Mobile Phones with 48 Megapixel Cameras…

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Mobile photography has gained incredible relevance in recent years is not a secret. Manufacturers have bet many of their chips to this section implementing more cameras and, more recently, larger sensors. Specifically, Huawei has launched its Nova 4 with the 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor signed by Sony , and Xiaomi has done the same with the new Redmi Note 7 and Samsung’s ISOCELL GM1 sensor , also 48 megapixels.

It seems that we are returning to the forgotten war of megapixels , a battle that is currently summarized in one word: zoom. Why do these sensors now arrive? What advantages do they offer compared to the current ones? How will they affect the photograph? Let’s throw some light.

Having more megapixels gives us an advantage and is that the resulting photos will have a larger size . With 48 megapixels, the photo will measure approximately 8,000 x 6,000 pixels. If we cut out a fragment of 4000 x 3000 megapixels from this it will still have a size equivalent to that obtained by a 12 megapixel camera, that is, one fourth (1/4) of the original photo.

What does that mean? We could continue to see it on most screens without losing quality. In practice it is like zooming but without resorting to a lens system . In fact, when we zoom in on a mobile phone without telephoto what we are doing is exactly that, cut out a piece of the image. That is why it is pixelated if the sensor does not have a high resolution.

Join pixels to get more quality

The new Sony IMX586 have a surface of half an inch, pixels of 0.8 micrometers and 48 megapixels . Although they are not the largest sensors, they use improved photoelectric conversion and light collection techniques so that, although the size of the sensor is not the largest, it does not affect the final quality and does not affect the size of the sensor.

Current mobile photography is based on combining small pixels into larger pixels to capture more light

One of these techniques is the Quad Bayer color filter , by which two adjacent pixels (RGB) are combined to have the same color, thus increasing the sensitivity of the shot, equaling that of the 1.6-micrometer pixels. That way you get more light in night scenes and up to four times more dynamic range. Samsung 48-megapixel ISOCELL GM1 are similar, using pixel binning technology, although the Korean company has dubbed it Tetracell technology .

Basically, what these sensors do is combine smaller pixels to create pixels as large as possible . This is what Huawei does with Light Fusion technology , which combines (virtually) four pixels in one, achieving a size of 1.55 micrometers and allowing them to capture more light.

The solution until now was to put more lenses

These sensors arrive just when companies have come to implement up to four cameras in one device . The momentum came with Apple and the double lens of the iPhone 7 Plus (which does not mean that there were other models before), Huawei raised the bet to three with the Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung added one more in its Galaxy A9 . Even Nokia seems to be working on a Nokia 9 with five cameras in the back.

It seems that we are returning to the forgotten war of megapixels , a battle that is currently summarized in one word: zoom. Why do these sensors now arrive? What advantages do they offer compared to the current ones? How will they affect the photograph? Let’s throw some light.

Having more megapixels gives us an advantage and is that the resulting photos will have a larger size . With 48 megapixels, the photo will measure approximately 8,000 x 6,000 pixels. If we cut out a fragment of 4000 x 3000 megapixels from this it will still have a size equivalent to that obtained by a 12 megapixel camera, that is, one fourth (1/4) of the original photo.

What does that mean? We could continue to see it on most screens without losing quality. In practice it is like zooming but without resorting to a lens system . In fact, when we zoom in on a mobile phone without telephoto what we are doing is exactly that, cut out a piece of the image. That is why it is pixelated if the sensor does not have a high resolution.

Join pixels to get more quality

The new Sony IMX586 have a surface of half an inch, pixels of 0.8 micrometers and 48 megapixels . Although they are not the largest sensors, they use improved photoelectric conversion and light collection techniques so that, although the size of the sensor is not the largest, it does not affect the final quality and does not affect the size of the sensor.

Current mobile photography is based on combining small pixels into larger pixels to capture more light

One of these techniques is the Quad Bayer color filter , by which two adjacent pixels (RGB) are combined to have the same color, thus increasing the sensitivity of the shot, equaling that of the 1.6-micrometer pixels. That way you get more light in night scenes and up to four times more dynamic range. Samsung 48-megapixel ISOCELL GM1 are similar, using pixel binning technology, although the Korean company has dubbed it Tetracell technology .

Basically, what these sensors do is combine smaller pixels to create pixels as large as possible . This is what Huawei does with Light Fusion technology , which combines (virtually) four pixels in one, achieving a size of 1.55 micrometers and allowing them to capture more light.

The solution until now was to put more lenses

These sensors arrive just when companies have come to implement up to four cameras in one device . The momentum came with Apple and the double lens of the iPhone 7 Plus (which does not mean that there were other models before), Huawei raised the bet to three with the Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung added one more in its Galaxy A9 . Even Nokia seems to be working on a Nokia 9 with five cameras in the back.

The idea of offering so much camera was simple: give the user the possibility of taking a normal photo or zoom without losing quality through a telephoto lens . There we have Huawei with the x3 optical zoom of the Mate 20 Pro or the iPhone XS with its two magnifications. The reason for the 48-megapixel sensors is that you can achieve a good level of detail when zooming with a single lens .

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