Sony today, July 23, announced its upcoming release of Sony IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensors that can feature 48 effective megapixels, which is the highest in the industry this far. The sensors have been able to achieve the ultra-compact pixel size of 0.8um, which is a world-first.
This pixel size achievement lets the sensor pack 48 MP onto a 0.8mm diagonal unit, enhancing photography on smartphone cameras. It is good enough to rival the high performance generated by SLR cameras. High-definition imaging using digital zoom on smartphones is possible due to the heightened pixel count.
Quad Bayer color filter array is being used by Sony IMX586 sensors to support high sensitivity shooting, bringing adjacent 2×2 pixels in the same color. In the low-light environment, signals from these pixels are added, as the sensitivity level goes up to 1.6um pixels or 12 megapixels. Bright and low noise images can thus be taken even under low light.
Furthermore, the new sensor is boasted with Sony’s original exposure control technology that helps in real time output, and the signal processing functionality can offer an exclusive dynamic range that’s four times greater than standard units. It will result in shooting both dark and bright areas with minimal loss of detail and highlight blowout while viewing the shot on a smartphone display.
The new sensor will be capable of recording 4K movies at 90 frames-per-second. That takes care of both photos and videos. Samples of the sensor will be shipped from September, and thusly is expected to be found in the smartphone cameras by next year.
One factor where the cameras in the phones will not be able to catch up with DSLR cameras is that of the zoom capability. Smartphones don’t have enough space to be equipped with the necessary optics found in DSLR cameras. Therefore, the comparison is still way off, but it seems smartphone cameras are starting to be in pursuit of the set standard.