Perhaps you like the idea of post-capture focus as provided by Lytro’s light field camera, but don’t want another single-function device? You might be in luck if rumors of a small sensor from Toshiba that emulates that ability prove true early next year.
But first the company officially announced a new 20-megapixel CMOS sensor it says “offers the industry’s highest resolution in the 1/2.3 inch optical format, using backside illumination technology to improve sensitivity and imaging performance.” Also, the TCM5115CL achieves a 15 percent improvement in full well capacity — the amount of charge an individual pixel can hold before saturating — over Toshiba’s previous generation. And it’s “designed to meet the demands of high quality, fast frame rate image capture and HD video recording supporting smooth, slow motion playback,” with fast capture at 60 frames per second at 1080p, or 100fps at 720p. The sensor is set for mass production in August 2013.
The new post-capture module will reportedly house an array of 500,000 tiny lenses. It’s aimed at phones, and so it’s smaller than Lytro’s system — just one centimeter thick. Also, it even captures video with selectable focal planes. However, it’s not likely to come out until the end of next year.
The Asahi Shimbun has a full report here.