Sony reveals world's highest-resolution phone-camera image sensor

Sony Xperia

Sony emphasised the need to bring'greater imaging quality to smartphone cameras

This amount is even superior to Google's Pixel 2 XL which at 1.4 microns is now one of the best low-light smartphone cameras available.

A 0.8 micron pixel size might seem small and less efficient in capturing the entire light information, especially in low light.

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

Once upon a time, smartphone cameras were judged by their megapixel counts.

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.

Sony camera sensor
The new sensor boasts 48 effective megapixels

You see, Sony has filtered the IMX586 with 2x2 arrays of red, blue, and green pixels, rather than the traditional Bayer array of one red, one blue, and two green color filters per 2x2-pixel sub-array.

With the new revelation, Sony has raised the smartphone camera standards to a whole new level. The IMX586 performs some DSP magic on the raw bits from its unusual Bayer color array to arrive at an impressive-sounding 48-effective-megapixel resolution.

What this means is that even highly contrasted scenes featuring both bright and dark sections can be captured in detail with little highlight blowout. The result should be bright, low noise images, Sony says. Sony exposure control and signal processing functionality are integrated into the sensor to allow real-time output and superior dynamic range that is four times greater than conventional products. Last but not least, IMX586 also boasts full-resolution burst shooting at up to 30 frames per second and true-4K (4096 x 2160) video recording at 90 fps.

The company plans to start shipping samples this September, each unit costing ¥3,000 (approximately US$27, RM110). The efficacy of Sony's new sensor will depend in large part on the devices it lives in.

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