Remember the story we ran yesterday about how Sony plans to fit its crop-body DSLRs with new image sensors capable of capturing stills at a resolution of 25 megapixels? Turns out that the company is not the only one with ambitious digital imaging plans: another Japanese chip maker known as Renesas has promised tiny smartphone image sensors capable of taking pictures at a whopping 16 megapixels.
Most photographers are fully aware that when it comes to taking quality images, big numbers in areas such as ISO sensitivity and megapixel count usually amount to nothing. After all, it is the user’s skill with the camera that makes the difference, and not a bunch of large numbers designed to impress wannabe shooters.
That being said, with the high cost involved in fabricating larger image sensors, it should really come as no surprise that OEMs and fabrication plants are pouring large amounts of money into R & D in order to get the most out of smaller image sensors. And if the Japanese chip maker Renesas has its way, the day where users start taking high-resolution snapshots on their smartphone cameras may not be too far off from now.
According to the official press release, Renesas has seemingly completed their development of a new embedded camera system for smartphones vwhich is reportedly capable of capturing still images at resolutions of up to 16 megapixels, which is higher than some entry-level DSLRs and Four-Thirds system cameras in the market today. In addition to its extremely high pixel count, Renesas claims that its new system will also support a burst mode of up to 15 frames per second (fps), which is allegedly five times faster than other embedded camera systems available in the market today.
No additional information about the new smartphone camera system has been released by Renesas, which means that details such as its ISO sensitivity and exact dimensions is really anyone’s guess. However, what we do know is that the new system is now being shipped out in limited quantities for sampling by system builders and OEMs, with mass production scheduled to commence in March this year. Granted, the introduction of such a system will undoubtedly be welcomed by heavy smartphone users, but we can’t say that we will be enthusiastic about having to deal with the very (potentially) noisy pictures produced by such a sensor.