Sony Unveils Quad-Bayer 48-Megapixel Smartphone Sensor
Ron Perillo / 2 years ago
Better Than Even High-End Camera Sensors
Sony has announced their most significant advancement in mobile camera technology yet. Introducing the IMX586, a 48-megapixel sensor specifically designed for smartphones. This technology not just offers significantly higher resolution photo capabilities, it is also highly sensitive in low-light. This is even better than what Sony offers for their Alpha series high-end cameras. Except of course, jam packed into a phone-sized 8.0mm diagonal unit.
How Well Does it Handle Low Light Photography?
Usually, cramming that much megapixel on a chip that yields a 0.8 micron pixel pitch results in poor low-light shooting capability. Which is why Sony introduces the “Quad Bayer” color filter array technology with this sensor. It basically merges four pixels into one, yielding an effective pixel pitch of 1.6 micrometers. Note that this is even better than the 1.4 microns on Google’s Pixel 2 XL, which is already one of the best low-light smartphone cameras there is.
In addition, Sony also boasts a new signal processing technology which allows for speedier output. Furthermore, its dynamic range is apparently “4x greater than conventional products.” In fact, it is capable of 4096 x 2160 video at 90fps, as well as 1920 x 1080 video at 240fps.
When Will We See This Technology on Products?
Sony of course, has their own Xperia smartphone line, but they also provide sensors for other companies. This includes smartphones and DSLR/mirrorless cameras. This technology is just one of the few things they are working on, resulting from a $9 billion investment in camera technology.
According to the company, the first samples of the 48-megapixel chip arrives in September 2018. They will most likely prioritize their own Xperia line as the first smartphones to have these sensors. So those who prefer other phones or devices would have to wait a bit more after that.