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Sony IMX586 Smartphone Camera with 48MP Sensor To Reinvent Photography

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The pioneer in image sensor technology, Sony Corporation introduced the world’s highest resolution smartphone camera recently. The newest stacked CMOS design for a smartphone, Sony IMX586 features 48 effective megapixels, the world’s highest pixel count competing that of SLR cameras.

The Japanese Electronics conglomerate has planned to ship the sample unit of IMX586 from September this year with an attached price of 3,000 JPY ($27) excluding taxes.

According to the latest rumor, Xperia XZ3 could be the first smartphone to carry Sony’s newest image sensor.

Before Sony, OEMs including Nokia and Huawei has attempted to install such high-resolution pixels camera on devices like 808 PureView and P20 Pro respectively.

Sony IMX586 Compatibility with Smartphone Size

It is widely known that minimizing pixel size results in high-resolution pictures but lowers light collection process. Hence the performance of the imaging lens with tiny-sized pixels gets affected by the dark lights. On the other side, a larger sized pixel increases light absorption area but gives low-resolution images.

Sony’s semiconductor division achieved both the targets by miniaturizing a pixel to a size as tiny as 0.8 microns for setting higher resolution efficiency and using Bayer Quad Array for achieving better photoelectric conversion efficiency.

Sony IMX586 smartphone camera

High clarity in the digital zoom available on a smartphone camera. Source: Sony

The former technique enabled the Sony team to embed 48 effective MP, counting 8000x6000 pixels, on a compact base with 8.0 mm diagonal (1/2-type).

With the miniature base, Sony IMX586 can be integrated on any mobile devices and the high-resolution powers the lens to shoot the high-definition images even with the digital zoom available on the smartphone camera.

Quad Bayer Array

To give an optimum result, the new sensor employs the Quad Bayer color filter array to deliver an RGB image. Here, the adjoining 2x2 pixels arrive in the same hue, in contrast to original signals received in the alternate color series, and facilitates Sony IMX586 deliver both high sensitivity and high resolution.

Low Light Shooting

During dim light shooting, the signals from the four adjoining pixels, all in the same hue, are added in the Quad Bayer Array of Sony IMX586 to double the sensitivity level equivalent of 1.6-micron pixels, delivering bright and low noise images of 12 MP resolution.

smartphone camera Sony IMX586

Bayer Quad Array of the new sensor. Source: Sony

Superior Dynamic Range

In addition to this achievement, IMX586 abodes Original Sony exposure control technology and signal processing functionality. These inbuilt features make Sony IMX586 provide a real-time output and a greater dynamic range, that is, four times higher than conventional image sensors, the company claimed in a statement.

Even pictures in either bright light or dark areas can be shot with minimal highlight blowout or loss of shadows details while viewing the image on a smartphone.

More on Specifications

The other key specifications of Sony IMX586 are image plane phase-difference AF, HDR imaging functionality.

Further, it supports 4K recording (4096×2160) at up to 90 frames per second (fps) and the 1080p shooting at 240 fps. Similarly, 720p movie recording is done at 480 fps whereas full resolution shoot can be captured at only 30 fps.

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