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Sony says smartphones will someday take better photos than cameras

A Sony smartphone and a Sony digital single-lens reflex camera.
(Images courtesy Sony Corporation, Graphic by The Desk)

The quality of images captured by smartphone cameras is expected to exceed that of standalone cameras within a few years, an executive in charge of Sony’s semiconductor business said last month.

Terushi Shimizu, the president and chief executive of Sony Semiconductor Solutions, recently told a group of business leaders that the company’s best image sensors will produce better-quality images than standalone digital single lens reflex (dSLR) and mirrorless cameras by 2024.

Materials offered during the presentation said Sony’s large-pixel technology for smartphones will surpass its standalone camera technology on several points, including artificial intelligence features and “quantum saturation” processing.

Sony offers its own Xperia-branded line of smartphones that feature the company’s top-of-the-line image processing components. It also produces image sensors that are integrated into Apple phones as well as some Android-powered handsets. Sony has 45 percent of the global smartphone image sensor market, according to reports.

Sony also makes its own line of mirrorless and dSLR cameras, and that is unlikely to change due to a few advantages interchangeable lens cameras still have over smartphones. For one, interchangeable lens cameras are able to take clearer photos of subjects when captured from far away. Motion and light reflections are also easier to manage compared to camera technology found in smartphones, and professional photographers find they offer more options and customization than mobile devices do.

Still, for the casual user, a top-of-the-line — and even some mid-range phones — will produce good enough photos for social media and for printing.