This is the detailed description of the new Sony APCS (Active Pixel Color Sampling) sensor. The first of these new generation sensor will be launched in early 2015 on compact smartphones. Larger sensors for Alpha cameras (and Olympus MFT cameras?) are supposed to be launched after.
The new sensor has an electrified color filter that moves horizontally. It takes three exposure pictures (Red-Green-Blue) and merges them into one. The advantages are:
– One single pixel has 100% full color info (Bayer sensors need more pixels)
– Pixels can be larger compared to current Bayer sensors. This means less noise (or more resolution) possible
– Sensor has also Global shutter with very fast frame rates (16,000 at 2K) and no jello effect
– Very high native sensitivity of around 5,000 ISO!
On paper the only drawback is the triple exposure needed to get the full color information. We don’t know how this will effect long exposure shots or shots on moving subjects!