Samsung announces the new Isocell GNK sensor destined to become a reference for camera phones in the coming months.
Samsung aims to strengthen its leading role in the smartphone photography sector. The Korean company has just announced the debut of the new Isocell GNK sensor. Several high-end smartphones will offer this sensor over the next few months and, according to some rumours, it may, in reality, have already been used by Google as the primary sensor of the top-of-the-range Google Pixel 8 Pro, whose photographic sector has been promoted by DxOMark.
Samsung Isocell GNK: Technical Characteristics
The new Isocell GNK sensor has a size of 1/1.3″, with 1.2 μm pixels and an effective resolution of the captured images of 8,160×6,144 pixels, equal to 50 Megapixels. As regards video recording, however, the sensor is capable of shooting videos in 8K at 30 fps, 4K at 120 fps or Full HD at 240 fps (slow motion).
Also noteworthy is the Dual Pixel Pro (PDAF) system for autofocus, which will improve the quality of images and videos with moving subjects, guaranteeing more precise and responsive autofocus. The new Isocell GNK, thanks to three different ISO modes and advanced HDR technology, can produce images with a dynamic range of up to 102 dB.
Furthermore, Smart-ISO Pro technology should guarantee a further improvement in the dynamic range per single frame, eliminating motion-related artifacts and creating images with a color depth of up to 14 bits.
The performance of the new Isocell sensor will have to be tested in the field, but Samsung anticipates great potential for GNK. In low light conditions, for example, four pixels are merged into a single pixel, improving image performance.
This process, which is certainly nothing new in the sector, should have been further refined by Samsung for its new Isocell GNK, which, on paper, aims to guarantee a further leap in quality for photography even in non-optimal light conditions. This context has always represented a challenging testing ground for smartphones.
Does The Pixel 8 Pro Already Use The New Isocell GNK?
Samsung has confirmed that the first smartphones with Isocell GNK will only be available during the first months of 2024. Next year’s top-of-the-range, therefore, could use the new Samsung sensor to improve photographic performance, especially in low-light contexts.
In reality, however, the new Isocell could already be used by at least one smartphone. This is confirmed by the Korean magazine Maeil Business Newspaper. Samsung may have supplied the new sensor (probably in a “custom” version or with an exclusive temporary supply contract) to Google. The American company, therefore, may have used GNK for the Google Pixel 8 Pro.