Thursday, January 07, 2010

BSI Sensors in Sony, Samsung, Casio, JVC Cameras

Sony has expanded its BSI sensor range. As reports, the new HDR-XR350V, HDR-CX350V, and HDR-CX300 mid-range video cameras feature 2.65MP 1/4-inch BSI illuminated sensors. This roughly translates to 1.75um pixel size, same as in 6.6MP 1/2.9-inch sensor announced a year ago.

So, for now Sony appears to have 3 different BSI sensors, all based on 1.75um pixels: two for camcorders (consumer high-end 6.6MP and mid-range 2.6MP) and one 10.1MP for DSCs.

The 10.1MP BSI sensor debuted in 2009 Sony DSC models and also used in this year's HX5 and TX7 cameras ( Casio appears to utilize the same BSI sensor in the new EX-FH100 high-end DSC. For Casio this is the first BSI-enabled camera.

Another new BSI sensor appears in Samsung camcorder line ( The 10.1MP 1/2.33-inch sensor appears in HMX-S10, HMX-S15, and HMX-S16 video cameras representing the company's top range.

While we are at backside-sensing camcorders, it's worth noting that JVC has announced its first BSI model GZ-HD620 for Japanese market about a month ago. One could expect a worldwide launch at this year CES, but this has not happened yet. JVC sensor is 1/4.1-inch, 3.32MP, based on 1.75um pixels like others.

JVC announced a line of BSI sensor equipped camcorders for North American market: flagship GZ-HM1, mid-range GZ-HM550, both based on 1/2.3-inch 10.62MP sensor and the previously announced in Japan GZ-HD620 based on 1/4.1-inch 3.32MP sensor.


  1. Is there anyone within this community using one of these cameras ? Is there anyone who has some experience with the performance in real life (not based on data sheets or publications or reviews) ?

  2. I have last year's Sony HDR-XR500. It's quite good in low light, much better than my old Sony DCR-TRV950. But it's hard to compare their sensor performance. TRV950 is 3-CCD, F1.6 lens and has standard definition 1/4.7" CCDs. HR500 has 1/2.8" HD sensor, F1.8 lens and implements an effective noise reduction with detail loss at low light. There is no way to get raw sensor file on any of the camcorders.

  3. I'm hoping that marketing departments will identify "raw stills" as a valuable feature for future camcorders. That would allow good characterization of the sensor.

  4. I got a Samsung HMX-Q10 with BSI CMOS sensor and it is not recognizing correctly the right or left hand grip. No matter with side you hold the camera it is ALWAYS upside down.
    How can I fix this? What can I do?

  5. Better explaining: the upside down image is ALWAYS, even at the Menu screen, Every time we switch to right or left hand grip the image flips to upsidedown.


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