Previous news story    Next news story

Aptina creates faster 14MP 1" sensor capable of 80 fps and 4K video

By dpreview staff on Apr 18, 2013 at 01:03 GMT

Sensor maker Aptina has announced a 14MP 1"-type sensor for use in mirrorless and video cameras. The AR1411HS enters the range alongside the existing 10MP model and offers even faster shooting capabilities. The 14MP chip can shoot full-resolution images at up to 80 fps and can shoot either 4K or Quad HD (allowing high quality 4:2:2 color) at up to 60 fps. The company suggests the 1" format (actually 13.2 x 8.8mm) offers an effective balance of image quality, price and capabilities to make a sensible middle ground between the tiny 1/2.3" sensors in most compacts and the APS-C sensors used in many mirrorless models and DSLRs.

Aptina - revealed by Chipworks as the maker of Nikon's 10MP 1" sensors - spoke to us in 2012 about the potential offered by the 1" format.


Press Release:

Aptina Combines Stunning DSLR Picture Quality and 4K Digital Cinema Video in New Ultra-High Speed 14-Megapixel Camera Sensor

SAN JOSE, Calif.- Today Aptina announced a new 14 Megapixel (MP) CMOS image sensor for digital cameras, the AR1411HS, providing a unique imaging solution in the increasingly popular 1-inch format. By merging spectacular image quality with extremely fast frame rates, Aptina is enabling top consumer camera makers to develop the next generation of mirrorless, bridge, high-end compact, and broadcast digital video cameras. This sensor, which has attracted great interest from market-leading mirrorless camera makers, extends Aptina’s high-performance camera sensor product line that was introduced with the 10 MP AR1011HS in 2012.

The AR1411HS image sensor competes at the highest level with an ultra-sensitive pixel, using Aptina™ DR-Pix™ technology to achieve superior image quality in both low-lit and brightly-lit scenes. This is combined with the ability to output the full 14MP resolution at up to 80 frames per second (fps) for an amazing 1.1 gigapixels/sec, 40 percent faster than its 10MP predecessor. The high-speed readout gives the sensor the capability of providing full 4K video at 60fps, in either the Quad HD (3840H x 2160V) or the wider Digital Cinema 4K format (4096H x 2160V), and a blazingly fast 120fps 1080p video mode, enabling slow-motion video capture without loss of resolution. This speed also gives the user the unique capability of grabbing full 14MP resolution still images without interrupting a super-sharp, oversampled 1080p HD video stream.

"The AR1411HS image sensor delivers superior image quality and the ability to capture still shots and video very fast, in virtually any environment," said Sandor Barna, Vice President and General Manager of Aptina’s Consumer Camera business. "This 1-inch sensor effectively bridges the performance and price gap between the smaller 1/2.3-inch sensors commonly used in compact digital still cameras and the larger APS-C and full-frame sensors that are used in DSLR cameras. Based on the initial success we are seeing in high quality HD-video enabled mirrorless cameras and strong interest from several top camera companies that have sampled the image sensor, we believe the AR1411HS is a game-changer."

Availability
Aptina’s AR1411HS image sensor is currently in mass production.

Comments

Total comments: 59
Henrikas
By Henrikas (5 months ago)

7 months have passed. So, where is it?

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Apr 22, 2013)

great Sensor - 4k RAW 60fps to time in Nikon 1 V1 - 400fps slowmo -
the next: 4k Video and 400fps 4620x586 - see you:

http://www.eoshd.com/content/10158/could-nikon-be-about-to-enter-digital-cinema-market

and the Nikon 1 V1 is the best Streetcam from all - unrivaled - to time with the 4K RAW 60fps
;);)

2 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Apr 19, 2013)

What is a great sensor good for when you put in Nikon1....

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 19, 2013)

Doesn't this announcement imply it might appear in cameras other than a Nikon 1?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 19, 2013)

Not sure why R Butler is buying into your trolling (surprisingly unprofessional, but whatever) but I doubt the countless users making beautiful images with their Nikon 1 cameras care that you don't like the Nikon 1.

But I guarantee you can't name one mirrorless camera that has better AF Tracking, or that focuses better in low-light.

2 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Apr 19, 2013)

And BTW: They talk about speed, but what about quality? The Nikon 1 system is just fast, but IQ is really crappy for 1". They shouldn´t sacrifice IQ for speed.

3 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Apr 19, 2013)

Typical dopey comment. Comparing The Nikon N1 studio test shots with some 4/3rds cameras and even some older APSC SLRs shows it doing a pretty good job.

Nikon allows some noise to show rather than trying to smear it away. I applaud that approach.

6 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 19, 2013)

Everybody has different standards but the Nikon 1's IQ is competitive. The latest generation 14 mp Aptina sensors beat the RX100 in low-light ISO score on DxOMark (See J3, S1, V2 vs RX100 Low-Light ISO Score).

And both the 10 mp and 14 mp sensor Nikon 1 cameras have total scores similar to ALL of the 12 mp m43 cameras. Which is an indication that IQ is far from "crappy".

See DxOMark Sensor Ratings.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings

0 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Apr 20, 2013)

Simon97:
I doubt you ever used one of these cameras. The quality is just bad compared even for 1". There are compact cameras with smaller sensor that do better. Comparable to DSLRs or 4/3? Not really...even my Canon S95 performed better at low ISO. And comparing to 4/3 is no excuse for bad image quality. Yes, there are some dopey comments here - but not mine. These are these comments like "hey another camera is bad and it´s popular, and this camera performs similar, so it can´t be that bad!"
marike6:
Well, scores of 52(J3 14MP) and 54(V1 10MP) aren´t something to rave about. And that they score similar to e.g. the Panasonic G2 is (again) no excuse for bad quality, and BTW who said G2 is good? It isn´t.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Apr 19, 2013)

We are waiting two or multiple of these sensors to be genlocked for 3dvideos!

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Apr 18, 2013)

That would be a perfect sensor for Nikon V3! Even today you can take snippets of 4K with your V1 (2 second of 4K, at a time), but this could be the beginning of something really interesting!

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Apr 19, 2013)

The whole world is hoping there will be no Nikon3!!!!!

2 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Apr 18, 2013)

Now have Sigma make a f1.0 9-19mm 1" lens for it and we'll talk ;)

1 upvote
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Apr 18, 2013)

I don't know who makes the chips for Black Magic but I really like their approach; High DR and native large pixels and a focus on video quality for a given market, not some kind of "superchip" approach. This high pixel/high framerate stuff doesn't get me excited unless it the images can speak for themselves, otherwise its all just academic.

0 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Apr 18, 2013)

Ok, a lot of new sensors with 4k capability and high framerates are announced last time, but when will the first be in a - payable - camera? New camera generations - regardless if P&S, DSLR or camcorder - this year are still limited to FullHD.

1 upvote
zubs
By zubs (Apr 18, 2013)

Sony quids in :-)

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Apr 18, 2013)

Guess we will see it in next Nikon 1? :)

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 18, 2013)

Don't you think it's the same 14 MP chip that's already used in J3 and V2? Although they don't take advantage of its full potential yet, probably due to processor and memory limitations.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Apr 18, 2013)

No, I don't think it's the same, though it likely shares a great deal. If they can combine this with the exiting Nikon 1 hybrid autofocus capability, it will be a great sensor, at least for video. The problem with the existing Aptina chips has been inadequate dynamic range. The sensors are full of clever technology (a true global shutter, a lot of processing right on the sensor, pdaf af that works), but without better image quality the Nikon 1 remains an incomplete camera.

My V1 is a lot of fun to shoot with because it is so fast and accurate, but I regularly run into the sensor's limits. Maybe this new chip will offer other improvements, too. I hope so, because for a still camera that was already speedy, the announced improvements aren't what was needed. I don't shoot video, though I've been impressed with just how good the existing Nikon 1 models are at video, given the limited press they get. The V3 could be a real GH3 competitor, or a lot more.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 18, 2013)

Now we are talking. That sounds great.

2 upvotes
SunnyFlorida
By SunnyFlorida (Apr 18, 2013)

Great! This sensor can now capture 80 green tinted, noisy images instead of 60!!

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 18, 2013)

Why do they have to be noisy? It's up to the photographer to know how to expose properly and choose the right ISO for the available light. The Nikon 1 has as good or better high ISO (S1, J3, V2) ability as the Sony RX100 which is quite good in low-light for it's sensor size.

If you're not sure about WB, try shooting RAW, editing in LR and using the eye dropper to get whites neutral.

1 upvote
halc
By halc (Apr 18, 2013)

This on a replaceable lens body with very high bitrate video recording would be a dream come true for me.Below $1000 for body with manual adjustments and external mic input.

0 upvotes
Slabs
By Slabs (Apr 18, 2013)

What are the chances of this sensor finding its way into a new generation of superzoom bridge cameras (fixed lens type) soon?

1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Apr 18, 2013)

Zero. 1" is too big for a cheap 20x superzoom.

6 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 18, 2013)

It is just right for upscale 10x superzoom though. RX100 is 4x, f/1.8 at wide and very compact, bridge form factor has a lot of weight/size budget to have 10x lens, even with the f/1.8 on the wide end.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 18, 2013)

How do they cut 8mpix out of 14 mpix 3:2 sensor? Looks like they would be cutting the sides for it too, effectively increasing FL, right? Or some weird demosaicing would be used, where a pixel is not a pixel...

0 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Apr 18, 2013)

Well they cut 2mp out of the 5D ii's 21mp sensor without cropping so I'm sure they can do it with this one. I assume they just bin some pixels and skip some pixels but I don't really care about video so I've never looked into it

0 upvotes
Elaka Farmor
By Elaka Farmor (Apr 18, 2013)

120fps 1080p video mode is interesting indeed, if you like slow motion.

6 upvotes
jpr2
By jpr2 (Apr 18, 2013)

naming conventions - why this sensor is called 1"??

it has only 15.86mm on the diagonal

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 18, 2013)

The convention comes from the era of tube sensors/imagers in TV cameras.

DPReview has an explanation somewhere on the website. But the basic rule is subtract one third of the claimed diagonal.

1 upvote
cjbnc
By cjbnc (Apr 18, 2013)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/10/16/Sandor-Barna-explains-how-1-inch-sensors-will-save-the-compact-camera has a section explaining that "The industry-standard 1/X.X" naming system does not directly relate to the size of the sensor, so we've specified actual dimensions in mm."

Guess that's all market-speak for "we made sh*t up"

2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Apr 18, 2013)

You do understand that 35mm isn't 35mm on a diagonal either. Nor is 2/3", 1/2.3", 16mm or any other format you can choose to name. Why does everyone always start jumping up and down when they start talking 1"?

In fact the only thing I can think that they measure on a diagonal like that are TVs and monitors so that simple folk can understand them ;)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 18, 2013)

abortabout-

Um, ever measured the long side of 35mm negative, that makes a full frame sensored digital camera more than 35mm diagonally.

cjbnc--

There really is a DPReview article explaining why the diagonals of sensors are smaller than the names, but that link isn't it.

It's not market speak, it's the history of tube based image converters for TV cameras--hint it's the tube face diagonal.

It's not "we made up dung"; it's there's a history that doesn't have much meaning for digital sensors. Kind of like the term "full frame".

This is the DPReview short article from Oct. 2002: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2002/10/07/sensorsizes

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Slabs
By Slabs (Apr 18, 2013)

Hi JPR2
I've long been puzzled by this same quandary. The answer appears succinctly at http://www.dpreview.com/news/2002/10/7/sensorsizes
What it says is:
"The 'Type' designation given to toady's CCD sensors is that it harks back to a set of standard sizes given to TV camera tubes in the 50's. The size designation does not define the diagonal of the sensor area but rather the outer diameter of the long glass envelope of the tube, which came to circa two thirds of the designated size. This designation ... should have been thrown out long ago. The mathematical relationship between the diameter of the imaging circle and the sensor size is always roughly two thirds."
Of course nowadays it applies not only to CCD sensors, but all sensors.
So you take the nominal size & divide it by 1,5 & you will have the diagonal measurement (not exactly, but close).
Hoo boy, talk about archaic!
Hope this helps.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 19, 2013)

abortabout-

FYI, a full framed sensor is something like 43mm+ on the diagonal.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 18, 2013)

4k sounds cool and all, but what am I going to watch it on?

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Apr 18, 2013)

For editing, it'd be fantastic to work with.
For watching... well the media world is going in opposite directions simultaneously, make cameras capable of insane resolution requiring massive viewing platforms while the platforms themselves are becoming more compact with smart phones and tablets... I say 720P still has a life to it, 1080P is still as much as anyone needs

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 18, 2013)

Apple monitors. The current 2560*1600 is already being replaced by 4K monitors

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Stanislav Evstatiev
By Stanislav Evstatiev (Apr 18, 2013)

There are already monitors that support UltraHD in the sub 2000$ range, so I'd say once it becomes worldwide shooting standart it will have the base. And "Retina" is not just marketing hype - well... at least even if it is - it works :-) So while You enjoy a 2K @ 10" what would You enjoy for Your 50" ?

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (Apr 18, 2013)

They'd do like most home theatre enthusiasts with more money than know-how; they'd sit too far away to even SEE a resolution difference between 4k and old NTSC. These screen resolution jumps are pearls before swine, really. Most don't understand it, and can't see it.

3 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (Apr 18, 2013)

That's taking the comparison too far. Even 1080p is ludicrously better than PAL/NTSC, from virtually any viewing distance on any sized screen.

People too readily confuse theoretical resolution limits with what is obvious to the eye on a real screen.

4 upvotes
irmo
By irmo (Apr 18, 2013)

you don't need it, for classic 2d viewing thats for sure .... for "normal" eyes it's something around 3Mpixel what you need. (if you have more pixels doesn't really help you, the monitor is too small or if it's big you will look on him from more far away so the pixels are again too small to be recognized). Some studies, people claims that thay can see up to 6Mpixel (people with really good eyes).

Now imagine that you whant to use the sensor for 3d (something like the panasonic 3d lens for 4/3, e.g you record both images on the same sensor) than you are down to 1/3-1/4 mpixel of the sensor. 16/3 - 16/4 =5,3 - 4Mpixel!

You need something for the electronic stabilization too.... lets say 10-15%. so you are down to 3Mpixel really fast!.

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Apr 18, 2013)

"Apple monitors. The current 2560*1600 is already being replaced by 4K monitors"

There isn't a single Apple monitor with 4K resolution, unfortunately. And there won't be for at least a year for the following reasons:

- the only Full HD MBP model, the 17" one, is discontinued. There, therefore, won't be a retina (4K) model.

- the new iMac has just been released, which means we need to wait at least a year for a Retina-enabled new model.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Apr 18, 2013)

Well, the idea is, that in normal Buyer filter we actually have half of resolution in red, blue and green (green is more than half, but anyway). So 4K video, properly downsized to HD will give "true HD", which is noticeably sharper than common HD.

0 upvotes
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul
By Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul (Apr 18, 2013)

I hope for 4k on Nikon 1.

1 upvote
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (Apr 18, 2013)

perfect! i think this size keeps the same great balance super16 format does. anything smaller than this size, even for photo, i only consider valid in those cameras with internal optical zoom, miniature, phones or tablets. other than these situations, i see just as financial opportunism.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 18, 2013)

Creative filmmakers are already leveraging the Nikon 1 V1's ability to shoot super fast fps to create 4K RAW shorts like this wonderful video below (See link) . Amazing work.

https://vimeo.com/groups/185640/videos/62412527

So while most reviewers, including DPR, missed the value of the Nikon 1 cameras, for all kinds of multimedia imaging their value has not been lost on users like the above videographer.

And the N1 is turning into quite a versatile system and the Aptina sensor is not bad at all, although I'm hoping they can increase color depth and DR a bit with the next iteration.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 18, 2013)

And by shorts you mean 1-2 second clips.

5 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Apr 18, 2013)

The NIkon1 has a lot of potential, I have always said that. But currently it is well lagging behind their competition in still IQ. The V2 and J3 have not been any better sensorwise than their predecessors.

Otoh: we see that m43s comes close to APS-c currently. That gap will widen again and then close again so the IQ will go up and up. Same will be true for Nikon 1. So in the long run, this will be a very capable camera (which it already is).

For video...I don't know how it focusses in video, is AF tracking in video any good? Can you mount cinelenses on it? THis looks nice, but the Gh2 and Gh3 do really better.

The new development, at least on paper, looks great. If you are not a fanboy, then these are great times! So much choice, so much development. In my view, we see how the mirrorless cam has kickstarted all this, especially in the video department. Great.

2 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Apr 18, 2013)

V1 (and partially the whole N1) has a few remarkable strengths but also a a bunch of concept flaws. The outcome is that V1 is available at very reasonable prices these days, if one can put up with the deal.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 18, 2013)

@_sem_

The reasonable prices these days for the V1 is an outcome of the V2 being the current iteration of the top-of-the-line Nikon 1. The price has nothing to do with what you call "concept flaws".

0 upvotes
iShootWideOpen
By iShootWideOpen (Apr 18, 2013)

Isn't Aptina 1" sensor in the nikon 1 system?

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Apr 18, 2013)

Correct. Next Nikon 1 will probably have 80fps at full res, that is pretty nice. I think current is like 60fps. Not something I would use much, but could be useful for being sure to capture that moment, I could see it useful for pre-focused action shots of a motorcycle jumping for example.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MAubrey
By MAubrey (Apr 18, 2013)

A previous generation, yes.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Apr 18, 2013)

yes Nikon1's use Aptina sensors.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Apr 18, 2013)

One problem: buffering.
The 10MP sensor could do 60fps for... half a second. 14MP at 80fps is nearly twice the amount of data per second yet...

4 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 18, 2013)

The J3 and V2 models already have a 14 MP sensor. I wonder if it's the same chip, but with the addition of PDAF pixels? If so, why aren't they capable of shooting 4K video? Processor limitations perhaps?

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Apr 18, 2013)

If you take a look at Black magic and how much data is spend very fast, than you'll see that in a working camera currently you need an SSD drive to put up with the amount of data and the speed. The next Nikon 1 will not give you this in anything that lets you record a video for a couple of minutes. It will eat 128 Gb 95 mb/s cards like crazy if allowed, which currently is way too expensive too. But of course, in the not too distant future things will be different.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 59