Samsung is currently the only company that has designed a 108MP smartphone camera sensor, and the company recently unveiled the 3rd-gen 108MP sensor — the Samsung ISOCELL HM3. Not just that, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is also the first smartphone in the world with this new 108MP ISOCELL HM3 camera sensor, the successor to the ISOCELL HM2 sensor.
The ISOCELL HM3 is a 1/1.33-inch sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, and it comes with an improved Super PD Plus feature. The sensor also AF-optimized micro-lenses on top of phase-detection focusing agents. These technologies improve the measuring accuracy by 50 percent and offer an 83-degree field-of-view.
When it comes to the real-world, the improved Super PD Plus technology helps the sensor to take sharper pictures even if the subject is moving and also helps with low-light photography.
Samsung ISOCELL HM3 also comes with an improved HDR imaging technology called smart ISO pro which uses an intra-scene dual conversion gain (iDCG) solution. In simpler words, the camera captures the same image in low ISO and high ISO and then merges these images to offer a 12-bit color-depth with low-noise.
ISOCELL HM3 has 0.8µm sized pixels, and it uses pixel binning technology by combining 9 neighboring pixels (nona binning) to create one massive 2.4µm sized pixel, thus capturing a 12MP image by default. The sensor can also shoot native 108MP images, and it can seamlessly switch between 12MP and 108MP mode.
According to the specs sheet of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the ISOCELL HM3 108MP sensor is also capable of shooting 8K videos at 24fps and 4K videos at 60fps, making it a versatile smartphone camera sensor for both photography and videography.
Do note that, every smartphone with the ISOCELL HM3 108MP sensor might not offer all these features, as a phone should also have a proper ISP that can fully support this sensor. Overall, the Samsung ISOCELL HM3 108MP camera looks like a potent smartphone sensor, which is expected to be used on upcoming Android flagship smartphones.
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