Image Sensor

Sony Image Sensor bring more enjoyment to pictures and video

Enhanced camera performance

Stabilizing camera shake

A high sensitivity sensor and short exposure time are effective ways to prevent camera shake and stabilize images. Backside illuminated (BI) sensors offer higher sensitivity than front side illuminated (FI) sensors, as does a larger optical size at the same pixel structure.
Sony’s CMOS image sensors are equipped with a standard 2x2 averaging mode that is equivalent to a pixel size four times larger, which, while reducing resolution (image size) to 1/4, helps to further prevent camera shake.

High speed movies

The increasing pixel count and speed of CMOS image sensors has made high speed video shooting a reality.
When shooting fast moving objects, both frame rate and exposure time need to be reduced to avoid blurred motion. Sony's has enhanced its high-sensitivity BI technology with 4 pixel calculation processing to double SNR, bolstering its lineup with products capable of shooting at quadruple speed. Sony's 8 megapixel products enable easy shooting of high speed movies at 180 fps for 720p HD images, or 240 fps for 960 x 540 (QuarterHD) images.

High dynamic range video

Taking still pictures with great clarity in backlit condition requires the use of camera flash or an HDR function, which synthesizes multiple images of differing exposures. However, these methods are not suitable for video. In particular, camera angle and exposure conditions are difficult to optimize when shooting sport video and backlighting may cause underexposure or overexposure. With BME HDR and SME HDR features that configure two exposure conditions, however, Sony's products offer rich image processing through stacked sensor technology, performing appropriate signal processing of captured images within the sensor to enable HDR video shooting.

Thin camera

Competition for thinner products is heating up as smartphones take on more stylish designs. Thinner products call for lower-height camera modules, for which high CRA lenses are used.
This, in turn, requires on-chip lens correction, as well as improved performance in reducing color cross talk from adjacent pixels due to angled incident light. Needless to say, reducing optical size without reducing pixel count also requires a minute pixel sensor with a high SNR.

Shooting under any lighting

IR illumination is often used to take pictures without altering the brightness of a particular scene. The Sony's lineup features sensors that are able to take pictures in IR light as well as in normal visible light. This lets a single camera take pictures in dark areas under IR illumination, with the same gesture recognition capabilities as in bright areas.

For sensing applications

High-speed imaging

Shooting video is a basic requirement in the field of sensing, and time resolution is at least as important as SNR or space resolution. The growing lineup of products equipped with Sony's CMOS image sensors include products that offer a high speed frame rate at quadruple speed mode and twice the SNR.

Multiple cameras

Operating multiple cameras in synchronization enables systems capable of acquiring various types of image data. Sony's CMOS image sensors are available in a product lineup that offers varied pixel counts and a slave mode for synchronized operation of multiple cameras. The following capabilities are offered by synchronized operation of multiple cameras:

  • Real time acquisition of depth information using parallax between cameras
  • High dynamic range video shooting through the synthesis of video taken under differing exposure conditions
  • Reproduction of resolution through image synthesis
  • High SNR imaging through cancellation of random noise


Facial authentication and blood vessel authentication are relatively easy to embed in applications that are unable to implement more complex systems such as fingerprint or retina authentication. Yet these authentication methods can be bypassed with photographs, making them insufficient in terms of security.
Using IR to determine whether the person attempting authentication is present and using stereo cameras to incorporate depth information in facial recognition are effective means to achieve more secure systems.

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