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Sony’s new smartphone camera sensor looks promising from sample shots

Sony has shown off the sequel to its omnipresent IMX586 sensor with some tantalising image samples. Here’s what it looks like in action.

Sony has released a handful of preview samples from the IMX686 camera sensor, set to be the sequel to its incredibly popular 48-megapixel sensor found on many popular smartphones.

Related: Best smartphones

The images that Sony posted to Chinese social media site Weibo look very promising, with especially vivid colours and clear detail that will likely make it a good choice for phone photography.

Image Credit: DP Review

The first picture from the series shows a marketplace, and the sensor does a good job of emphasising the vibrant colours of fruit, and the reflected light from glass jars.

Image Credit: DP Review

This second picture is a portrait. Although there’s no bokeh effect applied, it still shows that likeness can be captured well, with detail strong from various textures, and again that light from lamps in the background does not overwhelm the image.

Image Credit: DP Review

This image of a poolside café also shows off intricate levels of detail captured in the wicker of the chairs and the leaves and bark of trees.

Image Credit: DP Review

Another image shows an outdoor market at night, and the sensor manages to efficiently reduce the noise from naked bulbs, letting the brighter colours from the fruits sit in appealing contrast to the dark sky.

Related: Best camera phones

The 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 was a very popular camera sensor, which was employed not only by the Sony Xperia 1 flagship, as you might expect, but also by other brands too. We were particularly impressed by its performance on the Xiaomi Mi 9. It was also present on the innovative reversible camera module on the Asus Zenfone 6, and it was the lead sensor in the OnePlus 7T Pro.

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