Cameras are a big deal these days. This is why Samsung is partnering OLYMPUS, the camera giant, to bolster the camera tech inside the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Fold 3
OLYMPUS will provide imaging technology and cameras for some of Samsung’s upcoming flagship releases, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3.
News of the partnership was disclosed on Twitter by a leaker that goes by the name of Yogesh and then backed up further by reliable leaker Ice Universe. This doesn’t mean it is legit – but its as good as we’ll get ahead of an official announcement.
According to the sources, the nature of the Samsung x OLYMPUS partnership is unclear at present. Nothing will apparently happen until at least 2022, and nothing has been said about what OLYMPUS’ role will be.
That means it won’t be coming to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE – that phone is due to launch in and around July/August time in 2021.
OLYMPUS Camera Tech on Samsung Phones – What’s The Deal?
It could be similar to what Nokia and Huawei does with ZEISS and Leica; on these phones, the cameras are tweaked and optimized by specialist photography companies.
Either way, the pairing will almost certainly be extremely interesting.
Samsung has an excellent track record with camera modules; its 108MP sensor is currently a popular choice on many of the latest, new Android phones to hit the market – phones like the Xiaomi Mi 11.
What could OLYMPUS possibly bring to the party? I didn’t really know, so I did some digging and uncovered reports dating all the way back to 2015 which discuss a patent filed by OLYMPUS.
According to the patent, OLYMPUS has a patent for a sensor technology that records polarization information, potentially allowing in-camera processing to replicate the effect of a polarizing filter but without the light cost.
Why should this particular patent be of interest to photographers? Because a camera with a polarization-aware sensor could theoretically adjust for the polarization of light falling on it from different parts of a scene, allowing for in-camera processing to replicate the photographic benefits of a traditional polarizing filter, but without the associated light loss at the point of exposureDP REVIEW
Could this be what Samsung is after for use inside its 2022 flagship phones? It’s possible. But this patent is now six years old; OLYMPUS could have developed things a lot further, adding in more potential uses and applications.
Alternatively, this co-op could just be something of a branding exercise for OLYMPUS. Samsung is a big brand. By associating with Samsung, OLYMPUS could earn itself plenty of brand recognition with younger users, users not exposed to OLYMPUS cameras just yet.
Either way, this could turn out to be really interesting. And if it comes to the Galaxy S22 when that phone launches, it’d certainly be an interesting marketing angle – especially if Samsung positions the phone has the ultimate camera phone.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.