Sony Has Developed a 128MP Global Shutter Medium Format Sensor

Sony has announced that it is close to releasing the IMX661, a 127.68-megapixel “large format” sensor with a global shutter. While aimed at the industrial market, this sensor can be seen as an indication that Sony is capable of releasing a global shutter sensor for the consumer market.

The IMX661 has a diagonal size of 56.73mm (an active area of 46.2mm x 32.9mm), has a unit cell size of 3.45 μm (H) x 3.45 μm (V), and is what the company is calling the industry’s largest for a global shutter of 127.68 million effective pixels. That measurement is close to the size of the sensor in the Pentax 645Z and the Fujifilm GFX 100 — the latter measures 54.78 diagonally.

Sony Japan has released a few other details on the sensor’s performance. It is capable of 21.8 frames per second in 10-bit shooting, 19.6 frames per second in 12-bit, and 12.9 frames per second in 14-bit.

“It realizes wide viewing angle and high resolution shooting by increasing the number of pixels, and at the same time, it enables shooting without motion distortion required for cameras for industrial equipment, improving shooting efficiency and recognition accuracy.”

The note about motion distortion is because this sensor uses Sony’s Pregius CMOS global shutter technology.

“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 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 than conventional products.”

The English press release, which can be read in full here, notes multiple times that this sensor is designed specifically for industrial use so it’s highly unlikely that this sensor will find its way into a consumer camera. Still, large sensors that feature a global shutter are not common and seeing Sony produce one in this size is exciting. According to Digicame Info, Sony has said in the past that it has experienced challenges when it came to commercializing large global shutter-equipped sensors, but with this particular announcement, it’s clear that whatever was causing the roadblocks has very likely been cleared.

(via Sony Alpha Rumors)

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