Sharp today announced the six megapixel, 1/1.8" type RJ21T3AAPT/ST CCD. This new sensor is exactly the same size (type) as used in many current four and five megapixel digital cameras and so will be an attractive option for digital camera manufacturer as an easy way to launch 'new' models with more megapixels (it's sad but people are still buying the numbers game). Once more this raises the question of noise and lens quality, how much noisier (if it all) will this sensor be and will the current lenses (some of which were designed for three megapixel 1/1.8 CCD's) be able to deliver enough resolution to deliver any real gain (other than file size). This new sensor has a pixel pitch of just 2.5 µm, the smallest yet.

Phil: Next year I expect to see a swathe of 6 and 8 megapixel digital cameras, perhaps even one or two 7 megapixel. I can't say I'm overjoyed to see manufacturers continuing to chase the megapixel count, but unfortunately thanks to poor advice at the sales end of things and the way that we as buyers compare using specifications this looks to continue.. Come on people lets see better lenses, better AF, faster cameras, better auto WB, and some REAL innovation.

Compact camera CCD pixel pitch & area compared

Type Pixel count Sensor size Pixel pitch

Max. pixel area *

1/1.8" 3.3 million 7.2 x 5.3 mm 3.5 µm 12.3 µm²
1/1.8" 4.1 million 7.2 x 5.3 mm 3.1 µm 9.6 µm²
1/1.8" 5.2 million 7.2 x 5.3 mm 2.8 µm 7.8 µm²
1/1.8" 6.3 million 7.2 x 5.3 mm 2.5 µm 6.3 µm²
2/3" 5.2 million 8.8 x 6.6 mm 3.4 µm 11.6 µm²
2/3" 8.0 million 8.8 x 6.6 mm 2.7 µm 7.3 µm²

* Approximate, some manufacturers provide pixel pitch to three decimal places, some only to one decimal place, thus we have rounded all pixel pitch measurements up to one decimal place.

Click here for help on sensor size 'types'

Sharp RJ21T3AA0PT/ST six megapixel CCD sensor

Name • Dual Inline package: RJ21T3AA0PT
• Small Outline package: RJ21T3AA0ST
Type 1/1.8"
Sensor size 7.2 x 5.3 mm
Color filter Primary (RGB)
Aspect ratio 4:3
Total pixels • 6.3 million
• 2934 x 2167
Effective pixels • 6.2 million
• 2872 x 2160
Pixel pitch 2.5 µm
Sensitivity 105 mV (typ)
Saturation output 550 mV (typ)
S/N ratio -88 dB (typ)
Range of operation -20 to +70 °C