What Happened To Pixim After Sony Acquired Them?

In September 2012, Sony acquired WDR specialist Pixim.

Though Pixim 'powered' cameras are still being sold, there's hardly any marketing / promotion from Pixim or Sony about Pixim.

We asked Sony and Pixim's partners for a status report.

Sony responded by saying, "There is no news yet available on new Sony image sensors using Pixim technology."

Sony / Pixim partners confirmed that Sony is still actively selling existing Pixim chips (like Seawolf and Orca) but that development of new products (e.g., HD Pixim WDR cameras) is either halted or stopped.

It appears that the era of Pixim pixel based WDR is ending, having been supplanted by numerous multi-exposure HD WDR offerings.

Ironically, and maybe understandably, WDR in video surveillance cameras have never been stronger than they are today, with most manufacturers offering credible HD WDR cameras (e.g., see WDR Shootout 2013).


Just after Pixim got bought, Ikegami snatched up all the chips they could get their hands on, worried about just this sort of situation. Seems as though this was a strategic buy- if you want WDR, you are going to be buying an Effio chip.

My understanding is that there are a number of WDR sensor offerings. For example, I recall Omnivision being a choice of a number of manufacturers for HD WDR.

Supplanted, apparently so. Surpassed? Not by a long shot, from anything I have seen. We all know WDR, and light handling in general, has improved drastically for HD cameras in the last 3 years, but sometimes I would kill to have a 2 MP image with the rock-solid WDR reliability of a decent Pixim-based camera.

What happened, indeed. Must we assume there have been significant technical or cost hurdles that have yet to be cleared in moving Pixim technology in to the HD universe?

Andrew, have you tested MP true WDR cameras against Pixim? If so, please share results.

We did and it blew Pixim away. It was clearly so much better we stopped testing Pixim in later tests.

Essentially, WDR range was similar across Pixim and true WDR MP cameras but the increased pixels of the latter delivered a much more detailed image.

John, thanks! I have that up on my screen for required reading tomorrow. I appreciate the pointer.

John, is the Effio-P 2.0 chipset on par with the Seawolf? I haven't tried the new Effio-P series, but from the literature, it seems like it would be in the ballpark.

Jon, I don't know enough about Effio to comment.

Is Effio only analog / 960H? That's what their product page indicates.

John,

Yes, Effio is 960H. They have many variants, of which Effio-E is probably the most prevailant. Effio-P is touted as "Professional WDR", where the Effio-V is just "WDR". Effio-S I believe was short lived and never made a mark. These newer versions, 2.0, supposedly are improved units.

These 2.0 versions were released after they aquired Pixim, so they may have some Pixim technologies, but I don't think they are traditional Pixim-type sensors, where each pixel has it's own sensor. At least, that is how I understood the Seawolf chips worked.

We had used a generic Pixim Seawolf based dome for our defacto analog WDR camera for the past two years, but were told it is no longer available. It's replacement by the supplier is is an Effio-V based dome. We have yet to use them, but of course our salesman says they are better than Pixim. =)

The Pixim chips are no longer in production by Sony Pixim and you can only buy them from factories that stock piled them in advance of the EOL notice by Sony.

Sony recommends users change to the new Effio V which is a CCD and is slightly cheaper than the Seawolf.

The Effio V does preform good in WDR applications but I feel it is too expensive and could be a good option if the cost was much lower.

Undislcosed A,

Our supplier is selling the Effio-V based WDR dome for 80% of the price of their discontinued Pixim based dome. As an added bonus, the newer Effio-V dome also has a better dome enclosure with a larger base to house a balun, where the previous model only offered this as an additional base (added cost).

Also, they offer a similar camera without an Effio chip for just $30 less. So, if the Effio-V chip is just a $30 premium over a non-Effio chip, that doesn't seem that expensive at all. I know that any other true WDR cam would be sure to cost more than just $30 more than a base model.