Sony CEO Stringer may have leaked plans for 8MP iPhone 5 camera

Yesterday I watched “Walt Mossberg talk to Sony’s CEO, Sir Howard Stringer,” Seth Weintraub reports for 9 to 5 Mac. “Stringer just said that their camera image sensor facility in Sendai was affected by the tsunami. Getting image sensors to Apple will be delayed.”

Weintraub reports, “Stinger said something to the effect of: ‘Our best senor technology is built in one of the (tsunami) affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones…or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us?'”

“Apple might have been eying Sony’s new Exmor R camera sensors,” Weintraub reports, “The 8MP camera sensor there is backlit, which helps it cope with low light situations, similar to what the current 5MP OmniVision sensor in the iPhone 4 does.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. Who knows, could take longer than the Fall. Have people buy up iPhone 4s through February and release iPhone 5 in March/April. The ramp up to accommodate China in the future will be a difficult task.

  1. Right. Apple is all about specification creep. What benefit is gained for an iPhone design to devote more real estate to a camera sensor? Especially a marginal change?

  2. An imaging sensor is not going to stop the iPhone5 from being released. If you need a camera, get a camera. Besides, the existing 5MP sensor on the iPhone4 is great. There’s declining value to higher megapixel sensors.

  3. True, 5MP is enough for most snapshots. But, if next year’s 8MP sensor is the same price and size… And may also be faster, more sensitive, or have better color rendering, or whatever other improvements… Then are you really going to turn it down because “megapixels don’t matter” or have “declining value”? On a broad scale it still seems universally true that higher-megapixel cameras are better cameras. In large part, that might now be mostly incidental, but for some special situations (like photographing small or distant text, which I do a lot on my phone) more megapixels can be quite important, as long as they aren’t held back by low sensitivity or a crapply lens.

    1. Not so fast…

      If the sensor is the same size, adding megapixels to it can decrease the quality in many situations…specifically in low-light situations.

      While you do gain with more megapixels for digital zoom/cropping, those returns diminish as you increase the megapixels beyond what the optics can actually support.

      If the sensor is the same size, I’d bet the image quality would be better on the iPhone at 5MP than 8MP for most pictures people take on their iPhone.

      Increase the size of the sensor, and then maybe 8MP makes sense, but that of course would be done at the expense of other real estate in the iPhone.

      1. Fair enough assuming they are just packing in more pixels without some other way to get higher quality (better tech or bigger size). The iP4 camera is nice but could be better; unlike some here I would never say “if you need a camera, get a camera.” My iPhone 4 already replaced my camera, *and* I’d love to see Apple keep improving on iPhones’ cameras (more MP or not). I’d even put up with another $50, half-millimeter thickness, or couple grams or whatever for a significant improvement. Now don’t get me started on the trash cameras they jammed into the iPad 2…

        1. I totally agree. I have a Canon 7D and 5D as well as 3 P&S cameras. However, I always have my iPhone with me and I want it to be able to take the best pictures possible. There’s a lot of room for improvement on it.

  4. There is almost NO difference between 5Megapixel and 8MegaPixel. (other than marketing hype).

    Question: Does a 10MegaPixel have twice the resolution of a 5MegaPixel camera?
    Answer: NO ! Do some research… doesn’t work like that (at all).
    Image quality comes from THE SENSOR and THE LENS and then compression.

  5. Sony, baby! Don’t make me buy you! You need to stop wasting those cameras on those iPads… or iPod Touch Pluses or whatever they are called. Those 8mp cameras would fit quite well in the most innovative product on the market, the Dell Streak™.

  6. michael you are 100% correct. The iPads 1mp camera is only marginally inferior to the galaxy tabs 3mp camera. It only matters if you are going to blow the image up to an absolutely huge size. 5MP is better than 8MP because the files are smaller

  7. The only innovation that would impress me about the next iPhone camera would be improved optics (note I did not refer to image processing…but the camera itself. An 8mp sensor is useful only insofar as it would improve overall image clarity which is not necessarily the case for a wide array of image applications…BUT an actual optical zoom (say using an inverted wide angle design) would be phenomenal and put them leaps ahead of others…

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