Sony has five new sensors for smartphones, and they all have two things in common: the name LYTIA and the fact that they are all 50MP, a sign of the company’s goal: to make 50MP the standard for smartphones.
Last November Sony announced a product brand name, LYTIA, for its sensors for mobile devices. LYTIA is a new product brand introduced with a goal: to deliver creative imaging experiences “beyond imagination.” Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) is developing LYTIA products to support smartphone users who want greater freedom to express and share inspiring moments by offering imaging experiences that defy the imagination.
According to Sony, LYTIA is the crystallization of Sony’s technology and passion that have supported the culture of smartphone photography from the background. The company “will continue to create a future where everyone can enjoy with a life full of creativity while we also fuse cutting-edge technologies like AI and AR.”
Now the company takes the next step, announcing it will ship a new line of LYTIA brand products, primarily 50-megapixel models, this fiscal year. The announcement should not come as a surprise, as the tendency is there. On March 2022 we wrote here at PVC that “With its triple 50MP master camera array with enhanced cinematography technology, the Xiaomi 12 Pro smartphone sets a possible standard for the industry…” and Xiaomi, who repeated the triple 50MP camera logic on the 13 Pro, is not the only company to use 50MP sensors; the HONOR Magic5 Pro also has a triple camera built around 50MP sensors, the vivo X90 Pro has two 50MP sensors, and the Huawei Mate P50 Pro has a 50MP on its main camera.
All the new Sony Lytia 50MP sensors
We’ve seen this tendency grow, as well as another one that is interesting: the use of 35, 50 and 85mm focal lengths on smartphones, which cover three popular values from prime lenses. The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra the tonic, by using a 35mm as its main camera, and then Motorola announced its Frontier (available under other names in different countries) would set for the classic triple: 35, 50 and 85mm.
Now Sony tries to set a standard in terms of resolution, saying that as SSS is expanding its high-quality products under the LYTIA brand so that more users in the mobile market can benefit from its commitment to imaging as they use smartphones to capture images, a first step the company finds to be essential is to expand the line of 50-megapixel products, which Sony believes is the most versatile resolution for use in current mobile applications.
Despite sharing the same 50 MP resolution, the new sensors are different, designed for different purposes. Here is a list of the new sensors and their characteristics:
LYT9001/0.98-type (16.384 mm diagonal) approx. 50-effective-megapixel stacked CMOS image sensor, its LYTIA’s high-end model, designed for high-quality smartphone imaging
1” type image sensor delivering superb tonal expressions.
LYT800 1/1.43-type (11.2 mm diagonal) approx. 53-effective-megapixel stacked CMOS image sensor is a 1/1.4” type premium model that rivals the high-quality 1” type sensor. It’s the first sensor with 2-layer transistor pixel structure enabling excellent saturation signal level.
LYT700 1/1.56-type (10.24 mm diagonal) approx. 50-effective-megapixel stacked CMOS image sensor, a 1/1.5” type model optimized for the slim profile of smartphones. It’s a sensor that retains high-end features such as multiple high dynamic range (HDR) methods.
LYT600 1/1.953-type (8.192 mm diagonal) approx. 50-effective-megapixel stacked CMOS image sensor is a sensor in a popular segment that delivers high-quality imaging experiences, a 1/2″ type sensor equipped with high-end features such as all-pixel autofocus.
LYT500 1/2.93-type (6.144 mm diagonal) approx. 50-effective-megapixel*2 stacked CMOS image sensor is introduced as a new standard front camera sensor model optimized for shooting selfies. It’s a 1/2.9” type sensor with small 0.6 µm pixels that delivers high 50-megapixel image quality and always-on functionality.
Designed for diverse shooting scenes
Sony says that as more and more people today are using smartphones to enjoy imaging on a daily basis, and the way they use cameras is also diversifying with more and more smartphones coming with multiple built-in cameras, SSS plans to contribute to enhanced imaging experiences with LYTIA products that accommodate diverse shooting scenes and purposes.
The five sensors now presented are LYTIA’s contribution to create a standard around 50MP sensor, which Sony believes is enough for current mobile applications. The difference in quality will continue to be present, as a LYT900 will, no doubt, offer more quality than the popular LYT500, but at least we will all be talking about the same thing in terms of sensor resolution… even if images will continue to be delivered on the conventional 12MP size, for most cases.