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Latest Sony 12MP sensor allows brighter lenses for enthusiast compacts

By Richard Butler on Oct 11, 2012 at 23:47 GMT

Sony has published details of its latest 12MP 1/1.7"-type (7.5 x 5.6mm) back-lit CMOS sensor. The IMX144CQJ offers full-resolution 12-bit output at up to 35 frames per second or a roughly 'widescreen' 17:9 crop at up to 60 fps - allowing 4k video. Sony stresses how well the sensor can receive light from oblique angles, thanks to its large pixel size, making it able to work with 'brighter lenses and high power zoom lenses.' This is interesting, given the recent launch of a group of wide-maximum aperture compacts based around 12MP, 1/1.7"-type BSI CMOS sensors, such as the Olympus XZ-2, Nikon Coolpix P7700 and Samsung EX2F.

Details of the sensor were first made public on the Japanese version of its semiconductor newsletter but, having recently got several of these cameras into the office, we had a look for the English translation. We'll be publishing samples galleries and studio samples from all these cameras in the coming weeks.

Comments

Total comments: 116
stevez
By stevez (Oct 15, 2012)

Although I'm not a fan of Sony's camera ergonomics, I must admit they are a world class leader in sensor technology. Thanks for the article.

1 upvote
Ashuaria Lee
By Ashuaria Lee (Oct 15, 2012)

Why are these people talking about size?
Sony semiconductor is the only company to sell FF sensor to major DSLR company(like Nikon).
They make tiny sensors from iPhone4 cellphone to FF DSLR Nikon D800.
1/1.7inch sensor is just one of the line-up.

1/2.3 to 1/1.7 sensors are used not only compact cameras, but also security cameras and camcorders...look at the other big markets that are using 1/1.7inch sensors. :-) be a grown-up.

2 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 15, 2012)

Crap, reading just headline I thought it was a 1inch sensor similar to Nikon 1 and to release a version of the rx100 based on the sensor.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

What? A brand new 1/1.7-inch camera sensor? What for? Who wants something like that these days? I had thought time have left that particular form factor sensor sort of behind.

2 upvotes
bluevaping
By bluevaping (Oct 12, 2012)

Lots of talk about 4k video. The sensor is marketed to manufactures not to consumers. The camera makers decide what consumers need, cost of its components to support the sensor and the form factor of the camera. I have the EX2F, so far I am happy with images and video for this type of sensor sized camera.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Since all true Full-4K video needs is a sensor having 8.8MP, it is rather obvious even without the typical Sony PR jazz that a 12MP sensor is capable of generating 4K video. In fact, any sensor having 8.8 MP or more is capable of 4K video. But hey, that's enough of 4K video.

2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Oct 14, 2012)

@ Francis Carver - Your comments as always are mis-informed but pushed as fact. In terms of sheer resolution of a sensor, you are largely correct. Does this mean any camera that is 8.8MP can do 4K video? No!

A sensor has to be able to read-out in full resolution of at least 4096 (for proper '4K') pixels width at minimum of 24 frame per second or faster. Not ALL sensors that are 8.8MP or greater can do this, it is not purely marketing rubbish.

9 upvotes
jonikon
By jonikon (Oct 12, 2012)

Does anyone care about these pencil eraser sized sensors anymore? Most of the lenses that are installed in front of them are cheap junk anyway, so what's the point of improving these tiny sensors? Sony should be putting their efforts into the further development of the 1" sensor with PDAF. That's where the future of pocket cameras lies.

-Jon

1 upvote
gooseta
By gooseta (Oct 12, 2012)

1/2.3" is the standard for compacts. 1/1.7"is bretty big, the S95 + S100, the best compacts out there (ok, the rx100 is great too...), use 1/1.3" sensors I believe.

1 upvote
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (Oct 13, 2012)

@gooseta
What? IQ wise rx100 destroys both these canons. The only thing they can compete in is price.

4 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Okay, so 1/2.3-inch sensor cameras are primarily for those who really do not care/do not know any better, but those who do will definitely fast forward over anything with a 1/1.7-inch or 1/1.6-inch sensor these days, and move to at least a 1-inch form factor sensor camera, or larger.

I suppose Sony is primarily aiming at other camera makers with this latest legacy-sized sensor.... they would probably not even use it themselves.

1 upvote
SunnyFlorida
By SunnyFlorida (Oct 15, 2012)

Jonikon recently purchased a discontinued Nikon V1 and he is trying to validate his purchasing decission by thrashing other sensors as "small" and pushing the 1" sensor of the Nikon, but when you point out to Jonikon that Oly and NEX cameras have a larger sensor he'll flip-flop and say that size doesn't matter.

6 upvotes
kkardster
By kkardster (Oct 16, 2012)

There's nothing wrong with improving any sensor size. 35mm was too small at one time - improvements in these smaller sensors continue to erode the high end while offering smaller cameras at lower cost. There are some pretty amazing 1/2.3" class cameras that could possibly benefit from this new 1/1.7"sensor in the near future. Take off your blinders and look at the entire market - it might not be right for you but it might be good for a very large market segment.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (Oct 12, 2012)

I would almost bet that the Oly XZ-2 and the Nikon P7700 use that sensor given how tight they are with Sony.

3 upvotes
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Oct 15, 2012)

Want ZX2 with that please.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Oct 12, 2012)

Obviously Sony have do not subscribe to the idea that their 1" sensor compact mades the 1/1.7" type obsolete. It would be great if they produced a 2/3" 14mp sensor so the format was available without the intricacies of EXR.

2 upvotes
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Oct 15, 2012)

A bigger sensor makes a smaller sensor obsolete? No you are misinformed of the direction in which digital and photographic technology are taking, which is towards a smaller, lighter cheaper with constantly improving picture quality. The challenge is to make it small.

2 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Oct 12, 2012)

You don't stop innovating huh....
when do I have to stop buying???

1 upvote
JohnSingkit
By JohnSingkit (Oct 15, 2012)

Anytime you want.

3 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Oct 12, 2012)

4K@60fps is impressive, although I can't think of any personal use for it for the next 5 years.

OTOH why isn't everyone talking about 240fps@HD which it is also capable of???

More info on the readout modes in here: http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol69/pdf/imx144cqj.pdf

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Oct 12, 2012)

The 240fps is something to think about - also with compression the extra frames won't increase the overall bandwidth as much - but I always have issues with slow frame rates. 24fps may be the theatrical speed, but panning shots really suffer, and I know 60fps is what I prefer at a minimum especially with sports.

2 upvotes
pgb
By pgb (Oct 12, 2012)

At least interlacing had far less judder. One day it will all be 50/60P and we can move on from the 1920's.

Film cameras seemed to judder at lot less than video, probably due to the shutter speed blur masking it and cinematographers were trained in how to reduce it.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bluevaping
By bluevaping (Oct 12, 2012)

Everyone wants to be a pro. I don't see lots of panning shots when they show case a camera's video performance from the manufacture. They edit the video to make it seem seamless.

1 upvote
KitHB
By KitHB (Oct 12, 2012)

High frame rate is where it's at.

300 fps is better because it's a common multiple of 50 and 60, so global standardisation is possible.

I've seen R&D samples of 300 fps and it looks very special, because the picture refreshes so fast it's indistinguishable from reality (except for the parallax at short range).

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

"I've seen R&D samples of 300 fps and it looks very special, because the picture refreshes so fast it's indistinguishable from reality."

Wow, you can buy machine vision (e.g. Vision Research) video cameras right now that can do 10s of thousands of frames per second refresh rates, so don't limit yourself to 300fps. Even motion picture film camera could record much faster than that, you know.

0 upvotes
pgb
By pgb (Oct 14, 2012)

Hmm, I wonder how many FPS the brain / eye runs at? By how much are we `living in the past'

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

Sony makes no 1/1.7" sensor cameras of its own. True or false?

SFAIK, no one but JVC is selling affordable 4k videocams, and the available 80' 4k display screens cost (gulp) $20k or more. 4k on any smaller screen loses its punch, except perhaps for gamers who sit close to screens or people who like to read tiny print.

With the 1920x1080 display market now saturated, the industry needs a new standard to drive sales, so 4k is bound to come. The chicken or egg question is how to promote sales of screens unless there is more real 4k content. Commercial content may not grow for years, or be too expensive, so an alternative is to offer cameras that shoot 4k video so that everyone can play with the same toys as Ron Howard or Scorcese. Will the results be the same? Of course not, but the fantasy is irresistable. And (ahah!) the buyers will have to get the proper 4k screens and hyped post-i7 computers necessary to view or edit the stuff: all engines of sales growth!

2 upvotes
pgb
By pgb (Oct 12, 2012)

More technology looking for an application.

1 upvote
technic
By technic (Oct 14, 2012)

I bet there will be several affordable 4K videocams by next year, you can already buy (semi-)pro 4K gear for a few thousand $.

And regarding the displays: I would love a 4K TV just for showing my digital images to visitors, assuming it has a high quality image viewer/slideshow function from USB/card slot built in.

0 upvotes
kaizr
By kaizr (Oct 12, 2012)

Hx / RX hybrid on the horizon?
I'm definitely getting one if this happens.

0 upvotes
EPons
By EPons (Oct 12, 2012)

Will Panasonic do the so waited succesor of the FZ50 now?....

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Likely, not.

0 upvotes
nguyenthanhhieuthanson
By nguyenthanhhieuthanson (Oct 12, 2012)

this is awsome
but i want it's cost so cheap

0 upvotes
revio
By revio (Oct 12, 2012)

The news item describes this sensor as "Sony´s latest", but never clearly tells if this actually IS the sensor that sits in the cameras mentioned in the item.

Indirectly I get the impression it is this sensor, but normally the "latest" sensor is a sensor that´s presnted and WILL BECOME used in coming cameras.

So, is this "latest" sensor just the latest to already have come to actual use, or is it the latest that just have got presented, but not yet launched, and thus will get used in the next generation of cameras?

(maybe I did miss some info on that, sorry to bother in such a case)

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Oct 12, 2012)

my heart stopped at "4k camera" but then i realized...whats the point of a 4k video that have no shallow DOF. next...

1 upvote
revio
By revio (Oct 12, 2012)

So, hi resolution (whatever you may deem as hi rez) for still photography only relates to "shallow DOF" systems, or what???

How shallow must DOF be for you (in stills, movie, or any photographic use) to be deemed "shallow enough"???

3 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Oct 12, 2012)

IMO, equivalent of f/4.0 on video cameras are a maximum for anything at 10 feet. Any less or more either makes it too shallow or too deep.

0 upvotes
jim stirling
By jim stirling (Oct 12, 2012)

To be fair the DOF on these tiny sensors is huge even at F1.8 you can get from 5 feet to infinity when focused around the 11 foot mark {6mm on XZ-2}. There are plenty circumstances where a lot of DOF is ether an advantage or irrelevant however there are many scenarios where near infinite DOF is not desirable.

The only way to get anything like shallow DOF with these cameras is at or near macro distances.

1 upvote
mgrum
By mgrum (Oct 12, 2012)

What's the point of 4K video when 90% of the scene is out of focus?

If you're going to have super hi-def you want things to be in focus so you can appreciate the level of detail. Obviously some shots you are going to want to isolate your subject, but for wide angle panning shots, aerials etc. a small sensor is perfect.

6 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

"4k video with shallow DOF" is an oxymoron, a bit like boiled ice. Low definition VHS video captures faces and blurs backgrounds. High definition 1920x1080 video sharpens the faces, but leaves smaller details or background a bit soft. 4k video make sense only on a screen that is so large or close that your eye's own focal vision selects what you see sharply, while leaving the rest in softer peripheral vision. 4k or 8k become the "real deal" image-wise. Your eyes generate the bokeh.

1 upvote
kb2zuz
By kb2zuz (Oct 12, 2012)

Smaller sensors do not mean they cannot have shallow DOF, you just need wider apertures, which can be made. You could make a f/0.75 lens which would make very shallow DOF (Maybe too shallow). Which is going to be more expensive. If you're dealing with shallow DOF, you want to have a lens that allows for a follow focus device and most of those lenses are expensive anyway because they're small market. I could see it happening. I think most people would be happy with f/1.4 lenses because any more shallow and AF will jump around too much and be distracting.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (Oct 12, 2012)

"no shallow DOF"

A short trip to DOFMaster (http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html) and using the equipment shows that small sensor equipment has shallower DOF, for example:

Nikon D4, 35mm, f8 at 10ft = 18.1ft of DOF
Sony Nex7, 35mm, f8 at 10ft = 9.31ft of DOF

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Oct 12, 2012)

my point is that, with a 4K camera that can do shallow dof, ur looking at a fraction of the price of cameras like Canon 1D-C, C300, BlackMagic, RED Epic/Scarlet.
With a 4K camera that is capable of shallow dof, u could replace still photography . Just extract whichever stills that captures the EXACT moment and process it.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Oct 12, 2012)

@mapgraphs: A large sensor camera gives shallower DOF than one with a smaller sensor at the same angle of view, i.e. the same eq. focal length. In your comparison, the NEX-7 have a narrower AOV than the D4, due to the crop factor.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Every digital sensor that is at an 8.8MP sensor or larger is already a Full-4K video capable sensor, because 4K video = 8.8MP resolution video, see? Let us not all fall off the turnip truck because some typical lofty Japanese PR mumbo-jumbo. God knows, we get enough of that from all players.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

Unfortunately another increase in pixel density.
In their specs they talk about a "general trend towards ever higher pixel counts". I do not agree with them, esp. with regard to premium compacts.

Sony is stupidly fostering this trend by offering higher pixel counts!

3 upvotes
bobn2
By bobn2 (Oct 12, 2012)

Increases in pixel density have virtually always brought increases in image quality - surprisingly even with compact cameras where the pixels are sub-diffraction.
The Sony engineers now what they are doing - their marketing people will make anything out of it they can sell.
You can also be sure that Sony will have found out what their customers (the camera manufacturers) want before they develop the sensor.

7 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

I don't think so. Look at all the noise reduction mess all the 16MP tiny sensors produce.
Besides: According to my knowledge, diffraction has nothing to do with photo element size.

I just wonder how good a 1/1.7 sensor with current technology would be, if it had only 6-8 MP.

5 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Oct 12, 2012)

No, Increases in pixel density has not virtually always brought increases in image quality. Why, because they still jack the pixels up to high for the size. The whole ballgame, is consumers understanding that. It's a balance, and they historically go to high. If they would enhance a sensors pixel capability, with these continuing state of the art design, *and* hold back, a major step, with the pixels, the balance would be more ideal.

These better photo sites would also produce better total IQ, with faster, and super telephoto lenses.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 12, 2012)

Michael, you're confusing jpeg NR with sensor output.
Bob is absolutely right.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Oct 13, 2012)

@Michael_13: Diffraction becomes a problem when the diameter of the airy disk becomes larger than the maximum circle of confusion, and this is related to pixel size. Here's an explanation:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 15, 2012)

@TrojMacReady:
Maybe I was misleading. I meant NR effects due to high sensor noise which can increase with smaller pixels.

@Revenant:
Thanks for the link, interesting to read!
I makes clear what I already knew: Diffraction itself is only dependent on aperture and wavelength.
New to me: But whether it becomes a problem or not, depends largely on pixel size.
This point actually fits to my argument above: Small sensors with high numbers of pixels do not make much sense.
Or what do you think?

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PeterBM
By PeterBM (Oct 12, 2012)

Manufacturers of cameras do not provide references of sensors?

0 upvotes
technic
By technic (Oct 12, 2012)

Will be interesting to know if any of the new quality compacts use this sensor. Doesn't seem likely given the time it takes to develop/produce a new camera, and looking at the specs of these cameras. LX-8, XZ-3, P7800 maybe?

"Sony stresses how well the sensor can receive light from oblique angles, thanks to its large pixel size"
This comment is a bit weird though, some of the older 1/1.7"sensors must have even bigger pixel size ...

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

This is only marketing chatter:

Sony compares the light reception to a SMALLER sensor (Type 1/2.3).
So we probably can forget about all these promises and numbers...

0 upvotes
Rob Bernhard
By Rob Bernhard (Oct 12, 2012)

If you look at the history of Sony Semiconductor announcements you will see that they always announce the sensor (to the general public) after the cameras are out.

1 upvote
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (Oct 12, 2012)

It's not about pixel size but the photodiode area relation to pixel area — it's close to 1, so no need to for microlenses anymore.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

This "new" sensor has 2 things going against it, IMO: (1) too small in size and (2) too jam-packed with photosites. But otherwise -- bravo, Sony, by golly you've done it again. :-)

0 upvotes
technic
By technic (Oct 14, 2012)

to Francis: jam-packed with pixels, what are you talking about? Even tiny 1/2.3" sensors already offer 16 MP on some current models ...

I would love Sony to put a lot more pixels on such a sensor, and add functionality like in the Nokia 808, for even better lens corrections and other PP.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 14, 2012)

A sensor this small would probably benefit of having no more than 8MP on it, and those 1/2.3-inchers, 6MP max. Of course, if the law of optics and physics mean nothing, than a 1/4-inch sensor with 46 million photosites on it might be the best deal going.

Regarding Nokia 808 -- who knows, maybe Nokia in sourcing that sensor from Sony as well?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 14, 2012)

Nokia and Toshiba said they worked together on the 808's sensor. It's a relatively large 1/1.2" sensor. The surprise is that it doesn't outperform the Canon S100's sensor, according to DxO figures, despite being larger.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 15, 2012)

@Richard Butler:
Maybe it is time for an in-depth article on the question "What MP-number gives the maximum IQ on small sensors?".
I'd be very interested in a true engineering answer, free from all the marketing chatter.
But you will probably need some undercover sources for this... :-)

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Oct 15, 2012)

Michael_13, there is an answer to that question: Infinite. In terms of information, there is an exact number of photons and no more. The MP number required to differentiate them into useful information compared to the pixel next to them depends on the light level. More light, more MP. With less light, fewer MP are needed to differentiate the given information. What people complain about with high MP sensors is the percentage of the sensor area that does not receive light between the pixels. If a sensor captured light over 100% of it's surface area, you would always want more MP. How many more would depend on the light.

If there was some correlation between pixel density and surface area of the senor gathering light, you could calculate how many MP you would want for a given amount of light. No such correlation exists but people seem to imply it does. More MP doesn't mean more wasted space necessarily.

Real sensors do have dead area though, and increasing it reduces performance.

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Oct 12, 2012)

Interesting to see how the XZ-2/P7700/EX2F compares to the old XZ-1/P7100/EX1.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 12, 2012)

I've just started shooting with the XZ-2 and it'simpressive how much of a step forward it represents (Not just the sensor - the camera's rather promising, too).

5 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Oct 13, 2012)

Wow. I'll be waiting for that!

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Oct 14, 2012)

If only they didn't make the damn thing twice the size!

0 upvotes
technic
By technic (Oct 14, 2012)

good to hear that XZ-2 looks promising. I have my doubts about the size increase, but if it is that much better than the already good XZ-1 ...

0 upvotes
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (Oct 14, 2012)

I just finished checking the DPR Studio Scene Comparison shots for the RX100, LX7, Fuji X10, and XZ-1. At low ISOs, the 2-yr-old Olympus was the sharpest of them all. It even rivalled the G1 X with much larger sensor and lens.

The RX100 has a big resolution advantage, but its lens is just not in the same league as the ZUIKO on the Oly.

With the new sensor, the XZ-2 should produce amazing results. It may very well best the RX100. Whether people will be able to overlook the smaller sensor size is another matter. Everyone seems to be fixated on the 1" sensor on the Sony.

Really looking forward to seeing the XZ-2 review.

4 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 16, 2012)

Edgar:
I guess the XZ-1 could have been even sharper at another aperture (e.g. 3.0-3.5).

RX100 is a different concept. Its big advantages are size and speed.

0 upvotes
PeterBM
By PeterBM (Oct 12, 2012)

I do not catch. Is it a new sensor for future cameras or is it used in to-day cameras as the P7700?

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

dpreview does not know, yet.
It is likely that this sensor is used in cameras like P7700 and XZ-2.
It is unlikely though, that Canon will buy this sensor. They have their own small models.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

Where does Canon get the sensors used in the S100?

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (Oct 12, 2012)

They manufactured that one in-house. I believe that they have used Sony sensors in past cameras though.

0 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Oct 12, 2012)

Given that most PCs are still overwhelmed when they need to edit Full HD and that no TV and very few computer screens can display more than Full HD one has to wonder if 4K is what the industry should be pushing right now.
Considering how long it took for TV stations to go HD (it's expensive!) I guess it'll take at least another 10 years before any major station goes 4K.

2 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (Oct 12, 2012)

Google 4K TV - they're out now. Projectors also. Expensive, yes, but this isn't about what consumer 4K display devices cost at this moment - this is about enabling creation of content of lasting technological relevance. Content creation has to lead display technology.

4 upvotes
revio
By revio (Oct 12, 2012)

Hen and egg situation in a nutshell ;-)

Somewhere it must start, mustn´t it? (if it´s supposed to ever came, that is)

Why complain, then, when the start is beginning to get obvious...???

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mgrum
By mgrum (Oct 12, 2012)

It's much better for editing / compositing to have your source footage in 4k, even if it's ultimately shown in 1080p.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

4K video will require a mountain of PC power to edit and render. Thus, with a $5k 4k camera, and a $20k 16-core workstation, you can create 4k video to see on your $20k 80' screen. Just borrow against the 401k to get the dough-k, and then you're OK to go 4k.

It would make sense to build the cameras with processors that could be used to edit the video by connecting them with an ordinary PC, but that (smart) approach might undermine sales of 4k VAIO machines.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Who knows if 4K video will even happen, like ever? We might just sit that one out, and move from Full-HD/2K video right up to 8K video. If you had seen the 8K video demo at NAB this year, you would NOT be interested in anything less than that for resolution, that's for sure. But for consumers, 4K will be a new baloney to sell, after the ill-fated "3D revolution."

Poor consumers, they are always and forever gonna be shafted.

0 upvotes
technic
By technic (Oct 14, 2012)

4K TV (8 Megapixels) is very nice for display of digital images. No need to have a 4K-capable PC, just use the embedded computer for a high quality viewer/slideshow program that displays content from USB port or cardreader slot.

But at the current $20-40K price it is still a niche market obviously ...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 14, 2012)

The Sony 2000 ANSI lumen brightness SXRD panel 4K HT projector can now be had in the low $20,000s, and it has a very nice SD to 4K and HD to 4K hardware upscaler built right into it. And with the zoom lens, you decide on the fly what size image you need to throw onto the screen.

Since you can get a neat 2560 x 1600 resolution (i.e. 2.5K) 30-inch computer monitor now for around US$1,000, I don't see how it would make pecuniary sense to spend more than $5,000 for a 4K rez display.

0 upvotes
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (Oct 12, 2012)

Actually, LX7 is very likely use this sensor too.

The only difference is panasonic omits the BSI part in its specs, it is understandable since panasonic always trying to downplay BSI to promote their own "smart FSI"

3 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Oct 12, 2012)

Yep, Sony is the leader by miles compared to Canon it seems?

14 upvotes
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Oct 12, 2012)

Seems that Canon is in deep trouble, with all its cameras scoring so poorly compared to others using Sony sensors. It may have to use Sony sensors too.

5 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Oct 12, 2012)

DXO Mark's scoring system seems heavily biased... According to them the sensors found in just about every category of Nikon DSLR camera's are far superior compared to every other manufacturer...

Unfortunately their tests are a far cry from the reality of putting a camera through its paces of day to day reality...

Seems like their only real purpose is to serve as a thorne in the side of Canon...

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

Why?
This is a sensor for compacts. Pixel quality of Canons S10x- and G-series is excellent.

0 upvotes
AmateurSnaps
By AmateurSnaps (Oct 12, 2012)

Not long ago canon were right up there and even beating Nikon.

Canons sensor are old. No argument there.

Having said that I wouldn't base a camera purchase on the bases of a DXO mark - Canon/Nikon/Sony or otherwise.

2 upvotes
avbee
By avbee (Oct 12, 2012)

4k coming for DLSR

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Oct 12, 2012)

Looks like low price 4K compact cameras are coming.... Good news to us.
We also need low price 4K monitors/TV too!
Are the TV stations prepared to upgrade their board casting to 4K?

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 12, 2012)

at least in Japan, they can be the first to do it. NHK already have been working on 8K for a while, so we are likely to see some 4K TV broadcast within 5 years, but again, it's Japan.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Oct 12, 2012)

Rooru S,
I know that.
The Sharp 8K display panel is so sharp and fantastic!

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

The cost of 4k would be more than just the screen. It entails a whole lot more bitrate and bandwidth. Would you pay an extra $200 per month, or $50 / ball game, to see your TV in 4k?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

"Looks like low price 4K compact cameras are coming.... We also need low price 4K monitors/TV too!"

And while you're at it, Edmond, do not forget about those low-price 8K and 16K gear that we desperately need -- at super low prices -- just as well. Low, lower, lowest, yessirie!

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Oct 12, 2012)

The Popular Sony IMX078CQK (12MP Type 1/2.3) was capable of 1920x1080 at 60fps but no camera using that sensor implemented it afaik.
Also capable of 12MP @ 42 fps but that one neither showed up in any product.
I guess the limits are in the supporting electronics rather than the sensor itself in dealing with such high data bandwidths.

I'd rather see though a 8mp sensor optimized for video like in the Canon C100 capable of reaching ISO20,000 almost noise free.

12MP is no sense for handheld cameras.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Oct 12, 2012)

Canon's 8MP is a FF, sony is 1/1.7", it will never produce anything usable at ISO20000.

3 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 12, 2012)

Yep, question is about required data bandwidth, processing power and storage.
Data bandwidth and memory needs which increase linearly with resolution and fps while processing power requirements for compression no doubt rise lot more deeply.

And already 12MP in this 1/1.7" sensor size is basically outside laws of physics when looking image quality.
You would need roughly aperture of f/1.4 to keep Airy disk the size of pixel and even allowing inaccuracy of bayer sensor we're around f/2 for not being diffraction limited in resolution.
And it's doubtfull that lenses made for cheap to compacts have well enough corrected aberrations to have maximal diffraction limited resolution at such big apertures.
Add software image stretching and twisting to cover up uncorrected geometric distortion and blurry mess is ready.

0 upvotes
Coyote_Cody
By Coyote_Cody (Oct 12, 2012)

Electronics not limiting likely, more the power consumption/heat for those fast chips, At any tech level, speed=power=heat, always a balance. Battery life is key for portable, not so in studio.

4K is likely only in theatres until some playback media/BR system supports it, downloading a 10-20gb 4k movie (see timescapes movie) seems a slow process for many of us!! And slight overkill for cell phones! :)

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

"Canon's 8MP is a FF."

No, it is not. Not "full frame" 135, that is.

0 upvotes
aljudy
By aljudy (Oct 12, 2012)

I sure seems that Sony is leading everyone else with their sensor technology!

0 upvotes
B-rad
By B-rad (Oct 12, 2012)

I can send a screwdriver over if you don't have one.

1 upvote
Alberto Tanikawa
By Alberto Tanikawa (Oct 12, 2012)

4K video (60fps no less) in regular consumers' hands... are sensor manufacturers in bed with hard drive/memory card manufacturers? I'd rather have 1080/60p with 4:4:4 sampling, and timecode. Quality files over quantity of pixels first.

4 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Oct 12, 2012)

If you want No chroma sub-sampling aka 4:4:4, you need a bayer 4K or a Foveon 1080P sensor.

1 upvote
CarVac
By CarVac (Oct 12, 2012)

Forget 1080p 4:4:4, I want a 4k monitor for 500 bucks.

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2012)

By 2016, there may be 4k monitors sold for $500, but the monthly cost of the bandwidth might also cost that much, and your i7 PC would need eons to render edited 4k video.

1 upvote
B-rad
By B-rad (Oct 12, 2012)

Is this chip actually in the P7700?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 12, 2012)

Unless Chipworks does a strip-down, we probably won't ever know for certain. It's extremely likely, however.

3 upvotes
Glenn72
By Glenn72 (Oct 12, 2012)

Wow, 4k video at 60P! I think my next camera will be whatever Sony release that uses this sensor.

1/1.7" is a decent size too. My old Canon S95 had a sensor that size and was perect for the 20 or more music videos I shot on it.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

1/1.7-inch sensor size is considered old a smallish, and any camera priced at under US$100,000 that will record 4K video at 60fps progressive will likely deliver a very, very low overall image quality video (chroma, color depth, etc). But as far as far out ideas go, 4K60p is definitely this year's 3D TV hype. Maybe even next year's.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Oct 12, 2012)

How will Fujifilm respond to this???

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Oct 12, 2012)

Crystal ball says they will pull their hair out, swear, then get to work :).

3 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 12, 2012)

Why should they?
They already have an excellent 2/3 model.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Oct 13, 2012)

Ratty, nice to see you are contributing here so eloquently.

1 upvote
imbimmer
By imbimmer (Oct 12, 2012)

Interesting.

The Canon G15 and S110 both sport a 12MP 1/1.7"-type sensor, are they using the same chip too?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 12, 2012)

Canon have made an unusually strong point of saying that they're using their own sensors in the S110 and G15.

4 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (Oct 12, 2012)

These people are on a roll....

11 upvotes
Total comments: 116