Sony unveils industry-first 48MP smartphone camera sensor

A logo of Sony Corp is seen outside its showroom in Tokyo February 5, 2014. Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp warned it expects a net loss of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) this fiscal year as it absorbs restructuring costs linked to its moves to exit the personal computer business. Picture taken February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO) - RTX18A18
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Sony, the leader in manufacturing camera sensors, today unveiled the industry’s first 48-megapixel smartphone camera sensor. The company announced the all-new IMX586 sensor that features the highest megapixel count and smallest pixel size in the industry. This sensor is capable of capturing pictures with the highest quality of details and not only focusing on the zoom.

Sony has succeeded in reducing the pixel size to a minute value of 0.8 μm. This sensor has Quad Bayer color filter array, and it lets us click very low-light images, that are almost equal to a larger 1.6 μm sensor. According to Sony, the Quad Bayer does this in which “adjacent 2×2 pixels come in the same color, making high-sensitivity shooting possible.”

Image source: sony.net

The official announcement reads: “These days, high-end smartphone models require even greater imaging quality from their cameras. The new Sony sensor features 48 effective megapixels,*2 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 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.
In addition to these advantages, original Sony exposure control technology and signal processing functionality are built into the image sensor, enabling real-time output and a superior dynamic range four times greater than conventional units. Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.”

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