Sony adds autofocus tracking to smartphone image sensor

The Exmor RS IMX320 borrows autofocus tech from SLR cameras

Sony has developed an imaging sensor for smartphones that's designed to capture rapidly moving subjects such as kids and animals.

The Exmor RS IMX320 is a stacked CMOS sensor that's the first of its kind with accurate, high-speed AF (autofocus) tracking for subjects that are constantly on the move, according to Sony.

The latest Exmor's HDR (high dynamic range) function, a common exposure-boosting feature for smartphone cameras, also supports 4K (4096 x 2160) videos.

The sensor has 21 effective megapixels, a frame rate ranging from 24 to 120 and a newly developed signal processing function.

Image plane phase detection AF, as the AF-tracking feature is known, uses dedicated pixels incorporated in the screen of the image sensor and provides information to the camera about the distance to the subject. The sensor has 192 AF points.

"Image plane phase detection AF is used in mirrorless SLR [single-lens reflex] cameras, but this is the first time for it to be used in smartphones," a Sony spokeswoman wrote in an email. "Until now, smartphone CMOS image sensors focused based on the contrast of the subject."

The new CMOS sensor will ship in April, and Sony plans to release a 16-megapixel version of the sensor by April 2016. The company would not say whether the new Exmor will only be used in its Xperia smartphones or whether it will be sold to other manufacturers.

Sony's Exmor sensors have been used in various cameras including the recently announced Cyber-shot DSC-KW11, which is shaped like a perfume bottle.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags consumer electronicssmartphonesComponentssony

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?