January 31, 2023

Samsung may use sensor-shift camera stabilization tech on the Galaxy S23 series, or at least the Galaxy S23 Ultra. A newly-discovered patent application from the company hints at this possibility. Accompanying documents suggest the Korean firm is ready to introduce the new stabilization tech.

Sensor-shift works differently from the traditional OIS (optical image stabilization) found on the current crop of Samsung smartphones. As you might have guessed, this tech makes the image sensor move to counter phone movements while shooting. OIS relies on lens movement for stabilization. The former is often regarded as superior stabilization tech for smartphones, though it is arguable.

Apple debuted sensor-shift stabilization on the iPhone 12 Pro Max a couple of years back. But all this while, Samsung relied on OIS. In April last year, reports emerged that the Korean firm is working on sensor-shift tech. However, there wasn’t much follow-up to it. But this patent application suggests Samsung continued the work behind the scenes and is now ready to debut it. Interestingly, it was filed around the same time the reports emerged last year.

Titled “Camera Module Including Image Stabilization Assembly, And Electronic Device Including Same,” WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) published the Samsung patent on Thursday. First spotted by GalaxyClub, Samsung specifically mentions a telephoto camera with a periscope lens featuring sensor-shift tech. This suggests the company plans to apply this tech to the zoom camera instead of the main sensor. Apple’s implementation is the other way around.

If we go by this speculation, the Galaxy S23 Ultra may feature sensor-shift stabilization on the 10X telephoto zoom camera. At this zoom level, the tech may make a huge difference to the image quality. Since the vanilla and Plus models don’t feature a 10X zoom camera, they may miss out on this tech. Or maybe Samsung will use it on the 3X zoom camera as well. With rumors suggesting unchanged zoom camera resolution on the upcoming Samsung flagships, these kinds of upgrades may bring notable improvements to image quality. We will have to wait and see.

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Samsung may soon debut its sensor-shift camera stabilization tech

Whether or not the Galaxy S23 Ultra gets sensor-shift camera stabilization is still up in the air. However, Samsung may debut this tech sooner than later. In its patent documents, the company mentions its use case across various electronic devices, including regular smartphones, foldables, slideables, stretchables, and rollables. So if the upcoming Galaxy flagships miss it, maybe we will see the tech on the fifth-gen Samsung foldables in mid-2023.