . Especially if the advent of technology Isocell confirms and promises are fulfilled.

However, the S5 seems to have left in the background something as important as the optics. These 31 mm focal remain at the gates to be a interesting angle and a mobile is what we want -the opening of f2.2 is improved and no optical stabilizer is not good news.

In any case, if that matters are the results and not the theory , in a few weeks we can be sure.

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