Did you know that Sony is the only maker of high-quality 13-megapixel camera sensors? Well, now you know. You may’ve heard about many Chinese smartphones rocking such cameras but the sensors used inside these devices don’t come even close to what Sony is making. For this reason alone, we’re seeing only the flagship devices sporting 13-megapixel cameras with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and even Sony’s own Xperia Z Ultra “sticking” to 8-megapixel sensors.
The Japanese company’s near-monopoly is about to end with Toshiba and Samsung both announcing they’ll start making these sensors as well. This in turn will expand the sensor availability, slashing down the prices along the way.
Toshiba will start shipping the T4K37 13-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor in early December, for $20 apiece. Samsung’s LSI division is now mass producing their own such sensors, and has already the order for 80 to 90 million of them from Samsung Electronics’ mobile unit.
In other words, we should expect more smartphones with 13-megapixel cameras by the end of this year, and during 2014 – this could easily be a feature of mid-end devices. Pretty cool when you think about it…