Forget 108 MP, as a 256 megapixel camera sensor is allegedly in the works
In photography, especially in the smartphone-driven scenario, the megapixel count isn’t everything. The megapixel race we saw in the mid-2010s has all but faded out as many phone-makers have settled for a standard 12 MP or 16 MP primary camera sensors.
To differentiate themselves, many phone makers use additional specialized sensors like ultra-wide or telephoto lenses, paired with extensive use of computational photography. However, we might just see a resurgence of the same race in 2020.
Lately, we have seen a number of devices with 48 MP sensor, such as the fan-favorite Redmi Note 7 Pro. Mi CC9 Pro even boasts a gigantic 108 MP sensor. A key trendsetter, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S device that is slated for launch somewhere in February, is also rumored to sport a similar 108 MP module.
Further advancing the new megapixel race, a leak from Digital Chat Station on Weibo shows the viewfinder of a device with a whopping 256 MP camera.
And that’s not all. Yet another post from the same person has confirmed that a 256 MP camera sensor from an unknown manufacturer is in the works. Judging from the recent trend, either Samsung or Sony should be the brain behind the piece of hardware.
Details about which exact smartphone, or which phone maker is spearheading this development, remains unknown at the moment. Handling the enormous amount of raw pixel data would be a complicated task, thus pixel-binning should be incorporated as well.
Qualcomm, a company well known for its Snapdragon series of processors, has announced that their flagship Snapdragon 865 chip does support up to 200 MP sensors. This means the forthcoming processing level can handle 200 MP sensor in individual mode.
We might not see a phone with this sensor immediately, but as has been the case in this industry, we should stumble upon more leaks on this soon. As of who will do this first, we don’t know. But my money is on Chinese phone makers such as Xiaomi & Realme.
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