Sony unveils 48MP camera sensor for smartphones

25 July, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Sony IMX586 will cram 48 megapixels into smartphone cameras

The new IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor is touted to sport the industry's highest pixel count onto a 1/2-type (8.0 mm diagonal) unit, suitable for smartphones. Sony says that it gets around that by adopting Quad Bayer colour filter array.

'Generally, miniaturization of pixels results in poor light collecting efficiency per pixel, accompanied by a drop in sensitivity and volume of saturation signal, ' Sony says.

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Sony announced Monday that it's designed the highest-resolution image sensor for phone cameras, offering 48 effective megapixels.

This technique isn't exactly brand new, with Huawei having used something similar in its P20 Pro and LG in its V30S ThinQ. Sony's 0.8-micron pixels are now the smallest on the market, however its use of a quad Bayer colour filter array helps each pixel coordinate with those that surround it to essentially create a larger pixel.

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Light Fusion's default setting combines data from four adjacent pixels into one for clearer shots. It seems that Nokia's original vision of a high resolution sensor to provide more information for imaging software to chew on is coming full circle and that modern handsets might work on similar, if not identical, lines. Better dynamic range means that pictures with both bright and darker areas should have more detailed highlights and shadows. Perhaps the novelty of the sensor will be enough for DxOMark to actually put Sony's flagships to the test for the world to see where high-end Xperia phones truly stand. Like all image sensors out there for smartphones, the IMX586 will also be able to record video at multiple resolutions including 4K at 90fps, 1080p at 240fps, and 720p at 480fps with crop.

In its latest mid-term strategy paper, the company vowed to spend $9 billion in research and development in the next three years in order to become the top camera brand by 2021. The sensor features 48 effective megapixels, the highest available.

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