If you were to go back in time and tell a photography enthusiast that smartphone cameras would one day be where they are today, you would without a doubt be deemed insane. But, while smartphone cameras may very well one day rival DSLRs in picture quality they still have a ways to go. In the mean time, however, high end smartphones are constantly reducing the need for average photographers to carry around a dedicated point-and-shoot camera.
A prime example of this would be Apple’s recently released and critically acclaimed iPhone 4S. While the phone itself is highly advanced when viewed at a hardware level, photographers may be much more interested in the device’s camera which Apple has been touting as one of its major selling points. This high level of picture quality is achieved by an 8 megapixel sensor coupled with a larger f/2.4 aperture, among other things.
But, with many smartphones with 8 megapixel sensors and the ability to capture 1080p video quickly becoming the norm we can’t help but wonder what’s next. Sharp seems to have that answer recently coming forth to debut their 12.1 megapixel sensor which they are saying is the world’s thinnest. This sensor manages to pack optical image stabilization of the 1/3.2 type along with the ability to record 1080p video while clocking in at just 5.47mm thick.
So, what does this mean for you, the end consumer? In the short term, not much. However, Sharp does plan to begin production of these ultra-thin sensors on January 10th, 2012 when smartphones manufacturers will be able to get their hands on them. This will translate into smartphones hitting the market throughout 2012 and into 2013 with the ability to record high quality imagery while maintaining the ultra thin form factor we’ve all come to know and love.