"Tokyo, Japan—Sony Corporation today announced the development of a 35mm full size (diagonal: 43.3mm/Type 2.7) 24.81 effective megapixel, ultra-high speed high image quality CMOS image sensor designed to meet the increasing requirement for rapid image capture and advanced picture quality within digital SLR cameras...."
In a press release dated this morning, Sony Global has announced the new "full-frame" (i.e., 35mm-sized) imaging chipset presumably slated for the postulated "Nikon D3x" and "Sony A900." At 24.81 megapixels, the new CMOS chip is solidly within the range of what used to be the resolution territory of medium-format digital backs. Sony's press release emphasizes the "ultra responsive performance" and "broad dynamic range" and says, " Sony will target for mass production of this CMOS image sensor within this year."
Mike (Thanks to Adam McAnaney)
Featured Comment by Ctein: "So much misinformation, so little time [smile]. How many people test the claims they make or just repeat what they read somewhere? Me, I do a lot of testing (I get paid for it, after all).
"1. Just about any good (not great) camera lens resolves over 100 lp/mm over a fair range of apertures. Really good lenses hit 200 lp/mm and higher. This sensor doesn't even come close to exceeding the capabilities of camera lenses.
"2. Pixel pitch ain't resolution. Assuming a Bayer filter array, the actual resolving capability of the camera will be about two-thirds the pixel pitch. With a slight crop, this sensor can produce a Super B print at 300 ppi; that will correspond to 200 lines per inch of actual resolution or 4 lp/mm. 4 lp/mm is a nice, sharp print, but it's nowhere near what viewers of even modest sensitivity can discern. Put that print between ones made with half the number of pixels and twice the number of pixels and said viewer will easily be able to sort them by sharpness. You may not feel the need of the extra resolution, but it will hardly be wasted on people who want it.
"3. Do not confuse "need" with "usefulness." Few photographers need medium format over 35mm; even fewer need 4x5" over medium format. No one in their right mind would ever argue that the larger formats don't have their benefits or are a waste of time and money. Get the point?
"4. Unless you're obsessive about never, ever cropping photographs, basing your quality estimates on using the full 24-megapixel files is, at best, optimistic.
"5. Dynamic range in high-end DSLRs already exceeds by substantial margin what people got with color slide or B&W negative film. It rivals the extreme limits of color negative film. Sacrificing at most one stop of that range (and we don't even know if it's going to sacrifice that, because sensors are nowhere near their physical limits) is hardly a major loss of quality.
"6. 75–150 MB files don't choke even my ancient Athlon 2400+ 32-bit machine with a whole 2 GB of RAM. A $1200 Macbook will just gobble them as snacks. This sensor won't tax anyone's computing or storage capabilities beyond affordability.
"Will most of you need a 24-megapixel camera? Absolutely not. Could most of you benefit from a 24-megapixel camera? Absolutely.
"Will most of us be able to afford it? Highly unlikely [sigh]. (OK, on this point I am just speculating; no data here)."