This would enable Micro Four Thirds cameras to shoot with more megapixels than most full-frame mirrorless cameras, bringing its resolution in line with hi-res models such as the Sony A7R series.
Fascinatingly, it also enables 8K video shooting – hot on the heels of the Sharp 8K Video Camera, which uses a proprietary 33MP sensor that was previously the highest resolution Micro Four Thirds chip available.
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It is capable of shooting 8K video up to 30 frames per second in 17:9 (matching the Sharp 8K Video Camera) and up to 25 frames in 4:3, with 10- and 12-bit on-chip digital output (exceeding the Sharp's 10-bit output).
"The IMX492LQJ is a diagonal 23.1mm (Type 1.4) CMOS image sensor with a color square pixel array and approximately 47.08 M effective pixels. 12-bit digital output makes it possible to output the signals with high definition for moving pictures," reads the Sony flyer.
"It also operates with three power supply voltages: analog 2.9 V, digital 1.2 V, and 1.8 V for I/O interface and achieves low power consumption. Realizing high-sensitivity, low dark current, this sensor also has an electronic shutter function with variable storage time."
This new sensor could offer a fresh lease of life for the Micro Four Thirds standard, especially in terms of photography, that seemed to have plateaued at 20.4MP in stills cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
The promise of 41MP imaging and 8K, 12-bit video would theoretically make an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III or Panasonic GH6 every bit as powerful as full-frame mirrorless cameras – something that seemed unlikely just a few months ago, with the megapixel gap seeming to widen insurmountably.