16 Megapixel (4K) camera sensors coming from OmniVision

US company OmniVision announced OV16820 and OV16825, two new “CameraChip” sensors aimed at digital video/photo cameras and smartphones with a 16 megapixel native resolution. The sensors can capture ultra high-definition video clips (4K or 4K2K), a yet-to-become-mainstream feature especially in the smartphone market.

The two chips will bring 4K shooting to USA smartphones through the company’s partners at the beginning of 2013, and OmniVision should be the second player on the market to achieve this feat after Nokia announced that PureView (the 41 megapixel camera-equipped phone) will be released in the States in the upcoming months.

OV16820 (available in a ceramic land grid array) and OV16825 (available in die form) are able to capture RAW RGB images with 10 or 12-bit color depth, shoot videos in full resolution (4608x3456 pixels) at 30 frames per second, in 4K2K (3840x2160 pixels) at 60 fps and in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) at 60 fps “with extra pixels for electronic image stabilization”, OmniVision’s press release states.

16 megapixel images with burst photography performance can be captured in rapid succession, the company says, and all the processing functions of the chip (including defective pixel and noise canceling, RAW scaling, image size, frame rate, exposure, gain, cropping and orientation) are programmable via the integrated serial camera control bus (SCCB) interface.

OmniVision is no stranger to achieving high performances for digital imaging technology: the company estimates that over 2.5 billions of its CMOS sensors have been shipped with revenues (for fiscal year 2011) of 956 million dollars. The Santa Clara-based company partners include Apple Inc., to which OmniVision supplies CMOS sensors for the iPhone 4s’ rear camera.

Source: OmniVision press release.

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I look forward to 7-10 years down the road, sitting back watching my 4K 60" HDTV, playing a bluray squared disc. It'll be nice, though I'm sure the prices won't be practical for a while once they are released.

jmc15john said,
I look forward to 7-10 years down the road, sitting back watching my 4K 60" HDTV, playing a bluray squared disc. It'll be nice, though I'm sure the prices won't be practical for a while once they are released.
what, no triangular floppy disk? XD

More is always better when it comes to pixels. Current mid range offerings are very good...but not great, reaching 4k for under $5,000, now that would be impressive.

Hahaiah said,
More is always better when it comes to pixels.

That's not necessarily true. If you had prefixed that with "all other things being equal", then I'd agree, but a 16MP camera with a crappy sensor and/or crappy lenses isn't going to take as good of a picture as a lower resolution camera with an excellent sensor and/or top quality lenses.

Hahaiah said,
More is always better when it comes to pixels. Current mid range offerings are very good...but not great, reaching 4k for under $5,000, now that would be impressive.

More pixels on a smaller sensor produces terrible photos, but people still fall for it because of marketing. http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm

Plus unless you are printing a billboard no one needs the ridiculous resolutions consumer cameras are producing today. It's just a big waste of disk space.

drazgoosh said,
Aren't these resolutions going beyond what the human eye can actually notice?

Depends on what your needs are. Large format prints, digital zoom and other things can benefit from high resolution sensors

drazgoosh said,
Aren't these resolutions going beyond what the human eye can actually notice?

Depends on the screen size and the viewing distance. Sit far enough from your screen and it goes beyond what your eye can see. Sit closer or have a bigger screen and you'll require a bigger resolution.

McKay said,

Depends on the screen size and the viewing distance. Sit far enough from your screen and it goes beyond what your eye can see. Sit closer or have a bigger screen and you'll require a bigger resolution.

Thinking about it practically though, how close are your eyes going to be to the screen?