First off, sorry about the long title. There is a commit in the Chromium Repositories that points to the main point of this article, and we’ll get there shortly. However, in the middle of the commit, there is additional language that clearly points to the fact that ‘Nautilus’ is without doubt a Samsung-made Chromebook.
Gabriel’s earlier article about this basically was an open and shut case, but it wasn’t spelled out so clearly. Now, we can see very, very clearly that ‘Nautilus’ is a Samsung project. Check it out:
…so the component used on samsung nautilus project could have the mipi camera support.
Though we felt very certain before this new evidence, there’s no doubt whatsoever that ‘Nautilus’ will bear Samsung branding whenever we do finally see it in the flesh.
Now, About The Cameras
From the commit, we can gather the exact camera module that will be utilized for ‘Nautilus’:
imx258: Add imx258 camera sensor PO driver
VIDEO_IMX258 is added to Kconfig for this new component for camera sensor. It will enable this sensor in kernel, so the component used on samsung nautilus project could have the mipi camera support. RAW image dump is supported in this PO version.
From the language above, you can see that Sony’s IMX258 sensor will be included on ‘Nautilus’. You can check out the spec sheet directly from Sony’s website if you want, but I did some digging and found a much more interesting tidbit:The IMX258 is the exact same sensor being used in the LG G6 main camera.
Now, before you go and talk about how the LG G6 camera isn’t the best on the market, keep something firmly in mind: the best camera to date on a Chromebook is a 720p camera.
There isn’t a Chromebook available with a camera worth shooting anything on at the moment, so this will be a real step forward for the Chromebook ecosystem as a whole. Assuming that ‘Nautilus’ is a smaller device (since it is a detachable, we’d assume it will be 12-inches or less), you may be able to actually use the camera on it from time to time to record some things. There’s nothing in the commit about whether this will be rear or forward-facing, but my money is on the rear camera.
In a future post, we’ll share a few things we’re seeing in the repositories concerning the camera app on Chromebooks as it currently exists. Let’s just say it is beyond terrible. Even with good camera hardware, the software on Chrome OS is so bad that no one would take a photo with it anyway.
We have some hope that Google is ready to do something about the condition of this particular software, but the fact that an excellent camera is coming soon to ‘Nautilus’ makes us very hopeful that Google is finally ready to fix the entire camera experience on Chrome OS. It is a long time coming.