Sony today announced the IMX586, a CMOS camera sensor for phones that packs 48 megapixels into a unit that measures 8mm. The pixels of this sensor have been shrunk to 0.8 μm, which is what allows so many of them to fit onto a single sensor. Typically, packing together such a large number of small pixels would generate noise and cause low-light performance to suffer. Sony says it is using a Quad Bayer color filter array, which means adjacent 2×2 pixels all capture the same color. This raises sensitivity in order to create brighter images with less noise. The IMX586 includes Sony’s exposure control and signal processing to improve dynamic range by a factor of four. Sony says scenes that include bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal blowout or loss of detail. Moreover, the high pixel count allows for cleaner photos when using digital zoom. As for video, the IMX586 can capture 4K video at 90fps, 1080p video at 240fps, and 720p video at 480fps. The suggested price of the module is $27. Sony is sampling the IMX586 now and expects to commence production later this year.
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