Samsung Galaxy S22 could get Olympus-made cameras — what we know

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung's next flagship phones could have Olympus-produced cameras that would further improve their already superb photographic skills.

According to multiple leaks from usually reliable sources, first reported on by Tom's Guide France, the two firms are set to partner on camera tech for forthcoming smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. And while there's nothing official about this partnership yet, the evidence is starting to pile up.

Industry leaker Yogesh first tweeted about the potential link-up yesterday, claiming that "Samsung might be jumping on the latest trend of partnering with a camera brand. We might see this possibly happen on a special edition Fold." 

He then followed up by stating that it wouldn't be "Zeiss, Leica or Hasselblad" before announcing that Samsung had held talks with Olympus.

That claim was lent further weight by Ice Universe on Chinese social media platform Weibo (reported by Gizmochina), who posted in response that "My source told me that this is reliable news Samsung x Olympus." 

According to Yogesh, the first fruits of the partnership could be seen on either a special-edition version of the Z Fold 3 that we're expecting to launch this year, or the S22 Ultra — which will almost certainly arrive in early 2022.

If true, it would make Samsung the latest in a growing line of smartphone makers who turn to photographic giants for extra help in producing their camera modules. 

Last month, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro arrived with Hasselblad-tuned cameras that lifted them from average performers in photographic terms to genuine contenders for the best camera phones list. Huawei, meanwhile, has been working for several years with Leica. 

Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark IV review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A partnership would certainly make sense for Olympus. In February, it announced its intention to collaborate with other companies, with its chief technology officer stating "Instead of just doing things on our own, we will work with other partners when necessary."

That said, there's still the possibility that these rumors stem from no more than a misunderstanding. Samsung is said to be working on a new Exynos processor codenamed 'Olympus', and that could have led leakers to jump to the wrong conclusion based on details they've spotted somewhere. 

It's also questionable whether Samsung needs a lot of help with its cameras. In our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review, for instance, we were impressed by its overall quality and ability to zoom in close to the action and promptly placed it second in our our best camera phones list. However, Samsung does remain a step behind the iPhone 12 Pro in terms of computational photography and image processing.

Recent Z Fold 3 camera rumors have pointed to it being the first Samsung phone with an under-display camera on the front, but we've not yet heard anything about its rear sensors that would conflict with it possibly using Olympus tech. 

Given that Samsung's next flagship foldable is expected to arrive later this year — possibly as soon as next month — we may not have to wait long to find out either way.

Marc McLaren

Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, he likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.