The KAC Sensors Live

Truesense—formerly the Kodak division that built image sensors but is now a separate company—has announced a new m4/3 sensor, and a CMOS one, to boot (most previous Kodak sensors were CCD). This has gotten the attention of a number of m4/3 specific Web sites, especially since the sensor will produced in two versions, one Bayer, one monochrome.

KAC-12040

I suspect we won't see this new 12mp sensor in consumer cameras, though. Truesense themselves seems to be targeting industrial and surveillance uses. Then why m4/3? Lenses! Much of the industrial and security market is based on C-mount lenses to date, and thus tend to use smaller image sensors. This new sensor will be an upgrade for a number of those solutions, especially since it has two specific features that would be welcome: the global shutter and the 60 fps frame rate for the full 12mp data stream. 

In terms of consumer camera applications, however, some of the attributes of the sensor seem to be behind the times to be fully competitive. In particular, the 12mp overall resolution is behind the times now, a read noise of 10e is high compared to most currently used sensors (2e to 4e is typical now), and the 100 fps max read-out is a bit slow for current contrast autofocus state-of-the-art. Still, the overall attributes of the sensor look relatively decent, and the notion of a dedicated black-and-white m4/3 camera certainly has some attraction. That said, I doubt any of the major m4/3 players will be interested. If we see this sensor picked up by someone, it will be a small company looking to make a niche product.

The sensor isn't currently in production, though samples are available to companies to complete designs with. 

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