Elephone goes for a Samsung 3L2 sensor in the P8000


elephone P8000 samsung camera

With Sony struggling to keep up with orders, phone makers are looking for alternate camera sensor to use in their new phones.

A few weeks back Sony announced that it was struggling to keep up with the demand for Sony IMX214 13 mega-pixel sensors. It isn’t surprisingly really as it seems that pretty much every Chinese phone maker wants to use the 13 mega-pixel sensor in it’s latest phone. The IMX214 is a 13 mega-pixel chip capable of 4K video and found in the Xiaomi Mi Note, OnePlus One, Oppo Find 7, LeTV X600, Ulefone Be Touch and Elephone P7000 to just name a few.

With demand high and supply low, Chinese vendors are looking for alternatives, one of them being Samsung. Just like Sony, Samsung produce a wide range of camera sensors for phones and tablets, with a model to suit pretty much all needs.

For example the Samsung S5K3L2 is a 13 mega-pixel sensor which can film at 30fps, and has a pixel size of 1.12. It is also the camera which Elephone will be using in their upcoming P8000 smartphone.

The information was leaked in the above image produced for the promotion of the upcoming phone. It also details the use of a 5 mega-pixel front facing camera with beautification features.

What are your thoughts on the use of Samsung camera sensors? And do you really believe that the IMX214 is really necessary when most Chinese phones still don’t offer 4K video recording?

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58 Comments

  1. balcobomber25
    June 4, 2015

    The Sammy camera on the M1 Note was excellent and comparable to the 214. Personally I prefer OV sensors to Sony.

    • Marco Lancaster
      June 4, 2015

      The OV sensor used in Gionee E7 is really awesome. And now if we judge for the E7 price, should be cheap. Would be great to see some companies opting for that.

      • balcobomber25
        June 4, 2015

        OV has a lot of good sensors, that particular sensor was actually co developed between Gionee and OV but has been used in a few other devices.

        • Muhammad Yasir
          June 4, 2015

          i hope CHEAPER chinese devices (below $160) use that SPECIFIC OV sensor for good !

          • balcobomber25
            June 7, 2015

            I wouldn’t count on it for a few reasons:

            1. China is a copycat market and right now the IMX 214 and to a lesser extent the 135 are the go to sensors.

            2. OV doesn’t have the same stigma that Sony does with customers. Sony sensors are as much a marketing term as they are a product. Customers have the negative perception that if it has a Sony sensor it is the best.

            3. An extension of #2, OV sensors have a reputation for being nothing more than front facing cameras or interpolated sensors. People don’t realize they make great sensors that go toe to toe with the best from Sony and win sometimes. They also don’t realize there are just as many Sony 5mp and 8mp that are interpolated on cheaper devices.

            • Muhammad Yasir
              June 7, 2015

              well , thats just sad. we humans really are lemmings , sometimes. FOCUSED on what is a preset and never really daring to change the conventional for better means.

              i do hope the chinese eventually learn to market and implement OV sensors ALONGSIDE Sony ones. My main focus , as you are familiar , are the low-cost phones that are ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at low-light photography. If someone could think about this problem at the manufacturers’ R&D , they can easily exploit this as a loophole to gain some good chunk of a market share.

              Until then , we can only hope…

              Thanks for your really constructive and informative input , tho…

            • balcobomber25
              June 7, 2015

              Even some of the high end phones aren’t good with low light. My wife has the S6 and that thing is an amazing camera with plenty of light, without light it’s worse than my Mi4. It really is hit or miss.

    • Muhammad Yasir
      June 4, 2015

      whats a Sammy Camera ?

      • Adam Irvine
        June 4, 2015

        Samsung Camera… 🙂

        • Muhammad Yasir
          June 5, 2015

          ohh , i c 🙂

      • balcobomber25
        June 5, 2015

        Sammy is the short name for Samsung.

        • Muhammad Yasir
          June 5, 2015

          heh.
          i was confused. since in the popular US series , Supernatural , one of the protagonist is also nicknamed sammy :p

  2. csak1user
    June 4, 2015

    Galaxy S4 uses this sensor.
    You can compare it with others.
    I compared it with OPO (IMX214) and Meizu m1 note (Samsung something).

    http://www.gsmarena.com/piccmp.php3?idType=3&idPhone1=6890&idPhone2=5125&idPhone3=6327

    I don’t think it is worse than IMX214. The S4’s picture is a little bit over sharpened for my taste, but that is just the software.

    edit.: I checked the real life pictures, and OPO’s pictures seems better, but it can be the weather.

    • Xalis
      June 4, 2015

      The S4 uses a Sony IMX135.

      • Leo
        June 4, 2015

        I just read the op and thought that can’t be right the S4 is 2 years old, just as I finished thinking that your reply should up

      • csak1user
        June 4, 2015

        afaik the S4 i9505 uses the Samsung S5K3L2 and the S4 i9500 uses the IMX135.

        • Leo
          June 4, 2015

          How about i9506?

          So buying the P8000 to replace the S4 (i9506) would be a bad idea…

          • csak1user
            June 4, 2015

            You will get about the same amount of power, with camera that is almost performs the same.
            MT6753’s overall score is a little bit better, but in single thread performance, the S4 is almost twice as fast.
            It is upgradable to lollipop too, so I wouldn’t change it for this.

  3. MaxPower
    June 4, 2015

    If I’m not wrong IMX135 differs from IMX214 only for the 4k capability so if the phone doesn’t support this feature you can easily go with the previous version.

    Again,if I’m not wrong, the sensor is only a piece of the puzzle so comparing two phones with the same sensor is reductive.

    Vivo Xshot uses IMX214 sensor just like the OPO but makes better pics due to better optics.

    • balcobomber25
      June 4, 2015

      You are not wrong they are built on the same exact architecture have the same exact sensor size etc. The 214 is like version 2.0 of the 135. There are some other smaller changes besides 4k video but they are all software related.

  4. Marco Lancaster
    June 4, 2015

    Maybe the difference in price can help them to work more in the overall optics, rather than just put the Sensor, without increase the price. Also as Balcombomber said here, some OV sensors are really good, I don’t understand why some brands simply don’t opt for it, the high quality sensors from them are really good, for example the one used on Gionee E7, should be cheap now, And was one of the best cameras until now.

    • Muhammad Yasir
      June 4, 2015

      hmm.. nice point there !

  5. Riccardo Benzoni
    June 4, 2015

    sensor is only part of the result, lens and software optimization is were many fall… right now I can tell only bigger brands manage to unleash the best potential from the cameras they use, hope smaller brands will start looking also behind the sensor and set up properly everything else, it’s not enough to write sony 13mpx anymore, as we have seen with many devices released recently.

  6. PhoneGeek78
    June 4, 2015

    I own LG G2 (imx135) and Honor 6 (imx214 (EMUI 3.0)). My opinion is that imx135 has worse contrast when snapping pics in sunlight. I have tried imx135 with MIUI, G2 stock rom and cyanogen, but with no better images by different camera software. In this case my conclusion is that imx214 takes much better pictures with better contrast ratio.

    • Mrinal
      June 4, 2015

      Could be that the optics are worse though.. actually that will most likely be the case.. unless you have 2 cameras with exactly the same optics and software (where only the sensors differ), you can’t compare the sensors.

    • balcobomber25
      June 4, 2015

      The Honor 6 uses better optics and has a F2.0 Aperture the G2 has a F2.4. The sensors themselves are almost identical, if everything was equal (optics, software, aperture etc) you would never be able to tell the difference,

  7. balcobomber25
    June 4, 2015

    The Sammy camera on the M1 Note was excellent and comparable to the 214. Personally I prefer OV sensors to Sony.

    • Marco Lancaster
      June 4, 2015

      The OV sensor used in Gionee E7 is really awesome. And now if we judge for the E7 price, should be cheap. Would be great to see some companies opting for that.

    • balcobomber25
      June 4, 2015

      OV has a lot of good sensors, that particular sensor was actually co developed between Gionee and OV but has been used in a few other devices.

    • Guest
      June 4, 2015

      whats a Sammy Camera ?

    • Guest
      June 4, 2015

      i hope CHEAPER chinese devices (below $160) use that SPECIFIC OV sensor for good !

    • Adam Irvine
      June 4, 2015

      Samsung Camera… 🙂

    • Guest
      June 5, 2015

      ohh , i c 🙂

    • balcobomber25
      June 5, 2015

      Sammy is the short name for Samsung.

    • Guest
      June 5, 2015

      heh.
      i was confused. since in the popular US series , Supernatural , one of the protagonist is also nicknamed sammy :p

    • balcobomber25
      June 7, 2015

      I wouldn’t count on it for a few reasons:

      1. China is a copycat market and right now the IMX 214 and to a lesser extent the 135 are the go to sensors.

      2. OV doesn’t have the same stigma that Sony does with customers. Sony sensors are as much a marketing term as they are a product. Customers have the negative perception that if it has a Sony sensor it is the best.

      3. An extension of #2, OV sensors have a reputation for being nothing more than front facing cameras or interpolated sensors. People don’t realize they make great sensors that go toe to toe with the best from Sony and win sometimes. They also don’t realize there are just as many Sony 5mp and 8mp that are interpolated on cheaper devices.

    • Guest
      June 7, 2015

      well , thats just sad. we humans really are lemmings , sometimes. FOCUSED on what is a preset and never really daring to change the conventional for better means.

      i do hope the chinese eventually learn to market and implement OV sensors ALONGSIDE Sony ones. My main focus , as you are familiar , are the low-cost phones that are ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at low-light photography. If someone could think about this problem at the manufacturers’ R&D , they can easily exploit this as a loophole to gain some good chunk of a market share.

      Until then , we can only hope…

      Thanks for your really constructive and informative input , tho…

    • balcobomber25
      June 7, 2015

      Even some of the high end phones aren’t good with low light. My wife has the S6 and that thing is an amazing camera with plenty of light, without light it’s worse than my Mi4. It really is hit or miss.

  8. csak1user
    June 4, 2015

    Galaxy S4 uses this sensor.
    You can compare it with others.
    I compared it with OPO (IMX214) and Meizu m1 note (Samsung something).

    http://www.gsmarena.com/piccmp.php3?idType=3&idPhone1=6890&idPhone2=5125&idPhone3=6327

    I don’t think it is worse than IMX214. The S4’s picture is a little bit over sharpened for my taste, but that is just the software.

    edit.: I checked the real life pictures, and OPO’s pictures seems better, but it can be the weather.

    • Guest
      June 4, 2015

      The S4 uses a Sony IMX135.

    • Leo
      June 4, 2015

      I just read the op and thought that can’t be right the S4 is 2 years old, just as I finished thinking that your reply should up

    • csak1user
      June 4, 2015

      afaik the S4 i9505 uses the Samsung S5K3L2 and the S4 i9500 uses the IMX135.

    • Leo
      June 4, 2015

      How about i9506?

      So buying the P8000 to replace the S4 (i9506) would be a bad idea…

    • csak1user
      June 4, 2015

      You will get about the same amount of power, with camera that is almost performs the same.
      MT6753’s overall score is a little bit better, but in single thread performance, the S4 is almost twice as fast.
      It is upgradable to lollipop too, so I wouldn’t change it for this.

  9. MaxPower
    June 4, 2015

    If I’m not wrong IMX135 differs from IMX214 only for the 4k capability so if the phone doesn’t support this feature you can easily go with the previous version.

    Again,if I’m not wrong, the sensor is only a piece of the puzzle so comparing two phones with the same sensor is reductive.

    Vivo Xshot uses IMX214 sensor just like the OPO but makes better pics due to better optics.

    • balcobomber25
      June 4, 2015

      You are not wrong they are built on the same exact architecture have the same exact sensor size etc. The 214 is like version 2.0 of the 135. There are some other smaller changes besides 4k video but they are all software related.

  10. Marco Lancaster
    June 4, 2015

    Maybe the difference in price can help them to work more in the overall optics, rather than just put the Sensor, without increase the price. Also as Balcombomber said here, some OV sensors are really good, I don’t understand why some brands simply don’t opt for it, the high quality sensors from them are really good, for example the one used on Gionee E7, should be cheap now, And was one of the best cameras until now.

    • Guest
      June 4, 2015

      hmm.. nice point there !

  11. Riccardo Benzoni
    June 4, 2015

    sensor is only part of the result, lens and software optimization is were many fall… right now I can tell only bigger brands manage to unleash the best potential from the cameras they use, hope smaller brands will start looking also behind the sensor and set up properly everything else, it’s not enough to write sony 13mpx anymore, as we have seen with many devices released recently.

  12. Guest
    June 4, 2015

    I own LG G2 (imx135) and Honor 6 (imx214 (EMUI 3.0)). My opinion is that imx135 has worse contrast when snapping pics in sunlight. I have tried imx135 with MIUI, G2 stock rom and cyanogen, but with no better images by different camera software. In this case my conclusion is that imx214 takes much better pictures with better contrast ratio.

    • Mrinal
      June 4, 2015

      Could be that the optics are worse though.. actually that will most likely be the case.. unless you have 2 cameras with exactly the same optics and software (where only the sensors differ), you can’t compare the sensors.

    • balcobomber25
      June 4, 2015

      The Honor 6 uses better optics and has a F2.0 Aperture the G2 has a F2.4. The sensors themselves are almost identical, if everything was equal (optics, software, aperture etc) you would never be able to tell the difference,

  13. realistic
    June 4, 2015

    did somebody read the camera description: anti dark lights, smart improvement on kin, flaw cleaning and dazzling effect, what is next, antimatter phone with dead star destroying capability

  14. droidamy
    June 4, 2015

    elephone p8000 is the latest mtk6753 smartphone, it’s preselling, http://goo.gl/bcLtY8

  15. Guest
    June 5, 2015

    did somebody read the camera description: anti dark lights, smart improvement on kin, flaw cleaning and dazzling effect, what is next, antimatter phone with dead star destroying capability

  16. Guest
    June 5, 2015

    elephone p8000 is the latest mtk6753 smartphone, it’s preselling, http://goo.gl/bcLtY8

  17. zevral
    June 23, 2015

    Its the same sensor that is used in the Galaxy S4, so no too bad for a cheap phone. Still way better than Nexus 5.

  18. zevral
    June 23, 2015

    Its the same sensor that is used in the Galaxy S4, so no too bad for a cheap phone. Still way better than Nexus 5.