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Samsung aims to usurp Apple's iPhone camera supremacy next year with a massive overhaul to the cameras on its flagship phones, reports Bloomberg.

samsung-galaxy-s11-plus-onleaks.jpeg
Galaxy S11+ Render from @OnLeaks
Its upcoming Galaxy S11 will sport a 108-megapixel sensor for the main camera -- versus the iPhone 11's 12 -- flanked by three more on the back of the device including an ultrawide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom, they said. The marquee device will also adopt a time-of-flight sensor for depth detection similar to one already in the Note 10+, a feature that can aid portrait photos and augmented-reality applications, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing specifications that haven't been made public.
The high-resolution sensor and 5x zoom camera will also feature in its second Galaxy Fold device, which is expected to be unveiled in February, around the same time as the launch of the Galaxy S11 launch, according to Bloomberg. Affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. developed the 5x zoom module, which went into production earlier this year.

The arsenal of lenses planned for the rear of the S11 are said to be a key part of Samsung's bid to outshine Apple in next year's smartphone stakes, with 5G connectivity and foldable devices forming the other core pillars of its head-start hardware strategy. Apple's next generation of flagship smartphones aren't expected to arrive until several months later in the fall.

Apple made major changes to the rear camera system in the 2019 iPhone lineup with the new triple-lens setup of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, and 2020 is expected to bring even more camera improvements.

Rumors suggest Apple will add a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera to the iPhone 12 Pro, which will bring significant improvements in augmented reality experiences.

The camera is said to be able to scan areas up to 15 feet from the device. Apple's front-facing TrueDepth camera uses similar 3D technology but because it's infrared and not laser-powered, it only works at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters.

Apple plans to release an all-OLED lineup in 2020 consisting of 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models in the second half of the year, according to the latest prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The 6.1-inch "iPhone 12 Pro" and 6.7-inch "iPhone 12 Pro Max" are expected to feature a triple-lens rear camera. So far, rumors indicate these two higher-end iPhones will use the new time-of-flight rear camera, so it may not be available in the lower-end iPhones that are going to have a lower price tag.

Article Link: Samsung Galaxy S11 Said to Boast 108-Megapixel Camera and 5x Telephoto Lens
 
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syklee26

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2005
617
1,333
It’s always good to see the biggest competitor pushing the boundaries. Pixel counts are nowadays pronounced more as marketing, but 108 megapixel is 108 megapixel.
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,423
4,183
Tennessee
It’s always good to see the biggest competitor pushing the boundaries. Pixel counts are nowadays pronounced more as marketing, but 108 megapixel is 108 megapixel.
More sampling is generally better (all things equal) but there is always a cost, especially on sensors as tiny as these. And when one factors where photos are displayed (vast, vast majority on an electronic device) the higher megapixel count really does become more marketing and less useful. Even cropping such a size leads to progressively less image quality.
 
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Ntombi

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Jul 1, 2008
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More sampling is generally better (all things equal) but there is always a cost, especially on sensors as tiny as these. And when one factors where photos are displayed (vast, vast majority on an electronic device) the higher megapixel count really does become more marketing and less useful. Even cropping such a size leads to progressively less image quality.
I know you’re right and I’m in the minority, but I actually print out, give away, and display about .5-1% of my pictures, which is quite a few. I switched my from a digital camera to my iPhone, purely for convenience, and I have definitely felt the difference, but they’re doing better and better.

When the iPhone went up to 12 megapixels, it meant that many of my uncropped pics could be printed at 11x14, and even things that I zoomed and cropped could be printed at 8x10 and look good. I can’t imagine the fun I’d have with 108!

But Samsung means android, and I’m in too deep.
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
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I know you’re right and I’m in the minority, but I actually print out, give away, and display about .5-1% of my pictures, which is quite a few. I switched my from a digital camera to my iPhone, purely for convenience, and I have definitely felt the difference, but they’re doing better and better.

When the iPhone went up to 12 megapixels, it meant that many of my uncropped pics could be printed at 11x14, and even things that I zoomed and cropped could be printed at 8x10 and look good. I can’t imagine the fun I’d have with 108!

But Samsung means android, and I’m in too deep.
I have a 40”x50” print of Bryce Canyon that originated from my 6.3 megapixel 2003 Canon 300D (Canon’s first consumer dSLR) and a 75-300mm lens. I thought it was going to be blocky as hell but it looks great. I have no idea how they did it.
 

V_Man

Cancelled
Aug 1, 2013
654
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Haha, reverting back to the megapixel wars.

The sad part is some people will actually believe 108 megapixels makes the sensor 108 times better.
Most people will think it’s better. Most people doNt really care
[automerge]1575635760[/automerge]
 
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superiska123

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
124
156
I don't think cramming 108 MP in a tiny phone sensor is feasible. Sure, you'll get a great number for advertising but when you zoom all the way in on a photo it probably won't look as good as you'd expect it to. There's a reason why many professional cameras stick to 50 MP...

Also, I'm very curious to see how well camera apps perform with 108 MP, as Android isn't really known for good optimization.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
16,327
16,159
Singapore
Don’t really see any other way out for Samsung. They are reduced to relying on their hardware chops to make up for a nonexistent software and services portfolio.

I don’t expect this to actually do anything to reverse their declining profit margins though. They are being eaten by Apple on the premium end of the market and decimated by cheaper android alternatives on the low end.
 
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cardfan

macrumors 68040
Mar 23, 2012
3,551
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Truly living up to its name of the bloatware special. Now with bloated cameras. Screw the pic quality.
 

CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
1,561
3,804
UK
It’s always good to see the biggest competitor pushing the boundaries. Pixel counts are nowadays pronounced more as marketing, but 108 megapixel is 108 megapixel.

And this to me is a shock - that they are somehow are the biggest competitor. I have just bought my first ever mobile Samsung device (an S10) as it was a good price compared to the Pixel 4 which is an absurd proposition with it's battery life and cost. Previously I had each generation of the Pixel.

Comparing the photo quality to my Pro 11 though (in low light) it is quite a long way off and the software/experience is really poor compared to the "raw android" that I am used to. The hardware is nice to look at but once you start using it the curved screen is a pain. The shared power though is a really nice touch, that'll be really popular when it finally appears in an iPhone.

The main problem I have found though is that Samsung just seemed to of shipped out a device that they think people will want, rather than one that is tested to ensure they will want it. The underscreen fingerprint reader is awful. If it worked (which it never does first, rarely even second time) then it would be great.

It would be nice that rather than Samsung just throwing in some headline tech (like huge MP's), they actually tested it and developed it to be the best that it can be. How the Google hardware team keep missing the open goal is almost a mystery to me. It's almost as though they want to. If however Samsung and Google actually teamed up and merged the best of their two devices, it could be amazing.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,706
2,900
This sounds interesting, Huawei's P30 Pro has a Leica 5x zoom using a periscope lens which works amazingly. Samsung needed to give its camera tech some serious love as it had been coasting on the same sensors for several generations.

Having a periscope 5x lens for the zoom on an iPhone would be something I would clamor for - but based on Apple's ceding of camera tech leadership (for still photos, not video) to Google / Huawei etc. over these last years, it's probably going to be a long time before we see such a thing if ever (which is a sad thing to conclude).

Still not interested, but I wonder how it will chew up the “disk space”.

Expectations are that the photos will be using the huge number of pixels on the sensor for sampling down to a 12MP (or so) picture that actually gets saved (there's some benefit to this although I don't understand it).

...I have just bought my first ever mobile Samsung device (an S10) as it was a good price compared to the Pixel 4 which is an absurd proposition with it's battery life and cost. Previously I had each generation of the Pixel.

Me as well for exactly the same reasons - I use this as my work phone with my iPhone as my personal phone. Was a bit agonizing not going with the latest Pixel. Amazing Google's execs weren't following Apple and the industries lead on increasing battery life the last several generations and then went with cheaper lower spec chips on the Pixel 4 compared to the 3 (storage read / app load speeds actually declined on the 4 and Google went with a WiFi chip that doesn't support the newer standard, unlike the Sammy).

...The main problem I have found though is that Samsung just seemed to of shipped out a device that they think people will want, rather than one that is tested to ensure they will want it. The underscreen fingerprint reader is awful. If it worked (which it never does first, rarely even second time) then it would be great...

Yes, looks and sounds good in the carrier's stores. As long as you don't normally use one, do take the included / installed screen protector off, it improves the fingerprint reader noticeably (but it still isn't great). I normally get it on the first try with the 2nd try (when it happens) nearly ever time. YMMV
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,274
4,519
Do people seriously switch hardware year over year from Samsung to Apple? Are people actually going to stop using 12 years of iOS, iCloud storage, Apple Pay, Apple Music and all of our purchased apps and switch to Samsung over a 100 megapixel camera? With extreme lock-in each platform has now with services, I simply don't have time to spend a week setting up a phone and finding apps for another platform only to switch back to iOS next year.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,365
432
Boston, MA
I'm surprised that none of the big players has developed an own android branch of the OS that is integrated with their hardware and is robust and solid and guarantees OS updates for several years similar to iOS. Such a polished OS that is stable and future proof would go a long way to convince me to switch from iOS to a different platform. A 108 megapixel camera has no impact on my purchasing decision at all.
 

H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2010
3,150
3,678
Pittsburgh PA
That's one hundred and eight .004 micron pixels. No thanks. (I'm being sarcastic, but there's no way they're approaching 1 micron, much less 1.5 or larger pixels).

If this were a DSLR or at least a Lumia 1020-sized sensor, then I'd be interested. I've done the higher megapixel in a smartphone camera thing before, and the results were trash because the pixels of the sensor were so tiny. Which is a shame, because the HTC One M9 was a gorgeous phone.

Apple should opt for optically stabilized, 16mp, 2 micron pixel, 1.6 to 1.8f sensors next go-round. They'll poop on everything from the robotphone camp with that formula.
 

qgadrian

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2018
12
59
I don’t know why the 5,4inch wouldn’t be “pro” model, meaning it will don’t have same has features as bigger one.

I want to think they can’t figure out how put the same componentes into a smaller phone, because I hate assuming smaller means lower end.
 

GoodWheaties

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2015
761
802
So we are back to the megapixel wars, even after it’s been shown to not be that important (e.g. dropping from 21MP to 12MP a few years ago). Essentially this 108MP sensor is only a 27MP sensor nearly all the time. And it hasn’t been shown to be much better than a good 12MP sensor. Especially anywhere that is not in full sun.
 

superiska123

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
124
156
Do people seriously switch hardware year over year from Samsung to Apple? Are people actually going to stop using 12 years of iOS, iCloud storage, Apple Pay, Apple Music and all of our purchased apps and switch to Samsung over a 100 megapixel camera? With extreme lock-in each platform has now with services, I simply don't have time to spend a week setting up a phone and finding apps for another platform only to switch back to iOS next year.
Many of my friends switch phones each year. They mostly use free apps, don't sync things to their computers aside from transfering photos/music and aren't tech fans. These people just buy the phone they think looks the coolest, and to them I think a 108 MP camera would probably sound like a good enough reason to switch to Samsung.
 
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