The world cherishes Sony for its camera sensors, especially in Smartphones. Not just Sony phones, but other companies like Huawei use Sony Sensors extensively. Sony added another weapon to its ever growing arsenal. The Sony IMX586 is their new best mobile camera sensor. The new Sony Sensor allows an effective resolution of 48MP while still keeping the sensor size to 8mm (diagonally). The Sony 48 MP sensor will change the smartphone game forever.
The Sony IMX586 captures images at an effective resolution of 8000×6000. That’s a lot of detail for a photograph. It will allow a lot of digital zooming without loss of data. But there is a catch. While placing so many pixels in a 8mm diagonal sensor, Sony reduced the size of the pixels significantly. This produces a slight problem. Smaller pixel may mean less space, but it also means less light entering into the sensor. Therefore in low light condition, the photos will be a mess as there just won’t be enough space to allow light in.
Sony has a solution for that. Cameras earlier like the Nokia 808, and current cameras like Huawei P20 Pro, with large sensors, use their own trickery to bypass this problem. But the solution is not a permanent one, requires lots of software interference and still isn’t guaranteed to work on every photo. Sony might have a hardware based permanent fix. In the Sony 48 MP sensor, instead of using light data from just one pixel, each pixel will use data from surrounding four pixels. This arrangement is called quad Bayer color filter array. It will effectively raise light sensitivity to that of a 12 MP camera with 1.6-micron pixels.
Many other phones use higher resolution sensors but down-sample photos to a lower resolution. This helps save space, and doesn’t affect the initial impression of the photo much. But as soon as you zoom in, the picture quality goes down the drain as down-sampling has flushed out most of the data. Sony wants you to accommodate the higher resolution pictures from the Sony 48 MP sensor. The photos from the new Sony sensor will be larger in size, sure, but they will hold a lot more data and will be easier to edit. You can easily zoom into things that you like and crop without worries. The sensor may very well be the best mobile camera sensor. We cannot wait more smartphones to adopt the Sony IMX586.