Sony Releases World's Highest Resolution Smartphone Sensor With 48-Megapixels

Image Sony

Image Sony

Once upon a time, smartphone cameras were judged by their megapixel counts. Latest sensor coming from Sony is the IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor. The IMX586 is only slightly larger than the current Sony sensors for smartphones. That conversion is how the company arrives at that 48-MP effective resolution. The IMX586 is apparently the world's first sensor to feature a pixel size of 0.8 μm - and those tiny pixels allowed for Sony to cram a whole lot of them into a sensor small enough to fit in a smartphone chassis. By using the signals of the 4 adjacent pixels, the IMX586 sensor has a light sensitivity of a 12MP camera while retaining the pixel density of its 48MP image.

'These days, high-end smartphone models require even greater imaging quality from their cameras, ' Sony said.

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 importantly, the IMX586 utilizes a Quad Bayer color filter where each 2×2 pixels use the same color.

When this sensor makes it into smartphones, it will enable some pretty huge daylight photos with 8,000 x 6,000 pixels, beating even Huawei's P20 Pro and its 40-megapixel sensor.

'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.

What this means is that even highly contrasted scenes featuring both bright and dark sections can be captured in detail with little highlight blowout. Four times greater dynamic range than previous products and real time output Original Sony exposure control technology and signal processing functionality are built into the image sensor, enabling real-time output and a superior dynamic range that is four times greater than conventional products.

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