Over the past few years, we have witnessed the insanity associated with finding decent smartphones that would have sensors with “superpowers”, and at the same time, we would like them to work on the Android platform.
High-quality photos taken on smartphones are real. However, for this camera mobile devices must be equipped with good sensors. What sensors are found in modern smartphones, who produces them, for which mobile devices, and what are their characteristics?
Android smartphones and their sensors
Of course, a photo from a mobile phone is not a snapshot taken on a professional DSLR, compared to apertures, the types of matrices used, focal length and other parameters. Most of the camera sensors of smartphones that work on Android are made by Sony, Samsung, and OmniVision.
The value of the formats used The
Same resolution can be used for shooting in various formats. In total, it will be about 16 megapixels for the main type of formats, such as 16: 9 and 4: 3. Non-core formats will receive at the output – 12 megapixels (a derivative of the crop 16 megapixels). This information by manufacturers of smartphones is silent.
An overview of smartphones and sensors, which are mounted
a plurality of mobile devices have set the “default” format option of shooting it and is a standard 4: 3, and only some of these devices, equipped with sensor Sony IMX 298 Exmor RS, can boast of normal images, for example, ZTE Nubia Z11 is an outdated smartphone model.
Sony IMX 398 and Sony IMX350 sensors were installed on 2017 phone models, such as the OPPO R11 and R11 Plus and others. The main and self-module of these products contain cameras with high resolution. The main camera is 16 MP, and the front camera is 20 MP.
In the LG line of smartphones, the Sony IMX 234 Exmor RS sensor was installed. Specifically, in these models, the pictures were good, since electronic stabilization of the images was used. Unfortunately, smartphones of these models are difficult to find, as they, in fact, have already gone down in history.
Sony IMX 318 Exmor RS also applies to sensors that have a quite decent expert assessment. This sensor is only a few positions inferior to its fellow IMX 260, which is used in smartphones Galaxy S7. The IMX 318 format is 1 / 2.6. The IMX 260 works in the 1 / 2.4 format. The highlight of the IMX 318 is that in this sensor it was possible to note the presence of high-speed hybrid autofocus (0.03 s) and the built-in digital stabilizer intended for shooting video clips. Pixel size is 1 micron. This type of sensor is set to · Asus ZenFone 3;
- Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe (f / 2.0, OIS);
- Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra (f / 2.0, OIS);
- Nubia Z11 mini S, Nubia Z17;
- Xiaomi Mi Note 2 and other models.
If you compare the examples of photos taken on all the listed smartphones, the leadership will belong to the Nubia Z17, and Asus ZenFone 3 will take the last place in the top. Why is that? Because the leader has a dual photo module, in which there are two types of sensors, this is already voiced by IMX 318 (it has 23 Mp with f / 2.0.), And IMX 362 (12 Mp with f / 1.8). The approach to optical zoom is not clear here – this question often becomes the cause of debate and the object of misunderstanding. According to experts, there is a lack of a higher resolution camera, while the parameters that upset us are the main drawback of the sensor used. Also, do not forget that aperture, high-quality optics, and the software will have an impact on good images.
IMX 362 located on these smartphones:
- Xiaomi Redmi Pro 2,
- Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom ZE553KL,
- Lenovo Moto G5 Plus,
- Lenovo Moto Z2 Play,
- HTC U11 / HTC U11 +,
- Sharp Aquos S2,
- Meizu M6 Note,
- Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL,
- Coolpad Cool M7,
- Nubia Z17 / 17S
- Archos Diamond Omega.
In tests of the camera, the best result was shown in the HTC U11 (f / 1.7), but this is where its advantages end. Stabilization is absent; the design is scary and unsightly. But the Meizu M6 Note (f / 1.9), despite its limited functionality, the photos are quite colorful. Therefore, there are no obstacles to the acquisition of such a smartphone. Dual models with simultaneous use of the Samsung S5K3M3 and Sony IMX 362 sensors can leave mixed feelings when using the camera. The pictures, for some reason, turn out to be soapy at the edges and look not quite neat.
The value of the number of pixels
We are waiting for some frustration; it seems that the times of high-resolution sensors are leaving. But we are clearly confident that the number of megapixels has a direct impact on the quality of the image. However, sensors such as the Sony IMX 318, Sony IMX 300 and Sony IMX 400 will be installed only on Sony smartphones. Nothing to rejoice.
OmniVision and Samsung
Manufacturers such as Omnivision and Samsung are also engaged in the production of sensors for smartphones. These are sensors with high resolution and enough megapixels (16 and 20 megapixels):
- OV20880 and OV20880-4C (5184 x 3888);
- OV16885 and OV16885-4C (4672 x 3504).
These devices do not create additional noise and allow you to make high-quality images, even in low light conditions. There is support for HDR. OV16880 sensors are most often installed on:
- LeEco (LeTV);
- Le S3, X;
- Le 2 X520,
- Xiaomi Mi Max,
- Oukitel K6000 Plus.
If we plunge into the history of five years ago, we will be able to touch on the capabilities of such sensors from Omnivision as OV23850 and OV21840. The power of the first differed resolution of 23.8 megapixels. (The videos were filmed at 5632 x 4224, the quality of the photos was 5648 x 4232, and also the cropping at 5648 x 3184. That is, the output images were actually 17 megapixels).
However, we know only about one smartphone in which this sensor was used – this is a Chinese phone, graduate of 2015 – Gionee Elife E8. The parameters of its diaphragm were f / 2.0, this model was also equipped with OIS.
The fate of the second photosensor OV21840 and even sadder, all of its capabilities, in fact, remained unclaimed since they were not installed on any mobile device.
Two years ago, the company introduced new sensors, one of which was colored, the second – monochrome. However, unfortunately, these were new items from 12 MP. The resolution is 4096 x 3072; the pixel dimensions were 1.25 microns. This sensor had its immediate purpose – they were used for dual cameras. For example, the model OV12A10 could be found in Xiaomi smartphones – Mi5x and Mi A1. The focal length of these smartphones when shooting was 26 millimeters in the main camera. The aperture was at f / 2.2. Additional camera and its aperture in f / 2.6 with a focal length of 50 mm. Due to the declared parameters, it was possible to boast of a double optical zoom and HDR, while there was no optical stabilization. The pictures were of high quality, with a good dynamic range.
OV12A10 became a haven for Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. Pictures of these phones were quite good during the daytime, and poor in low-light conditions.
Samsung’s innovative sensors
IMX386 and Samsung S5K3M3 sensors have found their place on board the Xiaomi Mi 6. The new sensation in the smartphone world has become a bit of a disappointment for experts. According to them, manufacturers could go broke on more expensive sensors for smartphone cameras. If we talk about high-resolution sensors that are products from Samsung, today the special attention should be paid to the new ISOCELL Bright GM1 and ISOCELL Bright GD1 with 48 megapixels and 32 megapixels. Innovative technologies from the Korean giant were the response to the IMX586 sensor released by a competitor (Sony).
Sensor data pixels of 0.8 microns. Due to the applied technology in the manufacture of sensors, the photodiodes of pixels are isolated in order to reduce possible crosstalk. The second technology is considered the key to improving the quality of personnel when shooting, due to the fourfold binning. When Tetra cell is activated, the matrix, as it were, increases in size, while reducing the quality of the resolution of new sensors. Electronic stabilization is supported, and a gyroscope is also present. New sensors are also able to improve color reproduction, absorb more light rays with longer retention. In low light, the sensors work very well.