Sony IMX586 promises to put 48 effective megapixels in phones

Sony 48MP IMX586 CMOS sensor

The increased pixel count will enable great imaging experience even on smartphones which use digital zoom. The sensor is the world's first to feature an ultra-small pixel size of just 0.8μm, which is what allows it to stuff 48-megapixels onto a 1/2-inch sensor. "The new Sony sensor features 48 effective megapixels, a pixel count which rivals that of high-performance SLR cameras, making it possible to capture lovely, high-resolution images even with a smartphone". In short, enhanced images from your smartphone's camera. The IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphone cameras sports 0.8-micron pixels, and this miniaturisation of pixel size could affect low-light photography, capturing more noise. Its record-breaking 48-megapixel sensor is bound to be a step in the right direction for the firm's ambitious goals. Better dynamic range means that pictures with both bright and darker areas should have more detailed highlights and shadows.

Also, IMX586 uses the Quad Bayer color filter array, where adjacent 2x2 pixels come in the same color allowing for a higher sensitivity shooting. Sample shipment planned date is for September of this year, and OEMs that will decide to feature the new Sony IMX586 chip can expect improved results.

Sony 48MP CMOS sensor
Conventional image vs. IMX586 image

To demonstrate the capabilities of the new sensor, the company posted an image of a cruise ship and compared the levels of detail between a 12 effective megapixel image and Sony's latest technology. "When shooting bright scenes such as daytime outdoors, the built-in, original signal processing function performs array conversion, making it possible to obtain high-definition 48 effective megapixel images in real time". It could result in poor light collecting efficiency per pixel, accompanied by a drop in sensitivity and volume of saturation signal.

Sony is hands-down the primary supplier of image sensors for phones.

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