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Sony: Smartphone photo quality will overtake DSLR cameras in 2024

By Liu Hongzuo - on 13 Jun 2022, 1:17pm

Sony: Smartphone photo quality will overtake DSLR cameras in 2024

Sony Xperia Pro-I, a Sony smartphone with a 1-inch imaging sensor.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) recently claimed that the still image quality of smartphone-equipped cameras will surpass single-lens reflex cameras, as soon as 2024.

As reported on Nikkei Japan, Terushi Shimizu, President and CEO of SSS, was giving hot takes over at Sony’s business briefing session for its Imaging and Sensing Solutions (ISS) field.

Backing those claims are the trends Sony saw in the growing image sensor market. Despite the predicted plateau in smartphone growth, SSS saw that flagship-grade smartphones are facing a rapid increase in sensor size, with image sensors helping to drive the smartphone industry forward. This has already come true (somewhat) in the form of a Sony Xperia Pro-I, where the high-end phone crams a 1.0-inch image sensor within.

Sony's predicted direction in smartphone image sensor evolution until FY2030. Source: Nikkei Japan.

Further backing the claim of smartphone imaging overtaking DSLRs is a new “two-layer transistor pixel” breakthrough for CMOS sensors. Instead of manufacturing the photodiode and transistor layers on the same wafer, the new manufacturing process separates those structures to allow more light captured (when compared to conventional back-illuminated image sensors), said Android Authority.

The third reason for SSS’s claim lies in the forecasted growth in AI-processing capabilities for imaging. Sony said that AI not only “doubles the shooting performance” in brightly-lit places, but also enables further breakthroughs in computational photography, calculating high-speed readouts, and offering better Time of Flight (ToF) sensing come 2030.

Will smartphone imaging really surpass DSLRs even though sensors are merely one cog in the photography machine? Guess we’ll have to wait until 2024 to find out.

Source: Nikkei Japan, Android Authority 

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