Camera Wars: Sony Strikes Back
Sony has teased a video of its upcoming high-megapixel CMOS sensor to compete with the recently released Samsung 108 MP camera that featured inside the new China-exclusive Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro; however, Samsung isn’t finished with its new camera tech, with a new patent revealing lossless zoom technology for its upcoming Galaxy S11 smartphone.
Sony promotes the image sensor as being able to capture ‘your treasured moments’ with ‘exceptional quality that only Sony’s image sensors can deliver’.
While there is no further information regarding the new sensor, the video does reveal its launch is set for 2020 and is expected to reach 50-60 megapixels, which is nearly half as many as Samsung has in their recently released 108 MP camera sensor featured inside the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro.
Whether or not Sony sees their sensor as being higher quality despite the lower megapixel count is unclear, but what is clear is that 108 MP does sound a little more enticing to the consumer’s ears.
Over to the Samsung end, a patent describing lossless zoom technology labelled “space Zoom” was posted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office leading to speculation the feature may appear in the upcoming Galaxy S11 smartphone.
While the patent does not reveal extensive detail other than its goal of achieving ‘lossless quality when zooming in on a subject’, the system looks to be a hybrid zoom that combines digital and optical zoom to improve image quality.
It comes as both Sony and Samsung Electronics have been attempting to maintain dominance in the CMOS image sensor (CIS) market through their respective technology advantages.
According to research posted by Digitimes, Sony currently holds over 50% of the global CIS market thanks to its array of 50 MP CIS products adopted by several handset makers.
Sony is currently investing in edge AI processing technology utilising stack architecture to expand its market share even further.
Samsung’s focus, on the other hand, is on upgrading current specs for CIS devices with higher levels of manufacturing processes to produce sensors with higher pixel sizes and pixel densities compared to those from Sony.
The handset sector is tipped to remain the largest application market for CIS products until 2023, with shipments accounting for 60% of the global CIS revenues in 2018.
As both Sony and Samsung ramp up their efforts to maintain market leadership, the CIS market for handsets will continue to see innovations and higher levels of quality as can be seen in the two high-megapixel sensors released by both companies.