It seems that smartphones have taken over the camera industry in a different way. While pro cameras still stick to sensors with double-digit megapixels, the likes of Samsung and Sony are already playing in triple-digit territory. If you thought that a 108 megapixel camera was already stretching it, your jaw might drop at the unofficial confirmation that Samsung is already working on a sensor that will boast 600,000,000 pixels sitting on the back of some smartphone in the distant future.
The idea of a 600MP camera sounds almost too ridiculous to be true but @Ice universe’s source suggests that Samsung is dead serious about it. Fortunately, it also comes with a more or less reasonable justification for that feature as well as an assurance that it won’t even available anytime soon.
Just like with 108MP sensors, you won’t really be taking photos or recording videos at 108MP resolutions, though that is certainly possible. Instead, using pixel binning methods like Samsung’s recent Nonacell technology, adjacent pixels are compressed to a single one with higher light information density. In practical terms, Samsung wants this 600MP sensor to enable zooming in 4K and 8K without much loss in details.
While that might be interesting to photographers, the consequences of such a large sensor are more than just impractical for smartphones. Samsung itself points out that 1/0.57-inch 0.8 micrometer sensor would occupy about 12% of the smartphone’s back. More ridiculous, perhaps, is it would also be around 13.2mm thick, increasing the phone’s thickness by a whopping 22mm.
Of course, Samsung is working to get solve that problem, but it probably won’t be able to do so in time for next year’s flagships. Samsung’s ISOCELL technology has definitely grown by leaps and bounds over the past years but, despite all the innovation, Samsung continues to fall short of reaching the top benchmarks in mobile photography.