They might be unimpressive when it comes to their own smartphones, but Sony is truly a leader when it comes to supplying its image sensors for a wide variety of smartphones. The Japanese electronics giant has announced the new IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphone cameras will maximise the resolution of images to 48 megapixels (8000 x 6000 pixels), thus making this the sensor with the highest pixel count among smartphone sensors.
Sony says that the IMX586 offers the world’s smallest pixel size of 0.8 μmm thus making it possible to cram in as much as 48 effective megapixels inside a 1/2-type unit. That many pixels indicate that a smartphone with an IMX586 sensor will be able to capture pictures with high saturation levels and sensitivity. In addition to clicking state-of-the-art pictures, the Sony sensor would also be able to attain a wider dynamic range through exposure control and deep signal processing.
Sony acknowledges that image quality can’t just be justified by more number of pixels and can even prove to be a curse because smaller pixels can lead to pictures with noise. Sony is using a Quad Bayer colour filter array which will let each pixel use data from surrounding pixels allowing room for more light sensitivity. This will thus bring enough light as will be sensed by a 12-megapixel sensor with a pixel size of 1.6-micron pixels.
The IMX586 will enable users the ability to record 4K (4096 × 2160 pixels) videos at 90 frames per second which will be the only sensor to do so. Additionally, the Sony sensor will be able to shoot videos at full frames as well but that will be reserved for 30 frames per second.
With the latest announcement, it’s likely that Sony’s latest IMX586 will debut inside the Xperia XZ3 which is expected to go official during the IFA 2018 event in Berlin. The CMOS sensor is estimated to start shipping by September but that’s set for devices other than Sony’s own, won’t it be? We’ll find out soon. The Sony IMX586 will be priced at for 3,000 yen in Japan (approx. Rs 1,850).