Photography’s Evolution: Samsung’s Bet On 200mp Telephoto Cameras

200mp Telephoto Cameras

Published on September 29th, 2023

In the past year, we’ve witnessed the launch of smartphones featuring impressive 200MP main cameras.

However, Samsung Semiconductor has recently teased the potential introduction of 200MP telephoto cameras, marking a significant advancement in mobile photography for various compelling reasons.

Samsung published an article on its official website, heralding 200MP telephoto cameras as the “next big thing in smartphone photography.” To begin with, Samsung highlights the advantages of using a telephoto camera for portrait photography, citing reduced distortion compared to employing a primary camera sensor.

Nevertheless, Samsung acknowledges a common limitation: telephoto camera sensors are typically much smaller than their primary camera counterparts.

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This size difference often results in a noticeable quality gap between primary and telephoto cameras.

Therefore, the introduction of a larger telephoto sensor has the potential to bridge this image quality divide while also enabling a shallower depth-of-field, crucial for achieving the coveted background blur in portrait shots.

More Megapixels Means More Cropping

Samsung is considering the integration of 200MP telephoto cameras in smartphones, recognizing their potential as a significant upgrade in mobile photography.

These high-resolution sensors can provide lossless cropped zoom, such as the Realme 11 Pro Plus offering 4x lossless zoom using a 200MP main camera.

While this zoom is primarily lossless in terms of resolution, it still outperforms standard digital zoom.

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Samsung envisions the use of a 200MP sensor in a 3x telephoto module, enabling lossless zoom scenarios from 3x to 6x to 12x, with the possibility of even greater results through software processing enhancements.

Several other Android OEMs have demonstrated success with high-megapixel telephoto lenses, achieving decent image quality at high zoom levels.

The first phone featuring a 200MP telephoto camera may not come from Samsung but is rumored to appear in the vivo X100 Pro Plus.

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However, there are potential downsides, including a larger camera bump, increased cost, and potential challenges in low-light photography.

Despite these concerns, the advantages of superior long-range zoom and distortion-free portraits may make 200MP telephoto lenses a common feature in top camera phones by 2024.

Feature Image Source: Maël BALLAND