Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Apple and Sony Smartphone Cameras

Apple announces the newest iPhone 5C and 5S smartphones. The 5S model features an improved 8MP camera with 1.5um pixels and brighter lens with F2.2 aperture. The sensor is said to be 15% larger in area. A combination of the brighter lens and the larger sensor provides 33% improvement in sensitivity. The 1.5um pixel size is quite unique. I can't recall any standard product with that pixel size. The closest size of 1.54um was used in 2-year old Canon Ixus-120IS camera. It appears that Apple sensor has been custom designed for the company.


In another publication, Sony Mobile explains its claim that its 20.7MP Xperia Z1 camera is best in class:

10 comments:

  1. The interesting point for Apple is that the larger F-stop will likely improve camera sensitivity by another 20% along with the 33% improvement from the sensor. Hence the total camera improved sensitivity is ~60%.

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    1. Apple says the 33% improvement is due to a combination of larger sensor size and faster lens. No 60% here, sorry.

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  2. Apple seems to follow HTC, with their excellent HTC One (2.0um pixel pitch & F/2.0)
    A good trend for IQ, I guess.

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    1. Apple follows HTC???...you are so funny.

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  3. Sony supplies the 1.5um sensor and Sony mobile goes on to trash iPhone5 and to pile it on calls Galaxy S4 as the 2nd best camera. Wonder how long will Apple continue to get these custom sensors done in Japan. Not that iPhones will stay a key product in the future for that matter.

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    1. Lame comment, Sony sensor (area) is much larger with larger pixel count hence the relative IQ performance.

      Apple could have chosen the 20MP if they wanted to and they must have studied all possibilities (form factor, lens,supply chain and processing).

      I don't think any american CIS company can make sensors that can compete with sony.

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    2. Also funny how Lumia 925 is presented as having preferred IQ compared to 1020 which has a 40Mp on a much larger sensor... awfully funny. Marketing is always silly.

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    3. The chart was for "image preference", so exposure, WB, noise cleaning, sharpening, falloff correction, focus, etc. are all in the mix.

      From a customer POV, those aspects are often a larger driver of "quality" than sensor spec.

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  4. well it is better to start out from a good sensor with all in your mix

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  5. Marketing is always smoke and mirrors. The truth is revealed in real comparisons done by independent parties. From this sony chart you can only see who they are afraid of.. 2 Nokias, Apple, HTC and Samsung.

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