Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 200MP HP2 camera brings better portrait videos

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra with the new 200 megapixel ISOCELL HP2 sensor gets, among other things, a better portrait video mode.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is coming to market with better video recording capabilities, among other things. This includes support for 8K videos at 30 fps instead of the previous 24 fps. But there are even more upgrades. According to well-known tipster Ice Universe, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will come with an improved video mode for portraits. The maximum resolution is reportedly 4K at 30 fps. For comparison, the current Galaxy S22 Ultra only shoots portrait videos at 1080p and 30 frames per second. In addition, Samsung is said to have improved the separation between the subject and the background.

It’s not clear if these improvements will also reach the regular Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+. All three Samsung smartphones are powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipsets, but only the Ultra gets the new ISOCELL HP2 sensor with a resolution of 200 megapixels. The smaller models use 50 megapixel sensors instead. The HP2 is 1/1.3 inch in size with 0.6 μm pixels. It features new technologies and algorithms to extend dynamic range and improve color reproduction.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be the first 200 megapixel cell phone with an HP2 sensor

The HP2 name might suggest that the new sensor is a bit inferior to the 200 megapixel ISOCELL HP3. In fact, the number only refers to the size of the individual pixels. Samsung combines them using a new pixel binning technology called Tetra2pixel. In low-light situations, the HP2 combines four pixels into one 1.2μm pixel, resulting in a resolution of 50 megapixels. 16-in-1 binning for 2.4 μm pixels and 12.5 megapixel images is available for even more light intensity. The Galaxy S23 Ultra records 8K videos with 4-in-1 binning and 1.2 μm pixels.

The ISOCELL HP2 sensor also manages 15 fps bursts at its native 200 megapixel resolution. That’s twice as much as the HP3 and 50% more than the half-resolution, 100-megapixel HM3 sensor. The sensor is also equipped with a Dual Vertical Transfer Gate (D-VTG) to avoid pixel burn-out from highlights. Up to this point, the individual pixels still collect a third more light, according to Samsung.

Super QPD technology recognizes both horizontal and vertical patterns. This helps to deliver fast and precise autofocus, especially in low light conditions. The ISOCELL HP2 is also the first sensor to use Samsung’s DSG (Dual Slope Gain) function in 50 megapixel mode. This applies two separate conversion values to the received analog signal at the pixel level, delivering “super HDR performance”. In plain language: both exposures are captured without the risk of losing detail in conventional HDR mode. The Galaxy S23 Ultra can thus shoot 4K HDR videos at 60 fps.

Despite the high resolutions and frame rates, there shouldn’t be any thermal problems. Accordingly, the new flagship should not heat up much when taking photos and in the new video modes. The HP2 sensor is already in production and we will see its debut on February 1st alongside the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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