Sony’s new 31MP APS-C sensor has a global shutter and might come with the A6700/A7000
Rumours of a new “Mini A9” APS-C Sony camera seem to be popping up more and more as we get closer to Photokina. But a new announcement today may offer some insight into what may be announced in a couple of weeks.
Sony has today announced a new 31MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor with a global shutter. 31MP is slightly larger than 6K, and while 6K isn’t unheard of, it’s possible that the new Sony IMX342LQA isn’t destined for a video camera, but a stills camera.
The new sensor is part of a new “Pregius” line of sensors, about which Sony writes…
The Pregius is global shutter pixel technology for active pixel-type CMOS image sensors that use Sony’s low-noise CCD structure, and realizes high picture quality.
As I said, 6K (and 5.7K) isn’t unheard of in video cameras. RED, Panasonic and even Sony themselves make 5.7K and 6K video cameras. But the speed of this sensor suggests that it might not be destined for high-end video. At 6K, you’re going to get between 25-35 frames per second, depending on bit depth. And even 4K at 60fps is a bit of a stretch, from looking at this chart.
Most people buying dedicated cinema cameras today are going to expect a lot more than that, even if it does have a global shutter. But in something like a potential A6700 or A7000? Sure, I can see that happening, and while it may offer a global shutter, I can’t see it affecting A7III or A7RIII sales.
It is still, of course, possible that the new sensor will be going into a cinema camera, where global shutters are in high demand to eliminate the “jello wobble” artifacts that rolling shutter sensors cause.
But putting it into a camera that will be as widespread as an A6500 successor will allow them to get a lot more feedback on the technology sooner. And it makes sense that they might put it in a relatively low-end camera first to test the water and see how well it works in the real world.
We’ll just have to wait and see until the Photokina press briefing. But, for now, if you want to find out more about the new IMX342LQA sensor, check out the specs on the Sony website.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.