The entire year of 2019 and the upcoming year 2020 is the year of smartphone cameras. The technology of camera is evolved soo much in past years. Now everyone purchases an android phone for photos. Selfies and back camera are now given more preference then processor and performance of the smartphone. Even smartphone companies are now making camera-centric phones. In this race a new property has arrived that is pixel binning. This is a technology that provides you with impressive image quality. In the year 2017 & 2018 was the year of bezel-less year. That changed the aspect ratio of phones. However, now the time is for the evolution of the camera sensor.
The rate at which the entire phone industry is shifting their interest towards the camera sensor & technology is incredible. Features like sensor size, aperture, ISO, etc are now managed in mobile cameras also. Similarly, pixel binning is also a new technology that is introduced in the sensor. Its not a tough math or technique to understand. Pixel binning is a process in which four pixels of your camera combined into one pixel. So a small micron pixel will generate an image that is equivalent to large pixel size, and it results in a sharp and clear picture. To understand it better, you need to understand the concept of sensor size and micron. Don’t worry; you will get all information on pixel binning in this article.
What Is Pixel And Sensor Technology?
To understand the concept, first of all, we need to understand what a pixel is? Pixels are nothing but a physical element on the sensor of the camera. It is present on every camera sensor on DSLR and standard phone camera called photosites; & captures light whenever activated by a user. The sensor gets activated when the light touches the sensor and get active. It is the smallest element of digital photography. In this war of sensor size, the bigger the size, the more detail you capture. Nowadays, the sensor size in a camera is small, companies are trying to insert a decent sized sensor, but it is difficult.
The main problem is fitting the sensor size on the central processor as we know that a bigger sensor is better for capturing good images. But unluckily it is not possible to install a decent shaped sensor on the processor. This sort of problem doesn’t arise on DSLR’s or digital camera because the sensor size is big. And the question of space is not there. In smartphones, there is not enough to put a big sensor.
Understanding The Concept Of Pixel Binning
The concept of Pixel Binning is, all in all, a process of combining four adjacent pixels into one. To understand it in a better way, it is a process in which four or two-pixels combines into one to form a good quality of the image. If a camera sensor has 0.8 microns of pixel size, then these pixels will merge into a 2×2 grid to create a sizeable 1.6micron pixel image. It means that a 48MP sensor generates 12MP of pictures, and a 64MP sensor will go for 16MP. This technique combines the images that result in a brighter and sharper image. With this technology, images are better, and this provides a pro feeling to users.
Not enough phones support pixel binning feature because it is a new feature. This feature is not present in many phones and technology is also a bit expensive. This is because it is carried from a Sony 48MP IMX 586 sensor. This is the same sensor that is found in high-end smartphones. There are very few smartphones that support this sensor. Many people think that it uses the same technology as HDR, but HDR and pixel binning is different things. HDR is responsible for making the image more clear and reduces noise from the image. Whereas pixel binning doesn’t reduce noise; it makes the image crisper.
A megapixel contains one million pixels. Since most of the smartphone uses a quad bayer filter on a camera sensor that captures an image with the combination of RGB, they all combine to make a perfect image. So it is easy to know how a camera is using pixel binning or not. It is simple if the smartphone uses a camera of 32MP, 48MP or 64MP, then it is using this technology. Thus there basic and primary camera sensor is of only 12MP or 16MP.
Smartphones That Are Using Pixel Binning Today
It ultimately depends on the manufacturer to input this technology into smartphones. There are much makers in the industry that planning to input this technology into their device. At this time, there are fewer devices that support this technology, but shortly, there will be devices. As there are limited devices because manufactures are slightly feeling weird about the performance and awareness of the feature. And another aspect is that manufactures needs to ship the phone with an excellent image sensor. This may get a little expensive for the manufacturer. Here is some list of phones that ships with a high-resolution camera and with pixel binning feature:
- Vivo 15 Pro
- ZTE Blade V 10
- Huawei Nova 4
- Xiaomi Mi 9
- Redmi Note 7s
- Realme XT
- One Plus 7T
Even some devices carry this pixel binning feature, but the megapixel count is decent like other smartphones. Here is the list of smartphones:
- LG G7 ThinQ
- V30s ThinkQ
- Xiaomi Redmi S2
- Xiaomi Mi A 2
Common Misunderstanding About Pixel Binning
There are many misunderstanding and wrong concepts about the mega-pixel count. Some of these difference is developed by the companies itself so that they can sell out all there products. Users think that a higher megapixel count is always better than a low pixel. Like a 48MP or 64MP camera, the sensor is better than a 13MP or 16MP sensor, but this theory is entirely wrong. There is a logical reason behind it. The same scenario happens with pixel binning feature. Many users believe that a 16MP camera sensor can take a 64MP picture with the help of pixel binning and it will be better than it’s original 16MP primary camera.
This conception is entirely wrong, a picture obtained from its primary camera is way better than an image taken from pixel binning. Even in terms of low-light performance, you will get a better performance in 12MP or 16MP camera sensor. This is because a large sensor gets difficulty in combining all pixel, more pixels more substantial process. Whereas in another case, when the megapixel is on the lower side, then the sensor doesn’t need to combine enough pixel. This makes the task easy for the sensor and processor to process the image.