Sony's IMX586 Stacked CMOS Smartphone Image Sensor Packs 48MP Resolution

Sony has revealed a new image sensor that is made specifically for smartphones called the IMX586. The image sensor has the highest resolution in the industry with 48 effective megapixels. It also offers the world's first ultra-compact pixel size of 0.8 μm. Sony says that the compact size makes it possible to pack 48MP onto a 1/2-type 8.0mm diagonal unit.

sony sensor

Sony says that the pixel count its new smartphone sensor offers rivals that of high-performance SLR cameras. Sony uses a Quad Bayer color filter array that allows 2x2 pixels that are adjacent to come in the same color allowing for high-sensitivity shooting. The sensor is also geared for superior performance in low-light situations by allowing signals from four adjacent pixels to be added raising sensitivity to a level equivalent to that of 12MP. That gives bright, low noise images in challenging shooting situations. Sony promises that scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.

sony cruise

The increased pixel count in the sensor will help to maintain high-resolution images even when using digital zoom according to Sony. Sony exposure control and signal processing functionality are integrated into the sensor to allow real-time output and superior dynamic range that is four times greater than conventional products. Like all image sensors out there for smartphones, the IMX586 will also be able to record video at multiple resolutions including 4K at 90fps, 1080p at 240fps, and 720p at 480fps with crop.

sony bayer array

Sony notes that the standard sensitivity value is f5.6, image output is Bayer RAW, and HDR imaging is supported along with image plane phase-difference autofocus. Sony plans to ship samples of the new image sensor in September with sample pricing at 3,000 JPY. There is no indication when we might start seeing the sensor pop up in retail smartphones.