Samsung reveals more info on Galaxy S5 image sensor

Featuring its own Isocell technology, Samsung has revealed some more information on the image sensor found inside the Galaxy S5.

Featuring its own Isocell technology, Samsung has revealed some more information on the image sensor found inside the Galaxy S5.

A sample image from an Isocell sensor. (Screenshot by CBSi)

Last year, Samsung revealed that it was working on a new sensor dubbed Isocell that would improve photos taken in low-light situations and reduce the issues normally associated with backside-illuminated (BSI) sensors. Found on many smartphones and digital cameras, BSI sensors reverse the placement of photodiodes to ensure that light hits them first, rather than having to travel through wiring.

But BSI sensors have their limitations as sometimes crosstalk can occur. Isocell pixels are more isolated than BSI ones, thanks to a barrier that is formed between each of them. This decreases crosstalk by 30 per cent and increases light sensitivity, which should deliver better low-light performance and colour reproduction.

The photodiodes can also be physically larger because of these barriers, isolating each cell — just as the Isocell name suggests. This also means that they can receive more light from difficult angles. Samsung calls this the chief ray angle and says that Isocell has a 20 per cent wider chief ray angle than other units.

As we now know, the image sensor in the Galaxy S5 has a resolution of 16 megapixels and is a 1/2.6-inch model, which makes it a little larger than the 1/3-inch sensor on the iPhone 5s and slightly smaller than the 1/2.3-inch sensor on the Sony Xperia Z2. In front of the sensor sits an f/2.2 lens.

The video also reveals some interesting facts about Samsung's business — it has captured 20 per cent of the global image sensor market. There are also some sample photos from the Isocell sensor included in the clip below:

About the author

Lexy got her first taste of all things tech at an early age, playing long spells of Ski Free during the glory days of Windows 3.1. Originally from CNET's Sydney office, she now calls San Francisco home.

 

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