Sony announces new IMX586 image sensor with 48 megapixel resolution

"The new Sony sensor features 48 effective megapixels, a pixel count which rivals that of high-performance SLR cameras, making it possible to capture lovely, high-resolution images even with a smartphone".

As smartphone's imaging capabilities get better and better, manufacturers like Sony and Samsung will continue to push the boundaries of technology with its own hardware created to make compact devices even more proficient in photography and videography. The ultra-small pixels mean that the new image sensor comes in at just 8mm diagonal despite the impressive pixel count.

Once upon a time, smartphone cameras were judged by their megapixel counts. The firm claimed the phone would record "details never thought possible from a smartphone" and analysts called it the best smartphone camera on the market.

Quad Bayer is not a completely novel addition.

More importantly, the IMX586 utilizes a Quad Bayer color filter where each 2×2 pixels use the same color. With that, this is why it was possible to pack in the 48MP into the 1/2 type unit and it's a ideal solution for smartphones that don't really allow as much as space a DSLR.

Sony says this allows even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows. This all means that in those low-light situations imaging data from four adjacent pixels is being added in order to achieve sensitivity comparable to that of 1.6 μm pixels.

Sony will begin shipping out samples this September, and these new IMX586 sensors should find their way into new phones beginning in 2019.

It is also capable of recording full frame at 30 frames per second and can also record 4K videos (4096×2160) at 90 frames per second.

Sony's image sensor business so far has been quite profitable racking in $5.9 billion in revenues in 2017.

  • Fernando Stephens