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Sony outs 21-megapixel IMX230 sensor with 192-point autofocus for fast objects, can we say Z4?

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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The new IMX230 sensor allows for real-time HDR stills and 4K video

The new IMX230 sensor allows for real-time HDR stills and 4K video


Sony just launched what might be its best smartphone camera sensor yet, the 21 MP stacked IMX230 where the company uses image plane phase detection autofocus for the first time in a phone sensor. This plane phase detection tech is borrowed from mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, and, with its 192 AF points, will allow for blur-free tracking and snapping of fast moving objects, like kids, cars or pets.

Furthermore, the new Exmor RS IMX230 will now shoot not only real-time HDR video as before, be it in 4K, but also real-time HDR images, similar to Samsung's S5 and Note 4 handsets, which would bring out darker areas, and tone down bright ones for a more even exposure throughout the frame.

192 points AF for fast-moving objects

192 points AF for fast-moving objects

The company also said that it will be making a 16 MP sensor with the same image plane detection AF tech, which might go into midrangers we guess, and that would be a heck of a midranger. The 21 MP IMX230 is 1/2.4" in size, which is a tad smaller than the 1/2.3" in the Z3, for instance, but the difference is negligible. 

We will see how these more than 20 million 1.12 micron pixels behave in terms of noise suppression and low-light performance on that confined space, but at least on theory the new sensor sounds mighty promising, and hopefully we will see it in the upcoming Z4, as Sony states it will be put in mass production April 2015.

Press Release

source: Sony

28 Comments
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posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:39 1

1. realjjj (Posts: 362; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


This is in response to Omnivision announcing their 21 and 24MP sensors a couple of weeks ago.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:41 7

2. smarttechbadworld (Posts: 74; Member since: 07 May 2014)


The z4 and the s6 are gonna crush the m9 this time.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:52 13

3. vincelongman (Posts: 4150; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Weren't they already were crushing the M8?

I hope M8 drops the ultrapixel, and use one with 1.5 μm pixels like the 6/6+, or better yet use this sensor

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:08

9. limporgyuk (Posts: 273; Member since: 06 Nov 2013)


If you buy a phone just for it's camera. The camera on my G3 sucks compared to camera on my M8. Its not all about megapixels.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 06:29

16. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1178; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


I can't talk about the m8 but the M7 camera is crap as it was good with close up images but that was about it

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 07:25

19. tiara6918 (Posts: 2026; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


How can you be so sure about that? I have never heard the z2/z3 being one of the best android phones. It's not about the specs, it's about the accessibility and usage. Besides, I can find so many articles on the internet about this-http://www.businessinsider.com/best-android-p​hone-2014-11 The htc one series is the best and that will continue in the future

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:52 2

4. jeeta444 (Posts: 154; Member since: 24 Mar 2014)


Impressive SONY !

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:54 1

5. vincelongman (Posts: 4150; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


All looks very good, except 720p 120 fps isn't as good as 240 fps in the 6/6+'s sony made sensor

Also the next phones with Lollipop's raw support are going to be great
I wonder if iOS 9 will also add raw support

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 06:50

18. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1178; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


off topic
it's funny how windowphone was the first to add Raw support kind of a surprise that they had something first for a change aha

I wonder if Microsoft will take pureview to the next level or the milk it

back on topic
I would like to point out that something could be a certain resolution but that doesn't mean quality what I'm trying to say is it could have a really high resolution but still have crappy quality only time and comparisons will tell though

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 15:25

22. vincelongman (Posts: 4150; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Yep, the 1020's pics are still among the best, if not the best
The next 1030 will be amazing too

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:10

24. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Well they did just sign a canon deal. Canon are still among the best.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 23:14

27. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1178; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


yeah they are but I hope they keep the car zeiss lenses

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 03:59 1

6. josephnero (Posts: 555; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Can't wait for Z4.
Sony sensors are the best.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:03 2

7. vipervoid123 (Posts: 163; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


I guess Sony might sold this sensor to competitor company ~
While Sony will using different sensor for their flagship ~
The IMX220 have been exclusive to Z series since Z1 , then only available to competitor with Z3 onward ~
Therefore I think Sony might have another exclusive sensor to the next Z-series ~

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:03

8. vuyonc (Posts: 990; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


What took Sony so long to use PDAF in their smartphones? Anyway hopefully their software and ISP work out of the box and not in a few months like my Z1 did. Z4 is looking good :)

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:10

25. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


space

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:09

10. kent-gaga (Posts: 497; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


Xperia Z4 is going to be introduced in january 2015 so it's not really possible for it to have this sensor installed

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:18

11. mohammad7888 (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Nov 2014)


Well, it's nice. But where is that curved sensor ? Where is the APCS (Active Pixel Color Sampling) sensor ? What was all about the 1/1.5" sensor ? I hope Sony wont disappoint us.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:25

12. ggg377 (Posts: 20; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


But still no OIS.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 00:30

26. kent-gaga (Posts: 497; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


OIS has nothing to do with the sensor fyi

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:48

13. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


but some sony devices will just mess it up with the wrong software/processing algorithms. i say some because other devices apparently take great photos. sony's device quality inconsistency is baffling.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 04:52 1

14. solidsnake695 (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)


this sensor will be useless if sony give horrible sofware algorithm like z z1 z2 z3 that poor post processing from sony needs to end

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 06:11

15. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Samsungarena, what about new sensor? also bad hhhhhhh

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 06:43

17. Af1rPA (Posts: 682; Member since: 12 Jun 2014)


I have nothing against Sony but I have to say that example image looks fake. As if their senor can pick up that much detail on the picnic basket.
I'll gladly wait and eat my words when the sensor gets released, hopefully on the Z4.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 10:11

20. PhotoPixel (Posts: 29; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


o No No No No ((( This the same camera, even smaller than previous. Give us CURVED sensor, we don`t wat see this another 20mp sh*t ((((((

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 15:11

21. bubbadoes (Posts: 815; Member since: 03 May 2012)


Or just go out and buy a SLR and stop pretending, expecting smartphones with a $8.00 camera configuration maxx to do it all!!!

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 19:57

23. Chuck007 (Posts: 1052; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)


Isn't April a bit late for the Z4? It should already be in mass-production before then correct?

posted on 13 Dec 2014, 23:49

28. Ruturaj (Posts: 1294; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


Does anyone knows about numbering scheme of Sony, as note 4 has IMX240, Z2 has IMX220 and Nexus 6 has IMX214?

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