Galaxy S23 Ultra new 200MP camera: Big mistake letting the competition get ahead?

Galaxy S23 Ultra new 200MP camera: Big mistake letting the competition get ahead?

If Samsung’s recent launch schedule is anything to go by, we’re about three months (or less) away from seeing the new Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ Y galaxy s23 ultra. For better or worse, we already know almost everything about the hardware of the new Galaxy S23 series, including their camera systems. But we are here to talk about the Galaxy S23 Ultra in particular!

According to renowned insiders Yogesh Brar and Ice Universe, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will bring a new 200MP main camerabut it will keep the same 12 MP ultra-wide cameras and two 10 MP telephoto lenses (with 3x and 10x optical zoom).

But wait… why in the world is Samsung giving us a 200 MP camera when the rest of the phone world is moving towards something different and better… camerastuff? Is Samsung targeting the wrong aspect of camera hardware here and will the South Korean company regret this move?

Let’s talk…

Galaxy S23 Ultra packs a 200MP camera, but that’s not as exciting as it sounds…

So, here’s the thing…

Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo (and probably other phone manufacturers) are expected to introduce their new flagship phones in the next 1-2 months. They will have one thing in common, because they will use the IMX 989 mobile camera sensor that we first saw in the Xiaomi 12S ultra at the beginning of this year.

According to reports, the IMX 989 is a creation that Sony Y xiaomi invested and developed together, but the most important variable here is that this is the first 1-inch type sensor that is ready to be mass-produced and used in major flagship phones… and it will be! Just not by Samsung.

I can’t stress this enough, but this is a what a thing for the smartphone camera world. A 1-inch sensor, like those used in virtually all pocket cameras, has been the goal of phone manufacturers and the dream of phone camera enthusiasts (like me) for years!

The benefits of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200MP camera may pale in comparison to the benefits of the 1-inch sensor that will be used in the Xiaomi 13 Pro and other Android flagships.

However, times are different now! Judging by the absolutely outstanding Xiaomi 12S Ultra photo samples lurking on the internet, the phones are now 100% ready to move to 1-inch camera sensors. So I guess you can understand my utter disbelief when Samsung seems to be focusing on something as different and simple as pixel count, rather than sensor size.

The benefits of a larger 1-inch camera sensor are too significant to ignore

  • A larger camera sensor gives you better separation between bokeh and background, which is one of the main (if not the main) features of photography that makes pictures taken with a phone look like they were taken with “a real camera.” “.
  • A larger sensor gives you more light, which is essential for phone cameras, which are already struggling in low-light conditions; more light means less need for software processing which (as we’ve seen a million times) can often make photos look, well… over-processed

There are some benefits to a high-resolution 200MP camera, but they’re unlikely to make a difference to the average user.

On the other hand, more megapixels gives you two main benefits that, in my opinion, are not so fundamental to the average user’s photo/video-taking experience…

  • More megapixels allow you to take… higher megapixel shots that you can then zoom in on (but that’s the job of zoom cameras on phones)
  • A higher megapixel count allows manufacturers to use a technique called “sensor cropping”: phones are smart enough to be able to crop the center part of a sensor with a large megapixel count and give you lossless zoom quality. at 2x magnification (an example is the iPhone 14 Pro which gives you optical-quality photos at 2x zoom thanks to its 48MP main camera)

Is a 200MP camera really what the Galaxy S23 Ultra needs? Probably not…

But that’s where the benefits of a super high resolution camera end and also where the most confusing part begins…

The Galaxy S23 Ultra will have a 3x telephoto camera for short-range zoom and portrait photos, as well as a long-range 10x optical zoom lens, reducing the need to crop the sensor.

On top of all that, the 108MP camera found on the Galaxy S22 Ultra It already offers a lot of detail (when used in its full resolution mode) that many people won’t even use, unlike a 1-inch camera sensor that you’ll literally use all the time (duh!).

For example, in our tests (as you can see above), the iPhone 14ProThe brilliant 48MP mode revolves around the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP mode, delivering cleaner, better detail. The iPhone 14 Pro even stands out against the Motorola-done Moto X30 Pro, which is the first phone with a 200MP sensor (ironically made by Samsung). For the record, the Galaxy 23 Ultra is expected to use a different 200MP sensor, as well as improved processing thanks to the unreleased Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. So there is no doubt that Samsung’s flagship will perform better than other 200MP phones on the market. But how much better?

Samsung hasn’t faced tougher camera competition since Huawei’s domination of the camera phone market and Xiaomi is coming in (very) hot.

Well(p), of course, we can’t judge a book by its cover, especially when we haven’t seen the cover, let alone read the book. Excuse the ridiculous analogy, I haven’t had lunch.

So sure… I can’t tell you that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will lose out to the Xiaomi 13 Pro/Ultra, Vivo X90 Pro and Oppo Find X6 Pro before we see what all these cameras can do. But one thing is for sure and that is that the current evidence (read: Xiaomi 12S Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra camera results) doesn’t exactly favor Samsung.

What makes things more exciting is that, after a long absence from the global phone market, Xiaomi’s ultra-premium flagship phone is now expected to be sold in markets other than China.

Other than that, surprisingly, the humbler Xiaomi 13 Pro is also expected to sport the same 1-inch Sony IMX 989 sensor, which means two things: Samsung’s more affordable Galaxy S23 and S23+ models will face tougher camera competition. , and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra (expected to arrive in mid-2023) will surely hide even bigger camera surprises (for the Galaxy S23 Ultra & Co).

So, the game is on! Apple Y Google They won’t be launching new phones anytime soon, but China’s Big Three (Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo) could make life difficult for Samsung. The last time Samsung was under pressure from the Chinese chamber, the company didn’t exactly win. Huawei’s P and Mate series of phones dominated the Galaxy for years before the US trade embargo.

Is history going to repeat itself?

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