OmniVision-OV23850-and-OV21840

OmniVision Announces Two New Smartphone Camera Sensors: 21.4MP and 23.8MP

November 4, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

For years now smartphone cameras have evolved to the point where most people have probably replaced their old point-and-shoot camera with the latest smartphone they own.  The problem is often times not every smartphone is really as good of quality as some of the point-and-shoots we used to own, but that’s fast changing in the world of advanced camera sensors.  Omnivision, one of the biggest proponents of high-quality smartphone sensors and probably the biggest competitor to Sony for smartphone sensors has announced two new sensors today that are pushing the limits of what we used to know as the little camera that just so happens to sit inside of our phones.

The first is the OV21840, a 1/2.4″ 21.4 megapixel sensor in the PureCel-S line of sensors from OmniVision.  With most sensors only being 1/3.2″ in smartphones anymore a 1/2.4″ sensor means that you inherently will get more light onto the sensor and more than likely not only more detailed pictures, but better pictures in low light too.  The second is the OV23850, a slightly larger 1/2.3″ 23.8 megapixel sensor in the same PureCel-S line that’ll likely give you the same performance as the 21.4MP one except at a slightly higher resolution.

Both of these new sensors have a 1.12μm pixel size, which is pretty standard fare for camera sensors now.  The 23.8MP sensor has the ability to shoot in burst mode up to 24 frames per second and the 21.4MP sensor can shoot up to 27 frames per second.  4K video recording is obviously included here at 30FPS and with HDR functionality as well, and slow motion video at 1080p runs at 90FPS while 720P runs at 120FPS on both sensors.  Both sensors also support 10, 12 and 14-bit HDR RAW formats and 10-bit RGB RAW, but only the 23.8MP sensor supports DPCM 12/10-8 compression.  All this adds up to some seriously capable sensors that are likely going to be great competition for Sony’s latest and greatest.