Smartphone cameras have come a long way since the first camera phones. Today, we have such superb cameras on flagship smartphones that rival digital cameras. Sony has announced the IMX586, the world’s first 48-megapixel cameraphone sensor, and it promises high-resolution images to rival high-performance SLR cameras.
Did we hear someone shout a Hallelujah?!
It Is Not All About The Megapixels Only
Photography people will quickly tell you that producing great photo quality goes beyond having more megapixels on the camera sensor, and that is true. But we history provides us with two mobile manufacturers who have given us mega-megapixel cameras that produced great results.
If you have hung around for a while in the smartphone space, you are aware of Nokia 808 PureView that had a 41 megpixel camera. You are aware of Lumia 1020 with a 41-megapixel camera, as well as the more recent Huawei p20 Pro which has a 40-megapixel camera.
While all of these three legendary camera phones had more megapixels, they also produced better quality images – the best photos in their times. Sony says they have taken into consideration all the factors required to produce greater photo details and higher quality images in building the IMX586.
This sensor was designed and manufactured with techniques that improve light collection efficiency and photoelectric conversion efficiency over conventional products. The resulting images will have both high sensitivity and high saturation signal level. The IMX586 will also produce four times greater dynamic range than previous products.
The World’s First 48-megapixel Cameraphone Sensor Begins A New Age
The 40 and 41-megapixel solutions from Nokia and Huawei were custom-built solutions. With Sony mass-producing the world’s first 48-megapixel cameraphone sensor, phones with super cameras can finally become more mainstream. This means that any OEM can put a powerful camera in their phones. This will include Chinese manufacturers.
Each sensor will cost 3,000 yen ($27) each. Expect to see this on flagship devices only for starters.
The high cost of high quality sensors and imaging technology is why budget smartphones have poor cameras. Eventually, the IMX586 will trickle down to mid-range phones and maybe even budget phones one day.
The world’s first 48-megapixel cameraphone sensor will go on sale in September 2018 and by 2019, we should see 48-megapixel cameraphones hitting the retail stores around the world.