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OmniVision Announces New Camera Sensor – Shoots 16MP Stills, 4K Video

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Some of you may have heard of OmniVision, however if not, the company specialises in creating, designing and developing digital imaging products. They are based in Santa Clara, California, and have customers such as Apple on their books, supplying them with the CMOS sensor used in the camera in the latest iPhone 4S.

Well, today the company has announced a new sensor which is intended to be used in digital cameras and also high-end smartphones. The sensor is known as the OV16820 and is capable of capturing 16MP still images with a burst-mode of 30fps which is certainly impressive indeed. Another stand out feature of the sensor is its ability to allow video recording of 4K2K (2840 x 2160) at 60fps, which is four times the resolution of 1080p. It’s only 1/2.3″ in size and has a 1.34 micro pixel pitch (the distance between each pixel) the sensor also supports OmniVision’s OmniBSI-2 technology, which is the company’s next generation of backlight illumination technology

Other features of the OV16820 include support for on-chip pixel binning and resampling. If you’re not aware of pixel binning, it’s essentially a way for the sensor to improve video quality when the resolution is set lower than the sensor’s standard resolution.

Now, although the company mention that this CMOS sensor could be used in smartphones, we’re not quite sure whether the current offerings on the market would be able to deal with recording video at four times that of the most commonly used 1080p resolution. However, it’s quite possible that by the end of the year, we may just start to see smartphones enter the market that will feature the next level of digital imaging, and most probably will have this CMOS sensor inside. Let’s hope anyway.

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