Sony has announced a new 1/2.4-inch 21 megapixel camera sensor in the form of the Exmor RS IMX230 that will be found in future smartphones. Sony says this is the first stacked CMOS imaging sensor with an on-board image plane phase detection AF signal processing function.
What this means in plain English, is that it is capable of keeping focus of fast-moving objects. Sony says that up to 192 auto-focus points can be used (as seen in the picture below), with the entire work carried out by the sensor’s internal image processing circuits.
Another new feature is HDR (High Dynamic Range) support for high-resolution still images and 4K video recording. Sony says that the new sensor will start shipping in April 2015, so there is a strong likelihood that we will see the IMX230 chip included in Sony’s next flagship.
In terms of future roadmap, Sony plans to release a 16 megapixel CMOS camera sensor by March 2016 that will also feature high-speed autofocus (image plane phase detection AF) and HDR support for 4K (4096 x 2160) videos and high-res still images.
Key Specifications – Sony Exmor RS IMX230
Number of effective pixels: 5344 (H) x 4016 (V) 21 megapixels
Image size: Diagonal 7.487mm (Type: 1/2.4)
Unit cell size: 1.12?m (H) x 1.12?m (V)
Key features: Image plane phase detection AF, HDR imaging, white spot correction, NR
Image format: Bayer RAW