Sony Steps Up Megapixel Race with 16.41MP Exmor R Camera Phone Sensor

Sony is at it again with insanely high megapixel counts for mobile phone cameras. The new Exmor R, which is a 16.41-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, is said to produce high-quality images with good low-light performance and less digital noise than other camera phones.

We’ve seen how cameras on phones with small sensors deal with tons of megapixels — lots of noise and crappy picture quality. But we’ve also seen it done right, like the Nokia N8 or the iPhone 4 whose pixels are much larger than your average smartphone camera. Just take a look at some of the images produced in our shootout between the two.

Coupled with the right optics and some solid processing power, these Sony sensors could help us replace our point-and-shoot cameras. Just look at the impressive sample image above with the full crops. Super convenient.

For more info, check out the news release on the next page.

  • Higher megapixels SOUNDS great. But what effect, really, will it have on our images. 99% of us never PRINT our images, where high DPI is important. Most of us keep them, and distribute them digitally, on 72 or 113dpi computer monitors at best. The image above of the zoomed text is cool, if you are a detective looking for evidence. My question is – how does this sensor change the appearance of a normal image (not zoomed in).

    And what about storage? A 16 Megapixel image is about 17 megabytes…. how much room do we have on our phones for these enormous images?

    A 6 megabyte image prints really nicely, even up to 11×17 inches. What are we trying to do with our cell phone photos?

    What really comes down to quality of images is not just the sensor. Its also the lens and processing software of that image. I’m all about advancements in technology, but I’m afraid our public perception of what makes a camera “good” is completely distorted by marketing.

    If this is sensor “reduces noise” and shoots well in lower light….now that is an achievement and something we should be excited about. If Ansel Adams was alive he sure as well wouldn’t be shooting with his phone.

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