Sony is becoming less and less of a factor in the smartphone world, but their camera sensor modules are second to none. You can find Sony's Exmor camera sensors in more or less every high-end phone on the market these days, including Samsung's Galaxy line and the iPhone. So when the company announces a new high-end sensor, it's kind of a big deal. That's the case today: Sony's camera division has revealed the IMX318, a new sensor with more megapixels, tiny dimensions, and a host of built-in features.
The IMX318 uses 22.5 megapixels, which is a modest bump over the previous 20MP design. But it's also smaller and thinner than previous versions with a diagonal measurement of just 6.86 millimeters - that means that the pixels on the sensor itself are approximately one micrometer (one thousandth of a millimeter) across. In addition to minuscule dimensions and power draw, the sensor can handle full 4K recording at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 120FPS, and 720p at 240FPS, enabling impressive slow-motion video.
But wait, as the salesman says, there's more. The sensor supports hybrid auto-focus (combining image plade detection and contrast detection), triple-axis image stabilization for video, and lens resolution correction, along with the usual bells and whistles for modern digital camera sensors. The IMX318 will be available to Sony's OEM partners starting in May of this year at a sample price of 2000 yen, approximately $17.50.