Sony announced a camera sensor for smartphones with a staggering 48-megapixel resolution, that would be a photo of 8000x6000 pixels. The new product achieved compact pixel size of 0.8 μm, making it possible to pack 48 effective megapixels onto a 1/2-type (8.0 mm diagonal) unit, thereby supporting enhanced imaging on smartphone cameras.
The new Sony sensor features 48 effective megapixels, a pixel count which rivals that of high-performance SLR cameras, making it possible to capture high-resolution images even with a smartphone.
The new sensor uses the Quad Bayer color filter array, where adjacent 2x2 pixels come in the same color, making high-sensitivity shooting possible. During low light shooting, the signals from the four adjacent pixels are added, raising the sensitivity to a level equivalent to that of 1.6 μm pixels (12 megapixels), resulting in bright, low noise images.
In addition to these advantages, original Sony exposure control technology and signal processing functionality are built into the image sensor, enabling real-time output and a superior dynamic range four times greater than conventional units. Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows. Generally, miniaturization of pixels results in poor light collecting efficiency per pixel, accompanied by a drop in sensitivity and volume of saturation signal. This product was designed and manufactured with techniques that improve light collection efficiency and photoelectric conversion efficiency over conventional products, resulting in the world’s first 0.8 μm pixel size, with both high sensitivity and high saturation signal level. This smaller pixel size allows the new product to deliver 48 effective megapixels on a compact unit with 8.0 mm diagonal, which can be fitted on many smartphones. The increased pixel count enables high-definition imaging even on smartphones which use digital zoom.
By adopting the Quad Bayer color filter array, where the adjacent 2x2 pixels come in the same color, the new sensor delivers both high sensitivity and high resolution. In low light situations, such as shooting at night, the signal from the four adjacent pixels are added, raising the sensitivity to a level equivalent to that of 1.6 μm pixels (12 effective megapixels), to capture bright, low-noise photos and videos. When shooting bright scenes such as daytime outdoors, the built-in, original signal processing function performs array conversion, making it possible to obtain high-definition 48 effective megapixel images in real time.