Apple Inc. has long used Sony to supply its camera system, and the Japanese company has today announced its highest ever resolution option for smartphones.
If you’re using a relatively recent iPhone, then you’re using a Sony sensor when you take an efficient gorgeously looking photograph, and That same Japanese company has first introduced the world CyberShot sensors in the past, and today a new version of that sensor with even higher resolution than ever has been introduced.
The Japanese company Sony says that both the resolution and pixel size are worlds first. According to its saying, the company’s new sensor boasts something of which it is quite rightly rather proud.
Sony Corporation today announced the upcoming release of the IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphone cameras. The new sensor features 48 effective megapixels, the industry’s highest pixel count. The new product achieved a world-first ultra-compact pixel size of 0.8 μm, making it possible to pack 48 effective megapixels onto a 1/2-type (8.0 mm diagonal) unit, thereby supporting enhanced imaging on smartphone cameras.
Apple, in fact, historically opted to be conservative with its megapixel counts when designing iPhones, offered smaller megapixel counts when compared to some of its competitors for one very simple good reason. Squeezing a high pixel count into a tiny smartphone sensor means a high pixel density (by cramming more and more pixels into a small sensor, companies create a high pixel density), which sounds great but is particularly bad when it comes to low-light photos performance. High pixel density plus low-light normally equals noise.
For this reason that Apple prefers to keep larger pixels, and Sony believes that it has solved this particular headache with its latest 48-megapixel sensor.
The new sensor uses the Quad Bayer color filter array, where adjacent 2×2 pixels come in the same color, making high-sensitivity shooting possible. 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 μm pixels (12 megapixels), resulting in bright, low noise images.
That sensor which Sony unveiled today is likely to be used first in Sony’s own smartphone, with the Xperia XZ line is likely candidate around the corner. But if Sony can deliver on its promise of no compromise to the clean low-light shots for which iPhones are known, we could then, well see it make it into future iPhone models down the road.
Update x1: While the new Sony’s sensor could theoretically make an appearance in a future iPhone, just after popping up in its own handsets, although we don’t know when that might happen.
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