IT&Software

Sony announces industry-first 48MP smartphone camera sensor

Sony announces industry-first 48MP smartphone camera sensor

The new sensor features 48 effective megapixels, the highest pixel count in the industry.

One of the "world's first" claims on the new sensor is that it has the smallest pixels - at 0.8µm. Usually higher pixel count means lower quality low-light photos, but Sony has managed to merge the best of both worlds.

Sony is labelling the new unit "compact" - it measures up at 8millimetres diagonally, meaning phones that adopt it should not have to carry a huge camera bump. Its 48MP camera comes with an increased 8000 x 6000 resolution, however Sony understands that it needs to do much more than bolster the number.

While the sensor could theoretically make an appearance in a future iPhone, it's more likely to pop up in Sony's own handsets, although we don't yet know when that might happen. The IMX586 implements the Quad Bayer 2x2 pixel array.

Lost amid the Serena fairy-tale story ... the Kerber fairy-tale story
Kerber played as cleanly as can be, covering the court well and picking her spots for big shots as she cruised through the first set.


The images on the left shows a shot from a conventional phone camera image (with 12 effective megapixels), while the right side shows photos from a camera with the IMX586 sensor (with 48 effective megapixels). With the new IMX586 image sensor, Sony is assuring brighter pictures with lower noise despite low-light conditions. This will enable you to capture bright, low-noise photos and videos. Speaking of DSLR, this could effectively kill off the market as the new sensor features a Quad Bayer colour filter array.

The IMX586 has a range of other interesting raw specifications, like DCI 4K video recording at 90 FPS, 1920x1080 at 240 FPS, and a cropped 720p capture at 480 FPS.

Sony's IMX586 sensor should appear in smartphones as of next year, as the company is now planning on shipping samples in September for 3,000 yen ($27) each.

The IMX586 sensor has dethroned the Nokia Lumia 1020's 41MP camera, which in itself beat the Huawei P20 Pro's 40MP sensor earlier this year.


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