Sony&s sensor division has often cast its shadows on upcoming camera models. Because in their online product catalogue one gets direct insight into the technical data of generally available sensors, which are used more and more often by camera manufacturers more or less unmodified. Among others, many specifications of the GH5s and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K could be estimated well in advance because the sensor data were already known.
Now the speculation drive of the Internet community is being fuelled once again by new sensor models from Sony: this is the second generation of the Pregius series, which shines above all with a global shutter. Each sensor is really read out with its own A/D converter, which increases the wiring complexity, but makes it possible to read out all sensors at the same time.
As an RGB version over one inch there is currently only one IMX342LQA to be seen, which with APS-C dimensions could also fit well with common filmer speculations.
The fact that it does not have a square 1:1 format for industrial applications with 4:3 dimensions, such as the IMX367LLA monochrome MFT offshoot, speaks for itself.
What speaks against this in our eyes is that the achievable frame rates with full sensor readout in 12 bits are only possible at just under 25 fps. With a crop readout or line skipping, perhaps 50-60 fps could still be possible, but this would be at the expense of the image quality. For a hybrid camera (photo + video), the lack of dynamics in photo mode could also be problematic: If the sensor is offered in an APS-C top model, users may expect one to two f-stops more in photo mode.
So if someone were to actually bring a camera based on this sensor onto the market, it would have a maximum of 12 f-stops (73.6dB) and could deliver a maximum of 30 fps with a 6K-4K downsampling. Would such a device without slow-motion capabilities still find a large fan base among filmmakers at the turn of the year 2019? Of course it depends on the price, but we think it could be difficult. Even if a rolling shutter sounds tempting.
So end of story? Not quite, we can still offer a twist. Because we reported in June already had a rolling shutter sensor that could appear in Sony&s upcoming Top APS-C camera. But this one still had a 14 bit mode and some improved technical data. And now here it comes: The data sheet we read back then was just this IMX342LQA, only with "cheaper" specifications that would make an Alpha 6700 look much better, among others with more slow-motion capabilities through an additional 4K2K mode. Sony Alpha Rumors has the then disappeared data sheet still online for direct comparison. From this point of view, the next Sony APS-C Alpha could perhaps really become a global shutter model, if Sony suppresses this information so obviously.