Sony introduces IMX586 smartphone camera with 48 MP Quad Bayer sensor

Sony IMX586 will cram 48 megapixels into smartphone cameras

Sony will start shipping samples of the IMX586 in September 2018, so we can probably expect the first smartphones sporting the sensor in early 2019. Sony, however, seems to be turning things around again with its new IMX586 image sensor for smartphones.

Sony has announced that it's developed a smartphone camera sensor with a silly-high resolution of 48 megapixels.

Finally, Sony says that this sensor is better placed for HDR capture because it has a four times great dynamic range than other sensors.

48 megapixels takes the sensor to true SLR height but it's more than just about numbers.

The IMX586 CMOS image sensor is smartphone-compatible, as it comes in a compact 8.0mm diagonal unit and enables HD imaging even on smartphones with digital zoom.

Once upon a time, smartphone cameras were judged by their megapixel counts.

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"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.

As we all know, just increasing the pixel count doesn't automatically mean the image quality is going to be better.

"Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows".

On top of the high resolution, Sony also added the Quad Bayer color filter array to the sensor, where adjacent pixels (in a 2x2 grid) come in the same color. Also, the sensor can also be adjusted to employ signals from four adjacent pixels in low-light surroundings that results in superior sensitivity that can go hand in hand with a sensor featuring 12 effective megapixels.

For bright low-noise photos and videos when shooting at night. There are plenty of phones out there with high-resolution sensors taking mediocre photos because of crappy image processing software. It's possible that Apple could use this sensor in its future iPhones models.

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