Sony has announced a new stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphones that promises to bring both exceptional low-light performance and extremely high-resolution images.
The IMX586 features an effective 48-megapixel count. To put that number in perspective, that’s even more megapixels than the sensor found on Sony’s $4,000 flagship A7R III full-frame mirrorless camera.
What’s perhaps even more impressive, is that Sony was able to cram all those pixels into a sensor that measures a mere 8mm diagonally.
Normally, high-resolution sensors fare poorly in situations where there’s limited light due to the small size of each of their individual pixel. However, the IMX586’s built-in ‘Quad Bayer’ colour filter is able to merge four adjacent pixels together to emulate a 12-megapixel sensor with an effective pixel pitch of 1.6 micrometers.
The Pixel 2, one of the best low-light performing smartphones on the market, has a sensor with a pixel pitch of 1.4 micrometers.
Sony is also touting the signal processing chops of the IMX586. The company claims smartphones with the IMX586 will be able to record 4K video at 90 frames per second, and 1080p slow-motion video at 240 frames per second.
Sony says the first samples of the IMX586 will arrive this September.