Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sony Unveils: Full Frame BSI Sensor and 1-inch Stacked Sensor

PR Newswire: Sony announces a mirrorless Alpha 7R II camera featuring a world's first full frame BSI image sensor. The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is said to be "the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created."

The new sensor combines gapless on-chip lens and AR coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.

Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed, approximately 3.5x faster than the original α7R.

The new full frame sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points, said to be the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model.

The sensor supports 4K (QFHD 3840×2160, 30fps) video recording in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode. In Super 35mm mode, the camera uses information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.

In full-frame mode, the α7R II utilizes the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K/30fps recording. It is said to be the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capability.

PRNewswire: The second Sony announcement is the world's first 1-inch stacked sensor featuring in compact DSC-RX100M4 and DSC-RX10M2 cameras. The stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor is said to have "advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip. The high speed signal processing and DRAM memory chip work together to enable more than 5x faster readout of image data and are responsible for a variety of standout features that have previously been available in only a select few professional-level video cameras. These impressive capabilities include 40x super slow motion video capture at up to 960 fps, an ultra-fast Anti-Distortion Shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000 second, high resolution 4K movie shooting and more."

"Additionally, the ultra-fast readout of the image sensor is responsible for the high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second), which allow the new cameras to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV197. It also minimizes the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects."

DPReview states that the 4K video mode frame rate is 30fps, the same as with the previous generation non-stacked 1-inch sensor.

Sony posts Youtube videos demoing the new sensor slow-motion video capabilities:

Update: Additionaly, Sony says it "is the world’s No. 1 manufacturer of image sensors for digital cameras and video recorders, with over 50% market share. Data based on Sony research from April 2014 to March 2015."

Imaging Resource posts pictures taken on today's Sony press conference in NYC:

Update #2: DPReview writes "Internally, we're told, Sony's engineers judge that their new 1-inch-type stacked CMOS sensor is roughly five years ahead of anything else on the market, and on paper at least, it's hard to argue with that assessment."


  1. I believe the 42.4 MP sensor is an 8K sensor in disguise.
    sony claims its 3.5x faster data out than IMX093, which is 36MP@4.7fps.
    So assume same bit depth, this sensor could output 23 fps in 7680 8K area.

    It is very likely this sensor could do 8K@24fps, if take account of estimation range and/or reduced bit depth.

  2. DPReview hands on actually states that 4k is 2x oversampled in in super 35 mode so it would indeed be capable of 8k.

  3. Image explaining the oversample procedure (From

    In Super 35 mm format
    With full pixel readout without pixel binning, the α7R II reads approx. 15 MP of data and converts it into an 8 MP 4K image to raise resolution.

  4. Fantastic videos!!!


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