With features like dual aperture, super-slow-motion and up to four rear cameras, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S10, is nothing less than a photography powerhouse. Samsung has, in fact, long been at the forefront of mobile imaging. But how did it reach there? Well, it all began almost two decades back, when it introduced its first camera phone in the year 2000. To visualize the journey through to the Galaxy S10, the company has released an infographic offering a view of the past 19 years and the progress it has made with its smartphone cameras.
The evolution of Samsung’s smartphone cameras
The graphic starts with Samsung’s first camera phone, the SCH-V200. Launched in 2000, the device came equipped with a 0.35 MP camera and allowed you to store up to 20 photos, though you couldn’t view them on the phone itself. A couple of years later, Samsung launched the first phone that could take selfies. The SCH-X590 (that’s how phones were named back then) was a flip phone with a camera embedded right into the hinge. It was a rotatable camera, allowing users to take pictures from the front and back. Samsung has just introduced a (similar) rotating camera technology with the Galaxy A80.
From there, Samsung move on to different flip-style phones introducing a number of firsts. The SCH–V420 phone from 2003 featured a whole new hinge which allowed the screen to rotate to a landscape orientation. You could literally capture photos and videos from different angles without even moving. Two years later, Samsung decided to up the ante by launching the world’s first 7MP camera phone. The SCH-V770, in fact, was revolutionary in many ways. It had wide-angle and telephoto lenses, and featured 3x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom and auto focus.
And finally in 2010, after a decade of revolutionary innovations in mobile imaging, Samsung introduced the first Galaxy S smartphone. Equipped with a 5MP main camera, which supported a wide array of photo modes such as Panorama, Stop Motion, and Cartoon Shot, the Galaxy S laid the foundation for a whole new innovation for smartphone cameras. Its touchscreen display also changed the way people interact with their phones.
Samsung has since introduced several new features to smartphone cameras. The Galaxy S3 in 2012 brought the Burst Shot mode, which could take up to 20 continuous shots with an 8MP camera. Then came the Galaxy S4 Zoom featuring a 16 MP camera and a powerful 10x optical zoom in 2013. The following year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 with the fastest autofocus (0.3 seconds) on its devices at the time and real-time HDR.
The Galaxy S7 in 2016 introduced the Dual Pixel autofocus system and a wider aperture, taking brighter images even in low light. The Galaxy Note 8 became Samsung’s first smartphone with dual rear cameras, a trend these days. It also came with features like optical image stabilisation for both cameras and Live Focus for bokeh photography.
After a couple of years without any significant improvements in camera technology, Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 series earlier this year. The latest Samsung flagship is arguably the best camera phone right now, and Samsung continues to improve on it with new software update.