Sony has introduced a new image sensor for smartphone cameras which could bring some of the features found in high-end, mirrorless cameras to smartphones.
The Sony Exmor RS IMX230 image sensor should be available starting in April, 2015.
The sensor supports 21 megapixel images, but it takes more than megapixels to make a good photo. The IMX230 uses a stacked CMOS sensor with mirrorless-camera style image plane phase detection for auto-focus, built-in support for HDR (high dynamic range), and 4K video recording, among other things.
In plain English, that means the IMX230 should enable high-speed autofocus detection so you can track and shoot moving targets quickly. The HDR imaging function lets you capture still pictures or videos with a wide range of colors including shadows and other gradients in a backlit environment.
Sony also plans to launch a 16MP version of its Exmor RS image sensor.