Samsung has announced a new image sensor for smartphone cameras, which it says has the smallest pixels in the industry. ISOCELL JN1 is a 50 megapixel sensor with a relatively small 1 / 2.76-inch format, which means that its pixels are only 0.64 μm in size. By comparison, Samsung already broke records in 2019 with the slightly larger ISOCELL Slim GH1, another 50-megapixel sensor with 0.7 μm pixels.
Conventional camera wisdom says that smaller pixels usually result in poorer image quality with higher noise, so why does Samsung do this? According to the company, it is about versatility with form factor. The smaller size of the sensor means it can be used in ultra-wide or tele-camera modules ̵
As with other high-resolution camera sensors, the JN1 will use pixel binding technology that combines multiple pixels into one for higher light sensitivity. In this case, Samsung says the sensor will take 12.5 megapixel photos with the equivalent of 1.28 μm pixels, and the company also claims a 16 percent boost to light sensitivity with its ISOCELL 2.0 technology.
Unusually, Samsung even held a full live-streamed launch event for this sensor, which you can watch here:
Samsung says the JN1 is currently in mass production, so it is likely to show up in smartphones soon.