Sony has announced a new Exmor RS image sensor that will find its way into smartphones and other devices that use integrated cameras. The sensor is called the IMX318 and it is a 1/2.6 stacked CMOS sensor with 22.5 effective megapixels. This image sensor is more compact and promises better image quality than its predecessors.
Sony says that this is the first image sensor that has built-in high-speed hybrid autofocus allowing the camera to focus as fast as 0.03 seconds. Faster focusing means that the camera can take images quicker when needed. The sensor also has built-in 3-axis electronic image stabilization for video.
While the sensor offers better performance than its predecessor, it is smaller allowing devices that use it to be smaller and thinner. Sony promises that the performance of the sensor will excel in low light conditions. The fast auto focusing capability allows the sensor to focus as fast as 0.017 seconds when shooting video at 60fps. The integrated image stabilization uses the external 3-axis gyro sensor to stabilize the video as it is recorded.
The stabilization is processed in the sensor hardware needing no external processor thereby saving power. The sensor supports video recording in up to 4K resolution. Other key features of the image sensor include HDR imaging, lens resolution correction, white spot correction, and noise reduction. The sensor also supports Bayer RAW image format. Sony will start shipping the IMX318 image sensor in May 2016 at a price of 2,000 yen each. There is no indication when devices using the image sensor might hit the market. The videos below give some comparisons between the IMX318 sensor and the sensor it is replacing.