Yesterday Sharp unwrapped its new 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor camera module, claiming it as the thinnest smartphone camera sensor in existence. Measuring a wafer-thin 5.47-mm (0.22 inches), Sharp managed to give the module lens-shift image stabilization and claims it will be capable of capturing 1080p Full HD video.
The 11mm square chip might even make its way into Apple’s next iPhone, according to unconfirmed reports. It’s rumored that Sharp will provide touchscreens for Apple’s future devices, so the idea of Apple killing two birds with one supply chain stone is compelling. Right now, the iPhone 4S camera’s 8-megapixel sensor is made by Sony, but if Sharp’s 12-megapixel sensor can out-perform it, we can almost guarantee Sharp will dethrone its Osaka-based competitor.
Sharp’s new 12-megapixel camera module could challenge Nokia’s N8 12-megapixel camera, which is the current megapixel king in the smartphone world. But, as I’ve said before, megapixels do not make a camera. Despite this truth, consumers base most of their buying decisions on megapixel count and are quick to assume that the higher the megapixels, the higher the quality. Manufacturers, advertisers and PR prey on this falsity and convert widespread consumer ignorance into lots of big dollar signs.
Who knows, maybe Sharp’s new sensor will improve image quality substantially on future smartphones. Only time – and photographic evidence – will tell.
[Via: Network World]