Samsung’s dual pixel autofocus for Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge explained

Samsung did a grand unveiling of its two flagship smartphones, and their camera featuring the Dual Pixel Autofocus technology was one of the new features that managed to grab a lot of attention.

For years, smartphones are gradually replacing point-and-shoot cameras in the sense that consumers find it more convenient to use their handsets for capturing their special moments, rather than carrying an additional device.

This gave rise to fierce competition between smartphone makers which resulted in the development of new camera technologies for the mobile market. Initially, the primary focus was to increase the number of megapixels of any given unit, but nowadays smartphone manufacturers try to attract consumers and photography enthusiasts by implementing advanced technologies like image stabilization, improved performance in low light conditions, fast autofocus, etc.
This is again the reason Samsung Galaxy S7 sports a 12MP sensor rather than a 16MP unit like its last year model.


With the Galaxy S7 this year, Samsung has replaced its Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) used in the Galaxy S6 by introducing Dual Pixel autofocus which achieves much higher focusing speeds and greater image quality.

This is made possible by pairing 100% of the pixels with two photodiodes each, which allows every pixel to contribute for a better focus. For a comparison, the autofocus implemented in the Galaxy S6 used only about 10% of the available pixels to do so. Also, when capturing a photo on the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, to adjust the focus, the light from the lens is sent to two image sensors independently which is very similar to how the human eye works.



A faster autofocus combined with bigger 1.44-micron pixel size which allows it to capture 95% more light that Galaxy S6 and a wider f/1.7 aperture optics, the Galaxy S7’s camera is expected to deliver higher quality images and blazing fast focusing speeds even in low light conditions.


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