Sony announces crazy 48-megapixel smartphone camera sensor


If you thought that you need more pixels in your smartphone’s camera, Sony has the solution for you.

Sony has officially announced that they are working on a smartphone camera sensor with a crazy megapixel number of 48. 48 MEGAPIXELS! The IMX586 is apparently the world’s first sensor to feature a pixel size of 0.8 μm. This allows Sony to cram the crazy amount of pixels into a sensor small enough to fit in a smartphone. However, this crazy amount of pixels does come at a cost. Smaller pixels mean that less light will come in, hurting low-light performance of the camera. Luckily, Sony has a solution for this, too. The sensor uses something called  Quad Bayer color filter array. In a low light situation, four pixels become one,  that means its 0.8-μm pixels imitate 1.6-μm ones. This comes at the expense of resolution, though, resulting in — in the case of Sony’s new sensor — 12-megapixel photos. Almost every phone today has a megapixel count somewhere near 12 megapixels


So, on paper, this is a perfect sensor, no? In a well-lit environment, it can take pictures with crazy details, and sacrifices some resolution for better low-light performance.

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However, this alos depends on software processing of the image after it is taken. There are plenty of devices out there which have awesome sensors, but the image quality sucks since the software processing is bad and tends to ruin the quality.

Sample units are expected to be available to manufacturers in September.

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