Sony announces IMX318 image sensor with hybrid AF and image stabilization

by: Robert TriggsFebruary 16, 2016


Sony continues to lead the industry with its Exmor RS image sensors and the company has just announced its latest IMX318 CMOS sensor for smartphones. The new camera component boasts built-in hybrid autofocus, a staple of Sony’s latest high-end Exmor RS chips, and 3-axis electronic image stabilization.

The IMX318 is the direct successor to Sony’s IMX230 and is a 22.5 megapixel 1/2.6 size sensor, featuring a smaller 1.0μm pixel size. However, Sony says that these smaller pixels don’t affect the image quality, as its engineers have employed manufacturing technology that improves light utilization efficiency and have improved the overall circuit design to eliminate noise. Noise is typically the leading problem in tightly packed image sensors with small pixel sizes, due to circuit crosstalk and poorer light sensitivity.

Sony’s latest hybrid autofocus technology, which is based on a combination of image plane phase detection autofocus and contrast detection AF, allows for focusing times as fast as 0.03 seconds. For video enthusiasts out there, the IMX318 supports 4K capture at 30fps and features electronic image stabilization to reduce camera shake and lens distortion. The IMX318 is actually the first stacked CMOS image sensor to build these features directly into the signal processor.

Check out the videos below for a quick demonstration of what all this tech talk actually means for capturing better looking pictures and video.

Although Sony is still the biggest player in the smartphone CMOS image sensor market, the division recently reported a 12.6 percent year-on-year decline in profits. This was due to slowing Sony smartphone sales and falling demand from external customers. Perhaps the cutting edge features in the IMX318 will give Sony’s sensor business a needed boost this year.

The IMX318 is scheduled to begin shipping out to manufacturers in May 2016 and could appear in smartphones set for release in the latter half of the year.

  • I hope this makes it to the Note 6

  • Kevin Shah

    Super Fantastic Task

    The Oppo F1 that works really fabulously. It has got the warranty of 2 years and the replacement guarantee of the smart phone is of 30 days, which means that if you don’t like the smart device than you can visit your local stores and exchange it. But the guarantee I would like to give you is you wont exchange it because of the configurations that it has. The most important is it has warrantee of 2 years that is more than enough for you to get with your smart device.

  • balcobomber25

    Sony may be the sales leader for camera sensors, but Omnivision is the quality leader.

    • MesTaRas

      Could you explain that? The best smartphone cameras I know use Sony sensors..

      • balcobomber25

        You don’t know the best smartphone cameras then.

        • Ravi De Morais Pires

          Can you tell me any? I mean, the only Omnivision sensors that i know are cra*py as hell.

          • balcobomber25

            Which sensors do you know? It’s not the sensor that’s crappy it’s the phone itself. But Gionee Elife E7 and One Plus Two both use OV.

          • FuckYouMatt

            Fallacy – Burden of Proof Reversal.

            Thou shall not lay the burden of proof on he who is questioning your claim, fool.

          • balcobomber25

            Whatever you say slick.

          • Ravi De Morais Pires

            So, you’re saying that the 1+2 is the quality leader picture, comparing then to Z5, Note5, 6S, Nexus 6P and many like those? Cause i have the Sony side from 1+, on my 1+1, and the pictures from mine (side by side comparing my friends 1+2) looks way much better, those coming from 1+2 has so much color fringe and degration that on the same tripod just to try (where normally i would use my GH4) is really diferent. Not one person that i’ve ever shown those pics ever told me that the 1+2 was better. And it was an outdated IMX214. Bas whatever, right? Thats what you just say to everyone xD

          • balcobomber25

            One Plus 2 doesn’t use an IMX 214, One Plus One used that one so your entire comment is false. And I notice you skipped right over the Gionee E7, which was one of the best camera phones ever released. This isn’t a Sony vs OV fan war, my current phone uses a Sony IMX 220 and it is excellent. You can relax I am not attacking your precious Sony.

          • Ravi De Morais Pires

            You gotta pratice more at reading. I will put it easier for ya: 1+1=IMX214 vs 1+2=Omnivision. Studio em real life tests with the exact manual and auto settings always (to every single person that came into my studio) said the IMX214 looked better, and zoomed in, even more. So… My question was how can an outdated IMX214 be better than a “nowadays camera quality leader”?

          • MesTaRas

            Yes, I was literally curious to know what he had to say, apart from OnePlus 2 I didn’t follow any phone with an Omnivision sensor, but from his responses it feels he said that just not to be mainstream

        • FuckYouMatt

          As if you know anything just throwing random claims out there with zero substantiation.

          At least he asked for an explanation. You are basically just a smart aleck, balcobomber25.

          P.S.: Only kids use usernames with numbers. Disagree? You don’t know usernames, then.

          • balcobomber25

            Whatever you say kiddo.

  • Roberto Tomás

    “For video enthusiasts out there, the IMX318 supports 4K capture at 30fps” I have a few questions, if anyone knows where I can find more info:

    What is the fastest fps for video slo mo? reason: I know that MediaTek, and probably others too, are promoting super slo mo processing in their upcoming/latest SoCs. I remember 720fps being bandied around at one Mediatek video I saw.

    Does the camera support burst mode photography?

    Does the camera support any 60fps video? like 1080p60 — I was surprised that it does not support 4k60, given that it is a 2016 release, ad it otherwise looks like killer tech.

    • Opposum

      I have 1080p 60fps , burst, 720p 120fps on my two year old Xperia Z2 with a sensor that is two generations older than this one. So yeah, the IMX318 will support anything and everything.

    • Kishore Venktesh

      iPhones support 720p 240fps… But almost all android phones have 720p 120fps. I remember some chinese company launched a gimmick feature that allowed 2100fps thanks to software tricks

  • Kanoosh

    in the first video there is no WAY someone shakes the camera that much while walking , maybe running , but he isn’t running. .. just doing that to sell you on the new sensor. pfft -_-