New Sony 18.47MP BSI sensor for consumer digital cameras

Sony announced the IMX118CQT back illuminated 18.47MP CMOS 1/2.3" sensor for use in consumer digital cameras. Currently, the Sony Cybershot camera with the highest MP count (18.2MP) is the new DSC-TX200V ($499.99). Here are the basic specs of the new sensor:

  • Diagonal 7.76 mm (Type 1/2.3) 18.47M-effective pixels (4968H × 3718V)
  • Pixel size: 1.26 µm unit pixel
  • Supports 18.47M-pixel imaging at approx. 24 frame/s
  • Back-illuminated CMOS image sensor that achieves both higher pixel count and high picture quality
  • Achieves low-power readout mode (1632H × 408V, 30 frame/s) for live view

Read more at Sony and Image Sensors World

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  • Michael

    Looks a little bis washed out for me.
    And this already @ ISO100…

    • Michael

      I meant “a little BIT”…

    • Remedy

      No no mate, it actually has quite high dynamic range hence “dull” shadows and not overly white whites. This pic somewhat resembles the output of RED Epic. It’s great for further post production. You can always crank up contrast and brightness or color.

      • MJr

        Indeed, a nice natural base with a good bit of tolerance to customize the JPG processing and RAW output the way we preference is what we want. And that’s exactly what what-ever brand will put this sensor in a camera will do as well.

  • Dummy00002

    I hoped for at least 37mp to beat Nikon D800 with my toy camera. I’m sooo disappointed.

  • nik

    wow. this looks better than nikon d800

  • Dr. Pepper

    Why no love for the green pepper in this studio shot? Show green pepper some love yo!

  • Fabian

    This new sensor is diffraction limited started at…. wait for it… f/1.8. Is there really any point in adding more megapixels?

    • Oh no, I think you’ve got a point, although I fear it could be worse… I calculated f/0.8 at 632.8-nm wavelength. Check my working, pls. Aperture=1.26/2.44/0.6328

      The Nyquist limit’s 400 LP/mm too. How are lenses supposed to resolve that?

      Why, Sony, Why?

      Maybe they just like the challenge of processing all that data. Maybe they plan to bin nine pixels together? 😛

      • “Oh no, I think you’ve got a point, although I fear it could be worse… I calculated f/0.8 at 632.8-nm wavelength. Check my working, pls. Aperture=1.26/2.44/0.6328”

        It should be:

        diff_limited_f_number = pixel_width / (1.22 * wavelength)


        diff_limited_f_number = (7.76/6205.2) / (1.22 * (632.8/10^6))
        diff_limited_f_number = 1.65

        Also I don’t know why you chose exactly 632.8nm because diffraction limited f-number varies for different wavelengths of light. Correctly, it is an approximate range (not one) of f-numbers.

        “The Nyquist limit’s 400 LP/mm too. How are lenses supposed to resolve that?”

        You’ve missed two points:

        1. A small image circle lens of a particular design will resolve more LP/mm than a large image circle version of the same lens. For example, a lens that just-resolves a D7000 sensor, when made to cover a 7.76mm image circle will resolve approximately 418 lp/mm.

        2. Just because a camera has 18MP it doesn’t mean you absolutely must enlarge things more. For example, a 18MP camera will produce better 10″ wide prints than a 12MP one although the 12MP camera is very capable of producing 10″ wide prints as is.

        “Maybe they plan to bin nine pixels together? ”

        Pixel-binning reduces the image resolution. If they bin 9 pixels together, the resulting image will be 1656×1239 which is 2MP but not 1080p. And they certainly wouldn’t market the sensor as a 18MP one if binning is involved, at least for still images.

    • XLRT

      Of course there is a point in adding even more MP, at least from a marketing point of view since lots of (most?) targeted consumers think the more MP the better :-(.

    • reversestreamswimmer

      Since diffraction is not entering like a brick wall.
      Actually the *resulting resolution* is what counts and is a convolution of both the lens resolution and the sensor resolution.

      So by increasing the pixel counts of the sensor, the sensor resolution increases, and the total image quality is hence increased.

      It might actually be easier to improve the final image quality by increasing the sensor resolution, rather than perfecting the optics!


  • Gideon D.

    Whats’s the point? Oh, I forgot, bragging rights, especially over some poor soul stuck with only 18.2MP!

  • jun

    Hmm, $499. Still too pricy for the camera, I think. Somebody will buy it…

  • Federico

    Sony is the most pointless camera maker.
    Photography can’t be just a marketing matter.
    It’a pity.

  • Mog

    The real news here is that this can do 18.47M@24 fps.

    Meaning that it can do 24p video with 18.5MP resolution. That’s 5K video.


    • Dummy00002

      Yeah, that’s insane knowing that nobody has a computer powerful enough to view a video with that kind of resolution, and that nobody who buys a camera like this will ever make anything worth watching.

      • YaBol

        I hope that Sony will add at least recording 100 fps @ 1080p movie mode, and 200 fps or more in lower resolutions. Successor of HX9V sholud be able to do that, the question is if Sony will add such as feature, not to mention RAW, and offer overall better pictures quality.

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