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August 20, 2012

New Sensors: 12mp 1/1.7" backlit Sony IMX144CQJ w/4K video

In addition to the just press-released stacked imaging sensors for mobile, Sony Japan recently revealed a new sensor product for digital cameras, the IMX144CQJ, a 12-megapixel 1/1.7' backlit CMOS sensor with the capability for 4K video!

This new sensor is not mentioned (yet?) on the english-speaking version of the Sony Semiconductor website, but it is mentioned in the Japanese Sony CX-PAL News (computer-translated). Thanks to one of our readers for the alert!

Upon some googling, this sensor was mentioned earlier on in Asian forums/sites, along with speculation in the dpreview Samsung forum that the new Samsung EX2f is using this sensor. And if so, has the 4K hacking party for this new sensor began yet? :-)

Please keep in mind though, just because the sensor has the capability for 4K video, it doesn't necessary mean that the cameras built using this sensor will have the option or even capability of recording 4K video. 4K video is a lot more data than 1080p, which means the various body parts of the camera have to be able to handle the 4K river of data, which often means more $expensive$ components. We have already seen that CCD sensors had been stuck at 720p video recording in digital cameras, and the manufacturers who wanted to jump to 1080p typically moved to CMOS sensors. The jump from 1080p to 4K is a lot more data (4K is roughly 4,000 horizontal pixels, depending on aspect ratio and such).

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