Sony reveals world's highest-resolution phone-camera image sensor

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Sony has been one of the go-to options for camera sensors in smartphones for years, and the company looks to continue that trend into 2019 with the latest sensor built specifically for mobile devices.

The new image sensor claims to be the world's first 48MP smartphone camera, and it also features an industry-leading pixel size of 0.8μm.

It's also worth noting that modern chipsets are so fast that they can double up, with oversampling or pixel binning from this Sony sensor and multiple exposure combination, producing computational images that are super-pure.

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Pixel size is only 0.8μm, which makes it possible for Sony to include 48 million.

Sony is labelling the new unit "compact" - it measures up at 8millimetres diagonally, meaning phones that adopt it should not have to carry a huge camera bump. Usually higher pixel count means lower quality low-light photos, but Sony has managed to merge the best of both worlds. In low-light pictures, the signals from the four neighboring pixels are added, Sony says, which raises the sensitivity to a level equivalent of 1.6μm pixels (12-megapixel).

The sensor can take 4K video at 90fps and 1080p video at 240fps for all your slow-motion needs.

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The sensor comes with a new Quad Bayer color filter array where adjacent 2×2 pixel come in the same color, to allow high-sensitivity shooting possible. The Sony IMX586 48-megapixel sensor is expected to arrive in future smartphones soon for better daylight photos that render great detail.

But when shooting in bright scenes (e.g. daytime outdoors), a signal processing function is used to do an array conversion that allows the individual tiny pixels to be used for an ultra-high-res 48-megapixel photo.

The company plans to start shipping samples this September, each unit costing ¥3,000 (approximately US$27, RM110).

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