A few months ago Sony announced a new series of “stacked” CMOS sensors that would bring a new level of quality to smartphone cameras. And now, several months later, rumors are floating about that Sony’s new LT29i smartphone — codenamed the Hayabusa — will be packing a 13-megapixel version of the new tech.
What makes these sensors special is that the pixel section of the sensor is “stacked” on top of the circuit section instead of surrounded by it. In this way, Sony is able to make a sensor with more pixel area without actually increasing the sensor size at all. The new tech doesn’t stop at sensor size though, Sony has also loaded the new sensors with two of their unique functions.
First is a unique “RGBW coding” function, which adds a dedicated white pixel and helps to capture high-quality, low-noise photos in low-light situations (as you can see in the above comparison). And second is a new “HDR movie” function that, if the sample is any indication, is pretty impressive indeed:
Sony CMOS sensors can already be found in many high-quality smartphones such as the iPhone 4S, so don’t be surprised if the technology makes its way into other smartphones very soon.