You can expect 2019 smartphones to come with cameras ready to deliver photos of up to 48-megapixels, thanks to Sony's new the IMX586 sensor. Normally, such a high megapixel count on such a small chip would result in poor nighttime shooting capacities. The IMX586 performs some DSP magic on the raw bits from its unusual Bayer color array to arrive at an impressive-sounding 48-effective-megapixel resolution. In low-light pictures, the signals from the four neighboring pixels are added, Sony says, which raises the sensitivity to a level equivalent of 1.6μm pixels (12-megapixel).
More importantly, the IMX586 utilizes a Quad Bayer color filter where each 2×2 pixels use the same color. This enables real-time output with a much better dynamic range that is four times greater than conventional units. What is unique to Sony's newly revealed tech is the combination of the highest pixel count balanced out by a competent sensitivity adjusting filter. Its newly unveiled IMX586 sensor is about to take things one step further, boasting a staggering 48MP resolution, which Sony claims to be the highest in the industry. As a result, scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.
The IMX586 sensor has dethroned the Nokia Lumia 1020's 41MP camera, which in itself beat the Huawei P20 Pro's 40MP sensor earlier this year. Going by the spec sheet, other features of the sensor include full frame burst capture at 30 fps and support for 4K video recording at 90 fps and 1080p video recording at 240 fps. That conversion is how the company arrives at that 48-MP effective resolution.
However, although Sony has announced the introduction of the new sensor, the firm has provided no information on what manufacturers will be incorporating the tech in their devices.