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48MP Sony IMX586 imaging sensor announced, samples ship September

48MP Sony IMX586 imaging sensor announced, samples ship September

For low-light scenarios, this means that the signal from the four pixels is combined to raise the sensitivity to that of 1.6μm pixels, making for brighter and less noisy shots with an effective 12MP pixel count. The IMX586 packs an impressive 48 MP on an 8mm diagonal unit with each each pixel measuring just 0.8 microns. 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.

The new sensor also uses the Quad Bayer color filter array, where adjacent 2×2 pixels come in the same color, which allows for a higher sensitivity shooting.

Once upon a time, smartphone cameras were judged by their megapixel counts. The IMX586 implements the Quad Bayer 2x2 pixel array.

Image Sony
Image Sony

Smartphone cameras could be getting some significant quality improvements in the near future, at least according to Sony. This is especially useful in low-light situations where the colors of those four adjacent pixels are added up, resulting in a high-quality, low-noise 12 megapixel image. It seems that Nokia's original vision of a high resolution sensor to provide more information for imaging software to chew on is coming full circle and that modern handsets might work on similar, if not identical, lines. Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.

Before we forget, the sensor is also capable of recording 4K footage at an outstanding 90 frames second, 1080p video at 240 frames per second and 720p clips at 480 frames per second.

Sony will start shipping samples of the IMX586 camera sensor in September 2018, which means that the first smartphones sporting this sensor are expected to ship in early 2019. Perhaps the novelty of the sensor will be enough for DxOMark to actually put Sony's flagships to the test for the world to see where high-end Xperia phones truly stand.

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