Sensor manufacturer Aptina announced today that it has started mass production on a new 14 megapixel (MP) CMOS image sensor, AR1411HS, in the 1-inch format.
Previously incorporated exclusively in Nikon’s mirrorless models and Sony’s RX100, the 1-inch sensor will enable other camera makers to greatly improve consumer range image quality, while keeping prices affordable.
Format currently found only in Nikon’s and Sony’s mirrorless cameras
Nikon’s 1-series mirrorless series and Sony’s RX100 will soon have more competition for the 1-inch format, due to Aptina’s decision to mass produce the particular sensor.
Several top camera companies which have sampled Aptina’s latest image sensor have decided to enter the 1-inch format market, effectively ending Nikon’s and Sony’s exclusivity deal.
This comes as great news for consumers which have been waiting for more choices with 14 megapixel mirrorless cameras that can capture SLR-quality still images, and 4K resolution video.
Even so, Nikon will probably continue to use the format, as it’s currently present in a considerable number of its models: Nikon’s J1, J2, J3, S1, V1, and V2. On the other hand, Sony will likely switch to its in-house sensor production facilities.
The new sensor can record 14 megapixel resolution at 80 fps
Aptina’s new AR1411HS CMOS sensor is 40% faster than the company’s previous 10 megapixel model. In its full resolution of 14 megapixels, the imager can record up to 80 frames per second (fps) at a whooping 1.1 gigapixels/second.
This high-speed readout enables capturing 4K video at 60fps, in either the Quad HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) or the wider Digital Cinema 4K format (4096 x 2160 pixels).
Extra-slow-motion video capture is possible by lowering the resolution to 1080p, at 120fps.
During full HD video recording, the AR1411HS sensor will also offer full-resolution still image capture, similarly to its predecessor.
Due to achieving a high dynamic range of 79.0dB, of approximately 14 stops, the chip can be used effectively in affordable cinema-style cameras.
Other notable specifications of Aptina’s chip include DR-Pix™ ultra-sensitive pixel capture technology, RGB Bayer color filter array and 24-lane high-speed differential serial video output.
Aptina continues to develop relevant technologies all across the board
At the fast rate of chip miniaturization, a shrunken version of AR1411HS may soon be available for handsets, especially considering Aptina’s recent achievement of implementing high megapixel sensors into smartphones.
This new mass produced 1-inch sensor successfully combines performance and affordability, covering the niche between the smaller 1/2.3-inch compact camera sensors and larger APS-C / full-frame DSLR imagers.