When Sony makes a new camera sensor, it's time for Apple fans to get excited. That's because the firm that makes the best compact camera and the incredible Sony Xperia PRO-I camera phone (pictured) also makes the camera sensors in many of the best phones, including the best iPhones.
The current iPhone 13 range uses multiple Sony sensors, so for example in the iPhone 13 Pro Max there's a Sony IMX703, a Sony IMX772 and a Sony IMX713 in the main camera array. Those sensors provide the data for Apple's computational photography wizardry, so better sensors mean much better images.
And it looks like Sony's latest sensor is much, much better.
Sony's stacked sensor means more of everything
As reported by Android Authority (opens in new tab), Sony has just announced what it calls "the world's first stacked CMOS image sensor with 2-layer transistor pixel." Instead of having the photodiodes and pixel transistors on the same bit of the chip, Sony has split them up and given them separate layers. According to Sony that means increased dynamic range and much better noise reduction. But the other key benefit is that the sensor can now achieve the same performance with smaller pixels – and if the pixels are smaller, then Sony can cram more of them in.
We know the iPhone 14 Pro is expected to get more megapixels – 48 of them – but this sensor tech could enable Sony to achieve even higher resolutions. And if Sony can build it, then Apple can buy it. Fancy an iPhone with a hundred megapixels or more? I do!