Tech

Sony Releases new IMX586 smartphone sensor - 48 megapixel

Sony Releases new IMX586 smartphone sensor - 48 megapixel

The IMX586 sensor features the highest-ever pixel count for any smartphone image sensor, coming in at an effective 48 megapixels. That conversion is how the company arrives at that 48-MP effective resolution.

High resolutions on tiny sensors usually mean disappointingly noisy images, but Sony claims that the industry-first 0.8-µm bit buckets on the IMX586 were "designed and manufactured with techniques that improve light collection efficiency and photoelectric conversion efficiency over conventional products", possibly leading to crisp images despite the tiny individual pixel wells.

While record-breakingly small pixels allow for higher-resolution images from a smaller sensor, larger pixels have more surface area and take in more light; the bigger the pixels, the better the low-light performance. The Quad Bayer array enables both high sensitivity and high resolution By adopting the Quad Bayer color filter array, where the adjacent 2x2 pixels come in the same color, the new sensor delivers both high sensitivity and high resolution.

Add all of this together with a dynamic range that's four times greater "than conventional products", and it sure does sound like Sony's got a victor on its hands.

More news: Everton in talks over deal worth up to £50m for Richarlison

Capture more detail with more megapixels. During low light shooting, the signals from the four adjacent pixels are added, raising the sensitivity to a level equivalent to that of 1.6-micron pixels (12 megapixels), resulting in bright, low noise images and videos.

Of course, it's not only the sensor that makes the camera - there's the quality of the lens, the aperture and a whole lot of digital signal processing, both from Sony and from the phone manufacturer which results in the final product.

Sony will begin shipping out samples this September, and these new IMX586 sensors should find their way into new phones beginning in 2019. It's possible that Apple could use this sensor in its future iPhones models.


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