Obviously, this sensor will have to be tested out in various lighting conditions to make sure of this claim but smartphones, in general, have always struggled in low-lighting conditions.
Sony has a strong heritage in cameras, however in recent years the cameras on its flagship smartphones haven't quite hit the same illustrious heights as rivals - but that could be about to change. Its record-breaking 48-megapixel sensor is bound to be a step in the right direction for the firm's ambitious goals.
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The sensor is pretty impressive, with 48-megapixel resolution and a minute pixel size of just 0.8 μm, both world firsts according to Sony. By using the signals of the 4 adjacent pixels, the IMX586 sensor has a light sensitivity of a 12MP camera while retaining the pixel density of its 48MP image.
Finally, Sony says that this sensor is better placed for HDR capture because it has a four times great dynamic range than other sensors. As a result, scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.
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From Sony's press release it's clear the company is making a point to explain that it didn't just increase the pixel count for the sake of being able to brag about this milestone.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the new sensor, the company posted an image of a cruise ship and compared the levels of detail between a 12 effective megapixel image and Sony's latest technology. 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. But Sony combines the sensor with Bayer color filters and allows each pixel to access data from four adjacent pixels to capture more information and minimize noise. There are plenty of phones out there with high-resolution sensors taking mediocre photos because of crappy image processing software.
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