Sony shows off 16.4MP and 8.1MP camera sensors for mobiles
If the recent news about the Altek Leo and the Panasonic Lumix phone are any indication, the megapixel wars are far from over. Sony is showing of two new camera modules, one of which has 16.4MP resolution and the other one is a "budget" unit, capable of 8.1MP resolution. Both can shoot Full HD video.
16.4MP sensor on the left, 8.1MP sensor on the right
The two sensors - IMX081PQ (16.4MP) and IMX105PQ (8.1MP) - use Sony's Exmor R technology, which so far has been used in still and video cameras. The 16.4MP module has a 1/2.8 back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with the smallest pixel size - 1.12 microns. The second module has a 1/3.2 sensor with pixels 1.4 microns in size.
Sony is aware of the common problem - smaller pixels, worse photo quality - but they say their proprietary technology and unique photo diode formation compensate for the small size - they even provided a couple of shots to prove it. Of course, we'll believe it when we see it.
Both camera modules can shoot 720p and 1080p at 30 frames per second, while the 16.4MP sensor can do 720p@60fps too. Sony has developed a couple of lens modules too, which have been downsized enough to fit in a mobile phone.
The 16.4MP sensor will begin shipping in January next year for about 22 euro (30 USD) and its accompanying module will come out in March and cost a whopping 104 euro (144 USD) at first (bulk quantities should be less). The 8.1MP and lens should both be out by April for 13 euro and 69 euro respectively.
Here's hoping the 16.4MP camera module makes its way to the Sony Ericsson Satio's successor.
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