Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 promises 40 percent faster graphics, DSLR-like photo quality

By Shawn Knight
Aug 12, 2015
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  1. Qualcomm may have stumbled with its Snapdragon 810 SoC but its successor doesn't appear destined to suffer a similar fate. The chipmaker on Wednesday shared details regarding its upcoming Snapdragon 820 SoC which features new versions of its graphics processing unit (GPU) and image signal processing (ISP) unit.

    To say it sounds promising would certainly be an understatement.

    The Adreno 5xx GPU is said to offer up to 40 percent faster performance while consuming 40 percent less power compared to the Adreno 430. It’ll also support 4K video at up to 60 frames per second over HDMI 2.0 for streaming to UHD televisions and displays, Qualcomm said.

    The Spectra ISP, meanwhile, can support up to three cameras simultaneously and is designed to provide best-in-class image quality. Specifically, it’ll allow for images with more natural skin tones and a wider range of colors at up to 25-megapixels at 30 frames per second with zero shutter lag.

    In addition to improved graphics performance and better battery life when playing traditional games, the next-gen Snapdragon SoC will focus on computational photography, computer vision, virtual reality and photo-realistic graphics on mobile devices, said Tim Leland, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies.

    Specifically, Qualcomm promises its solution will deliver DSLR-quality results and while I’m not disputing those claims, I certainly look forward to putting them to the test.

    The Snapdragon 820 with Adreno 530 graphics and Spectra ISP is expected to arrive in devices by the first half of next year. No word yet on which companies are currently sampling the chip or which devices it’ll initially power.

    Permalink to story.

  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +352

    It is PHYSICALLY impossible, given the size of today's smartphone camera sensor, to achieve the DOF, color saturation, luminescence of even a consumer dSLR. Given the size of an APS-C sensor is dozens of times larger than a cell phone sensor, the size of the glass on a dSLR it is impossible.
    Every year, we hear "dslr" quality. Sorry, it just cannot happen. Do some of today's cell phones make good photos? Yes, but on the line of a small point & shoot camera.
    Arris and Rezler like this.
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 813   +246

    They said "DSLR like"... which can be a bit misleading.... after all - humans are "like" monkeys...

    Saying that, top-of-the-line cell cameras take pictures that the VAST majority cannot distinguish from DSLR images...

    "Impossible" aside, I would be quite shocked if cell cameras don't hit DSLR quality within a few years...

    Here's an article written about a year and a half ago that makes my point with a lot more data :)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    Yeah, I agree, it's all marketing hype. The best smartphone cameras today don't even really come close to a good point & shoot camera let alone a DSLR.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    Pictures my 7 year old niece draws on her tablet are "DSLR like" images. They are both made up of pixels.

    Tiny phone camera pictures appear "DSLR" like when viewed inline on a Facebook stream viewed on a 1366x768 monitor but once you view the image at 1:1 they are still very poor in comparison. Once major photographic sites start listing camera phone review results along side DSLR/Mirrorless/proper cameras I'll reconsider the "DSLR like" claim.
  6. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 813   +246

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