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OmniVision's New 5-MP 1080p Camera Sensor Opens Door to Thinner Devices

Apple's longtime camera sensor supplier for iOS devices, OmniVision Technologies, today announced the introduction of a new 5-megapixel sensor that could lead to thinner mobile devices while also offering the ability to shoot video at 1080p. The new sensor checks in at under 5 mm high, 20% thinner than other industry-leading sensors.
OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today introduced the OV5690, the first 5-megapixel image sensor to use OmniVision's proprietary OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The new 1.4-micron backside illumination pixel allows for a full five megapixels in a 1/4-inch optical format, and combines best-in-class image quality with a 20 percent reduction in camera module height, making it an effective solution for slimmer mobile handsets, smart phones and tablet computers.
While Apple has been claimed by several sources to be planning to use an 8-megapixel camera for the next-generation iPhone, up from a 5-megapixel sensor in the iPhone 4, many of Apple's other mobile devices such as the iPad and iPod touch utilize camera with significantly lower resolutions of under 1 megapixel. With the non-iPhone devices exhibiting thinner form factors than the iPhone, Apple has had to sacrifice on the camera quality and resort to thinner, lower-resolution sensors on those models.

Related roundups: iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, iPod touch

Top Rated Comments

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46 months ago
Optical zoom > 12mp Phone camera
Rating: 8 Votes
46 months ago

Yes, I want to be carrying around an entire desktop computer because power shouldn't be sacrificed! :rolleyes::D


Once you get into the 10 mm pocketable range, a millimeter here or there makes less and less of a difference. The human hand and the size of our trouser pockets are the constants.

I'd rather have a bigger battery, better camera, and/or sturdier frame than shave down from 9mm to 7 mm.
Rating: 4 Votes
46 months ago

5 MP or 1080p means nothing to me. Let's hear about the sensor resolution, not how big photos it can shoot. Nothing there says it's automatically better than a 3-4 MP camera. If the photos are soft in 5 MP, it's just a waste of space.


Agreed. 3PM is ideal for me, though I’m OK with the current 5MP since the iPhone 4 camera’s optics do deliver good results. But let’s not climb towards 8MP and beyond! More MP often means a worse image (greater noise even when scaled down later) not better. It’s a marketing number akin to the old GHz. Reading a number in a bullet list is fun... but not fun enough to make my photo library 40% bigger, slower, and more expensive! I care about image quality more than bullet points.
Rating: 4 Votes
46 months ago

the iPad 2 is quite fast. But the iPad 2 also has a terrible camera.


Agreed. Thats the only issue I have with my iPad2.

IMHO, it wasn't incapability that forced Apple's hands in giving it such ***** cameras...rather laziness and perceived acceptability ("folks wont know the difference" attitude).


Sorry, but I'm tired of my "magical" FaceTime calls looking like Monet Paintings.
Rating: 4 Votes
46 months ago

Yes, I want to be carrying around an entire desktop computer because power shouldn't be sacrificed! :rolleyes::D


We're getting to the point where any thinner would be too thin. Is it worth sacrificing battery life and speed for a freakin half mm?
Rating: 4 Votes
46 months ago
Yessss, This looks promising. Can't wait to get ipod touch 5g! :D
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago

We dont want thinner! STOP THE OBESSION WITH THIN.

Especially when it handcuffs power.


Thinner, in this case, does not handcuff power. It enables that room to be used for something else.
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago

We dont want thinner! STOP THE OBESSION WITH THIN.

Especially when it handcuffs power.


Did making the iPad2 thiner handcuff "power"?
Nope, it doubled the "power" and is the fastest tablet on the market.
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago

...With the non-iPhone devices exhibiting thinner form factors than the iPhone, Apple has had to sacrifice on the camera quality and resort to thinner, lower-resolution sensors on those models.


Maybe if Apple didn't have this constant obsession with making things .00001 inches thinner and .0004 grams lighter, we wouldn't HAVE to sacrifice quality.

Seriously...does anyone really WANT a phone that weighs as much as a credit card and/or so thin that it feels like it will break if you drop it from 3 inches high.

A $500+ iPad with a 1MP camera is just disgusting. Ditto for the latest iPod Touch that has the same crappy camera!
Rating: 2 Votes
46 months ago

Did making the iPad2 thiner handcuff "power"?
Nope, it doubled the "power" and is the fastest tablet on the market.


Agreed! I passed on the initial iPad, because of really believing that Apple would incorporate a camera or camera's to catch up to the iphone4 & newest iPod Touch for Facetime across the board for all of its portable and non portable MAChines.
Rating: 2 Votes

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