Samsung adding 3x optical zoom to 8MP cameraphones in '09, then on to 12MP

With Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and LG battling all pushing 8 megapixel handsets to the market, the feature is slightly less brag-worthy than it was just a few months ago. Looking to make their 8MP handsets stand-out amongst the ever-growing crowd, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a South Korean Samsung subsidiary, has announced that they’ve developed an 8MP camera module with 3x optical zoom. If everything goes as planned, we should start seeing Samsung devices sporting the new module in early 2009.

This won’t be the first time such a feature has made its way to a Sammy phone: Samsung showed off the 7MP SCH-V770 with 3x optical zoom back in 2005 but, as far as I know, that was a demonstration handset which never made it off the showfloor. As for phones that have actually reached market, the Samsung G810 hit the shelves with 3x optical zoom back in March, albeit strapped to a 5 megapixel camera.

Is 3x zoom really all that much? No. But it’ll make it look like you’re a few feet closer when you shoot your horribly washed-out bootleg concert footage, and that’s all people use camera phones for anyway, right?

In the same announcement, they also mentioned that they’ve got a 12MP camera module in progress back in the labs. Resolution wise, that works out to the fairly absurd 4000×3000. Right around this point, the megapixel race becomes silly. None of the camera phone samples that we’ve seen so far, even amongst the 8 megapixel shots, justify going higher in resolution.

[Via Unwired View]