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Sony unveils IMX586, the world’s highest resolution sensor for phone cameras

Currently, the highest resolution camera sensor -- 40MP -- is available in Huawei P20 Pro and Nokia Lumia 1020. Apple has long used Sony to supply its camera sensors.

tech Updated: Jul 24, 2018 13:23 IST
Sony,Sony CMOS,Sony IMX586
A comparison between conventional 12-megapixel sensor and Sony’s new 48-megapixel sensor(Sony)

Taking the smartphone camera war to an entirely new level, Sony on Monday introduced world’s first 48MP sensor that will debut in September this year, probably with Sony devices. The stacked CMOS image sensor “IMX586” features a pixel count of 48 effective megapixels and an ultra-compact pixel size of 0.8-micron pixels, the company wrote in a blog post.

“These days, high-end smartphone models require even greater imaging quality from their cameras. The new Sony sensor features 48 effective megapixels -- a pixel count which rivals that of high-performance SLR cameras, making it possible to capture beautiful, high-resolution images even with a smartphone,” the company said.

Currently, the highest resolution camera sensor -- 40MP -- is available in Huawei P20 Pro and Nokia Lumia 1020. Apple has long used Sony to supply its camera sensors.

The new image sensor comes with Sony’s built-in original exposure control technology and signal processing functionality that enables real-time output and a range four times greater than conventional units. It uses the “Quad Bayer” colour filter array to incorporate high sensitivity and high resolution in the images.

“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,” the company informed.

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.

“Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows while viewing the image on the smartphone display,” Sony said.

The company plans to start shipping samples of the sensor this September, with a unit price of 3,000 yen ($27 or a little over Rs 1,800) each.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 13:23 IST