Industry News: Sony Set To Release a 128MP Imaging Sensor With Global Shutter

Global Shutter

Sony is set to release another innovative imaging sensor, with 128MP resolution and global shutter.

Canon is also rumored to work on an entirely new sensor. Sony, so it seems, will release its imaging sensor before Canon..

Sony press release:

Sony to Release Large Format CMOS Image Sensor with Global Shutter Function and Industry’s Highest Effective Pixel Count of 127.68 Megapixels

Delivering Increased Pixel Count, High-Speed Imaging Performance, and Contributing to Solutions in the Field of Advanced, Diversified Industrial Equipment

Tokyo, Japan — Sony Corporation announced today the upcoming release of a large format 56.73mm diagonal CMOS image sensor “IMX661” for industrial equipment with a global shutter function and the industry’s highest*1 effective pixel count of 127.68 megapixels.*2

This product features an increased pixel count that yields an optical size nearly 10 times larger than the common 1.1-type image sensor corresponded to the C mount*3 for industrial equipment. It also features Sony’s original global shutter pixel technology “Pregius™”, which enables capture of motion distortion-free images. Furthermore, the Sony’s original device configuration and interface technology employed enable high-speed image readout at a data rate nearly four times faster*4 than conventional products.

Sony expects that the new sensor, when used in industrial equipment cameras for a wide variety of applications, will help to solve a variety of complex challenges, thereby contributing to the development of industry.

  • *1Among CMOS image sensors equipped with a global shutter. According to Sony research (as of announcement on March 9, 2021).
  • *2Based on image sensor effective pixel specification method.
  • *3The joining mechanism between lens and the camera body.
  • *4Compared to Sony’s “IMX253” 1.1 type, 12.37 effective megapixels CMOS image sensor equipped with a global shutter function.

Model name Sample: IMX661 3.6 type (56.73 mm diagonal) 127.68-effective-megapixel CMOS image sensor
Shipment date (planned)*5: April 2021(*5 The dates given for sample shipment date (planned) are for the color model. Black and white model samples will be available for shipment approximately one month later.

Needs for automation, labor-saving and other benefits of digital transformation continue to grow in recent years in various fields of industrial equipment. This has accelerated the adoption of cameras for a wide variety of applications, driving demand for CMOS image sensors with higher imaging performance.

The new product couples Sony’s Pregius technology with the 3.6-type (56.73mm diagonal) large optical size, delivering an increased pixel count and motion distortion-free imaging. The original device configuration, which employs a chip-on-wafer process, together with Sony’s original interface technology, enables high-speed readout nearly four times faster than conventional products*4 in full-pixel readout mode. This design delivers highly efficient imaging that captures a wide viewing angle with no motion distortion in a single imaging operation. It also improves recognition precision thanks to the high-resolution imaging and delivers a high level of processing performance. It can contribute to solutions for a variety of industrial equipment applications, for example, inspection processes for production of displays and electronic substrates, wide-area monitoring, and aerial photography, where its improved precision and quicker readout will help meet the need for a high level of productivity.

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Competition News: Sony FX3 FF Camera with Cinematic Look for Creators

Sony Fx3

Sony released a new camera, the Sony FX3, a light and compact cinema camera with a full-frame imaging sensor.

Sony FX3 at a glance:

  • 10.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Exmor R Sensor
  • UHD 4K up to 120 | 1080p up to 240
  • Compact Form for Cage-Free Operation
  • 10-Bit 4:2:2 XAVC S-I,16-Bit Raw Output
  • S-Cinetone/S-Log3/HLG, 15+ Stops DR
  • Detachable 2 x XLR/TRS Adapter Handle
  • Phase Detection AF/Face Tracking/Eye AF
  • 80 to 409,600 Expanded ISO Range
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SDXC Card Slots

Preorder are available at $3,898: B&H Photo | Adorama. Worldwide preorders (not all might have it in stock):

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Canon DE, Canon UK, Canon IT, Canon FR

. A presentation with real world images at Explora.

Sony press release:

The Most Compact and Lightweight Cinema Line Camera and First Choice for Creators Who Strive for New Cinematic Freedom

FX3 Product Highlights:

  • 10.2 megapixel[i] full-frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R™ sensor and BIONZ XR™ image processing engine
  • Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO expandable to 409,600 for very low light conditions and 15+ stops of dynamic range[ii]
  • S-Cinetone™ look profile which is inspired by the digital cinema camera VENICE’s colour science, also used in FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, and records up to 4K 120p[iii]
  • Compact and lightweight body design with high operability for hand-held shooting, gimbal and drone-mounted work
  • Multi-thread (1/4-20 UNC) body makes it easy to mount accessories
  • Detachable XLR handle unit with two of XLR/TRS audio input
  • “Active Mode” image stabilisation[iv] supports handheld movie shooting
  • Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Touch Tracking (real-time tracking) and Real-time Eye AF, also used in other Alpha™ cameras
  • Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording (Continued)[v] by Effective heat dissipation and built-in cooling fan

Sony today officially announced the FX3 (model ILME-FX3) camera that combines the best of Sony’s industry-leading digital cinema technology with advanced imaging features from Alpha™ mirrorless cameras to create the ultimate cinematic look.

As the latest addition to Sony’s Cinema Line, the FX3 delivers a cinematic look and professional operability and reliability all in one device that answers the needs of young creators who are looking for new ways to express their creative vision. The new model provides outstanding image quality and usability for small scale and one-person shooting. The FX3 boasts first-class focus performance, optical image stabilisation, handheld shooting design and advanced heat dissipation for extended recording times. All this in a compact, lightweight body that provides the performance and mobility to meet the growing demands of today’s content creators.

“The FX3 was designed to turn creative vision into reality,” said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “It allows creators to bring their visual expression into the world of cinema through immersive content. We will continue to support the world’s creators through Sony’s Cinema Line Series.”

Cinematic Look

The FX3 flaunts Sony’s industry-leading image sensor technology to achieve high processing speeds and outstanding image quality. The full-frame, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor full-frame 10.2 megapixel(approx. effective) count for movie recording (and 12.1 effective megapixels for stills) and the BIONZ XR image processing engine team up to ensure high sensitivity with low noise. The standard ISO range is 80 to 102,400 (expandable to 409,600 when shooting a movie), and dynamic range is an impressively wide 15+ stops[ii].

In response to a growing need for more expressive depth, the FX3, along with FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, allows users to create a cinematic look without post-production using S-Cinetone. Based on the colour science inspired by Sony’s flagship VENICE camera, S-Cinetone delivers natural mid-tones, plus soft colours and smooth highlights that are essential to cinematic look.

Create movies with in-camera 4K recording at up to 120 frames per second[iii]. Extraordinarily smooth slow-motion imagery[vi] (up to 5x) at QFHD (3840 x 2160) resolution with autofocus provides new expressive capability.

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Watch The Sony ALPHA a1 Announcement Live Stream (the “one never seen”)

Sony Alpha A1

Sony is set to announce a camera that’s the “one never seen”. We know it is the Sony ALPHA a1.

At a glance:

  • 50 MP at 30fps
  • 8k30p and 4k120p
  • New Bionz XR (8times faster)
  • Pixel Shift Multi Shooting (199MP)
  • 5.5 stops sensor stabilization
sony alpha a1

Preorder at $6,498 at B&H Photo | Adorama

Sony ALPHA a1 announcement live stream:

Sony ALPHA a1 press release after the break

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Industry News: Sony Announced The Sony A7c, World’s Smallest FF MILC

Sony A7c

Sony announced the Sony A7c, touted as a concept camera, and the world’s smallest full frame mirrorless camera.

You can preorder the new Sony A7c starting $1,799 at B&H Photo and Adorama.

B&H Explora has an article about the Sony A7c.

Sony press release:

Sony Electronics Introduces Alpha 7C Camera and Zoom Lens, the World’s Smallest and Lightest(i) Full-frame Camera System

Sony Electronics – 09/15/2020

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 14, 2020 — Today, Sony Electronics Inc. announced several additions to an already impressive imaging lineup — the Alpha 7C full-frame camera (model ILCE-7C), the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 (model SEL2860) zoom lens and HVL-F28RM flash.

The Alpha 7C is the world’s smallest and lightestii full-frame body with uncompromising performance, featuring advanced AF (autofocus), high-resolution 4K videoiii capabilities and more. When paired with the world’s smallest and lightestiv FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 standard zoom lens, this versatile combination delivers an experience unlike any other, maximizing portability and versatility without sacrificing any of the power of full-frame imaging. The HVL-F28RM flash allows users to broaden their photo expressions with outstanding compactness, and an intelligent light intensity control linked to camera face detectionv.

“We are committed to creating the best tools possible, based on the needs of our customers,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics. “The new Alpha 7C camera and FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens pack many of our most advanced imaging technologies in a brand new design that is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera and lens system in the world. This opens up a new world of possibilities for creators, giving them the uncompromised power of a full-frame system in the palm of their hand.”

New Alpha 7C: Uncompromised Full-frame Performance in a Compact Design
The new Alpha 7C combines Sony’s full-frame image quality, advanced AF capabilities and versatile video shooting functions in a stunningly light and compact design. The new camera features a 24.2MP (approx. effective) 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and BIONZ X™ image processing engine, offering high sensitivity, outstanding resolution, 15-stopvi wide dynamic range and high-speed image data processing. 

Measuring only 4.9 inches x 2.8 inches x 2.2 inches (124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm) and weighing just 18oz (509g)vii, the Alpha 7C is similar in size and weight to an APS-C cameraviii, with only 1 percent more weight than the Alpha 6600. The Alpha 7C achieves the world’s smallest and lightest compact bodyii through upgraded 5-axis in-body stabilization and shutter units, and the utilization of magnesium alloy monocoque construction, often used in the bodies of cars and aircraft. Even in this compact body, the Alpha 7C features a 5-stepix stabilization effect that allows for shooting snaps without a tripod. Moreover, despite the compact body, the high-capacity NP-FZ100 battery provides enough power for long shooting durations and to capture up to an industry-leadingx 740 imagesxi when using the LCD monitor, or 680 imagesxi when using the viewfinder.

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Industry News: This Is The New Sony Alpha 7s III (12MP, 15 stops DR, 4K@120)

Sony Alpha 7s Iii

Sony announced the Sony Alpha 7s III, a 12MP camera aimed primarily at videographers.

Sony Alpha 7s III key features:

  • 12MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K 120p Video, 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal
  • 16-Bit Raw Output, HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 759-Point Fast Hybrid AF

Preorder starting at $3,498:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Canon DE, Canon UK, Canon IT, Canon FR

Sony press release:

Highly Anticipated Sony Alpha 7S III Combines Supreme Imaging Performance with Classic “S” Series Sensitivity

  • Newly developed BIONX XRTM image processing engine with eight times more processing power[i] and a brand new 12.1-megapixel (approx., effective) back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, significantly reduced rolling shutter effect[ii]
  • Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO range expandable from 40 – 409,600[iii], and improved image quality by approximately 1 stop noise reductioniv in the middle and high sensitivity ranges
  • Video recording capabilities include 4K 120pi, 10 bit 4:2:2 colour depth, All-Intra recording, XAVC HS format with H.265 codec and more
  • 15+ stop dynamic range for moviesii
  • 4K 60p 16-bit RAW video HDMI output for the first time in the Alpha™ series
  • Fast Hybrid AF system with 759 point phase-detection[iv] AF sensors covering 92% of image sensor
  • Enhanced Real-time Eye AF for movie recording[v] and still image recording
  • New heat dissipating mechanism and dual slot relay recording enables over one-hour long 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting until battery ends[vi]
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation supports handheld movie shooting, with added Active Mode [vii] to support especially difficult handheld movie shooting
  • World’s brightest[viii] and largestx new 0.64-type 9.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Side Opening variable angle LCD screen enhances shooting flexibility
  • Completely redesigned menu system with touch screen interface and touch operation
  • High-speed continuous still image shooting at up to 10fps[ix] for more than 1,000 consecutive uncompressed RAW images[x] with full AF / AE tracking
  • Dual CFexpress Type A card slots that enable high speed data processing while keeping the compact size

Sony today announced the long-awaited addition to its acclaimed Alpha 7S full-frame mirrorless camera series⁠— the Alpha 7S III (model ILCE7SM3).

Featuring a brand new 12.1MP (approx., effective) back-illuminated full-frame image sensor with ultra-high sensitivity and 15+ stop wide dynamic rangeii, a host of impressive video recording capabilities including 4K 120pi and 10-bit 4:2:2 colour depth, a new heat dissipating mechanism, dual slot relay recording enabling over one-hour of 4K 60p movie shooting until battery endsviii, a new autofocus system, and touch screen interface and side flip LCD screen, the new Alpha 7S III will become the ultimate creative tool for video professionals and all types of hybrid still/video shooters.

“The Alpha 7S III is the ultimate representation of Sony’s passion to solve our customers pain points,”, said Yann Salmon-Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “We are always listening to our customers’ feedback, pushing hard to deliver innovation that goes far beyond their expectations. There is no better example than this new camera. Combining classic S series sensitivity with a feature set, performance level and user experience that is simply unmatched in the market today — at any price level — the Alpha 7S III opens up a new world of possibilities for today’s creators.”

The system architecture for the new Alpha 7S III has been completely redesigned to deliver exceptional video and still shooting performance. The new 35mm full-frame 12.1MP (approx., effective)back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor reduces rolling shutter by up to three timesiv and utilises a variety of advanced light-gathering techniques to ensure high-sensitivity with low noise, allowing users to shoot in low-light situations without needing large-scale lighting setups. In addition to improved image quality, this new image sensor includes a focal plane phase-detection AF system for the first time in an S-series camera. To compliment the new sensor, the Alpha 7S III also includes a new BIONZ XR™ image processing engine that provides up to eight times more processing poweriii, minimises processing latency, and enables many of the hallmark still and imaging features of the camera. The new system also includes the world’s brightestx and largestx 9.44 million dot OLED electronic eye-level viewfinder and is the world’s first camerax with dual CFexpress Type A card slots, enabling high-speed data transfer in a compact size.

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Associated Press Photographers Will Use Only Sony Gear From Now On

Associated Press

Well that’s something! Associated Press (AP) announced they will “equip all visual journalists globally with Sony imaging products“.

This is something because AP has historically been a Canon and Nikon stronghold. If AP embraced this change it means (at least to me) that they got a good deal by choosing to use Sony gear. More about the AP move can be read here.

AP press release:

AP to equip all visual journalists globally with Sony imaging products

Sony Electronics Inc., a global leader in imaging, and The Associated Press, the trusted global news organization, announced today a new collaboration that will make Sony the exclusive imaging products and support provider for AP news photographers and video journalists around the world.

With journalists in nearly 250 locations in 100 countries, AP provides factual, compelling journalism in all formats, including 3,000 photos and 200 videos each day. The news agency has a distinguished history of powerful visual journalism, winning the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography — AP’s 54th Pulitzer and 32nd for photography — and garnering recognition from the Royal Television Society for excellence in video.

A wide variety of Sony’s imaging solutions products will begin delivery immediately, including the full-frame mirrorless Alpha™ cameras, 4K XDCAM video cameras and an assortment of Sony’s 57 E-mount lenses including G Master™ models.

“We are extremely honored to announce this collaboration with The Associated Press, an organization with an incredible history in journalism that continues to raise the bar for global news reporting and delivery,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The Associated Press is a universally trusted brand for news information in the world. We are honored to equip AP’s journalists with our technology and support, giving them the opportunity to capture, transmit and deliver imagery in ways they never could before.”

“Sony’s history of innovation aligns well with AP’s, and with our vision for the future of visual journalism,” said Derl McCrudden, AP deputy managing editor for visual and digital journalism. “AP is committed to providing the best imagery to our member news organizations and customers across the globe. Adopting Sony’s cutting-edge equipment and technology allows us to do that, by enabling our photographers and video journalists to be faster and more flexible, ultimately creating better visual journalism.”

When the transition to Sony is complete, AP’s video journalists and photographers will for the first time be equipped with the same brand of cameras, allowing for seamless collaboration among the news agency’s journalists as they tell the world’s stories in whatever medium is right for the moment.

AP visual journalists will be able to share Sony’s cameras and lenses, as well as the images they capture, to produce a news report unhindered by technical limitations.

“The new mirrorless technology in Sony’s cameras allows for a completely silent operation, meaning our photojournalists can work in environments without interrupting the scene around them,” said AP Director of Photography J. David Ake. “This is a huge leap forward in photojournalism.”

In addition to delivery of product, AP and Sony will work together to improve workflow and efficiency of field operations, including testing of 5G capabilities. Sony offers 5G through its Xperia™ product line, which uses technology from its cameras, professional monitors, and audio devices.