Sony IMX586 vs Sony IMX582 Comparison – Which Is Better?

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With the launch of the Xiaomi Mi 9T / Redmi K20 and the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro / Redmi K20 Pro, you may be wondering – what’s the difference between the Sony IMX586 and Sony IMX582 image sensors?

At first glance, they are both 48 MP image sensors with pretty much the same specifications. But there is one key difference. Find out what it is, and if it matters to you!

Sony IMX586 vs Sony IMX582 Comparison - Which Is Better?


The Sony IMX586 Image Sensor

Sony makes many of the industry’s best image sensors, and their IMX585 is no exception.

First announced on 23 July 2018, the Sony IMX586 was the world’s first image sensor to feature an ultra-small 0.8 μm pixel size.

Sony IMX586 feature slide

It is a stacked CMOS image sensor, that uses a Quad Bayer colour filter array – where adjacent 2×2 pixels are in the same colour.

In low-light conditions, signals from four adjacent pixels to be combined into a Super Pixel with the effective pixel size of 1.6 μm pixels. This allows for significantly brighter low-light photos, albeit at 12 MP.

Sony IMX586 Quad Bayer Array + sensor size

At half an inch, or 8 mm, it is considered a relatively large sensor. Shipping in September 2018, it has so far been used in the Xiaomi Mi 9, the Redmi Note 7 Pro, ASUS 6Z, OnePlus 7 Pro and now, the Mi 9T Pro / K20 Pro.


The Sony IMX582 Image Sensor

The Sony IMX582, on the other hand, is a complete mystery.

Until its introduction in the Xiaomi Mi 9T / Redmi K20, no one has ever heard of it, much less seen it used in any smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi 9T (Redmi K20) - Everything You Need To Know!

At first glance, it is identical to the Sony IMX586 – a stacked CMOS image sensor with 48 million 0.8 μm pixels that can be combined into 12 million 1.6 μm pixels.

However, we can confirm that the Sony IMX582 is different from the IMX586 in at least one aspect – its 4K video recording capability.


Sony IMX586 vs Sony IMX582

The Sony IMX586 is capable of recording 4K videos at up to 90 fps, but the Sony IMX582 is limited to 4K videos at just 30 fps.

For your convenience, we summarise their specifications in this table :

Specifications Sony IMX586 Sony IMX582
Sensor Size 1/2-inch (8 mm) 1/2-inch (8 mm)
Resolution (Native) 48 MP : 8000 x 6000 pixels 48 MP : 8000 x 6000 pixels
Resolution (Super Pixel Mode) 12 MP : 4000 x 3000 pixels 12 MP : 4000 x 3000 pixels
Pixel Size (Native) 0.8 μm 0.8 μm
Pixel Size (Super Pixel Mode) 1.6 μm 1.6 μm
Video Recording 4K @ 90 fps
1080p @ 240 fps
720p @ 480 fps
4K @ 30 fps
1080p @ 240 fps
720p @ 480 fps

Now, many other websites are saying that the IMX586 can record 4K videos only up to 60 fps, but they are wrong.

They most likely got confused by Xiaomi’s statement that the IMX586 was limited to 4K @ 60 fps in Mi 9 and Mi 9T Pro / K20 Pro smartphones.

The fact is Sony rated the IMX586 for 4K @ 90 fps, but Xiaomi limits 4K video recording to 60 fps in their smartphones.


So Which Is Better – IMX586 or IMX582?

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The Sony IMX586 is the superior sensor, by virtue of being able to record 4K video at higher frame rates.

But that feature is moot for many users, because most users do not record 4K videos at 60 fps, never mind 90 fps…

Unless you want to record high speed 4K video, both sensors are practically the same.

In fact, we believe that the IMX582 is really nothing more than the IMX586 with a throttled 4K recording capability.


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