Sony 61MP Surveillance Sensor Examined

By Zach Segal, Published Sep 04, 2020, 08:31am EDT (Info+)

For a decade, the highest resolution single-imager surveillance cameras have remained ~30MP, now Sony has released a 61 MP sensor (IMX455AQK-K) marketed to surveillance.

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While Sony exited the branded video surveillance business this year, they continue in sensors.

IPVM explores how this sensor has been used and what it means for surveillance cameras.

Executive *******

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Sensor *****

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Poll / ****

Comments (12)

While they are not used for every client super high res cameras are just cool technology if you are a fan of pixel peeping. Lots of people have watched too much CSI and these cameras can give the closest experience to "TV magic".

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What about the lenses? High resolution cameras make no sense when the lens is not able to handle this resolution. Are you able to examine this?

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It is likely that because of the super high resolution any camera would use photography lenses which would add to the cost and bulk. They would likely be Sony E mount lenses which skew expensive. The lenses we tested with the Sony SNC-VB770 were in the $1,000-$2,000 range.

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These cameras do not use CS-mount lenses. Your looking at EF, EF-S, or E-mount lens which are much better options then CS-mount.

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yes, but are E or ES mount lenses always able to handle this high resolution? I don't think so. Just curious if photography lenses are certified for up to 61 MP resolution.

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Here is Sony's Lenses and Accessories page for their 61 MP a7R IV. They are mostly between $900-$3,000. And, any camera made with this sensor may be constricted to these lenses.

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I don't know how I feel about a camera that could possibly be a target for robbery. If a company comes out with a camera with this sensor I'm guessing it would be around 30-40K MSRP?

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See my comment below about astro cameras. They run about $4k. This sensor is relatively cheap because it is produced in large volumes for Sony's consumer DSLR.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but somebody would have to develop an accompanying ASIC

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This sensor is becoming popular in astrophotography because of it's low noise, high sensitivity, large size, a 16-bit A/D, and the fact that a mono version is available (in addition to the color version). Thus far, only two Chinese companies offer it in an astro camera (ASI6200 from ZWO, and QHY600 from QHY).

I'm not sure where the noise complaints are coming from, these are showing to be very low noise and dark current. Maybe they are shooting at very high ISO.

Also, in astro cameras, the pixels can be binned which will result in smaller file sizes (and correspondingly less resolution). I don't think that security camera vendors think about pixel binning, but that would add versatility to any camera. For example, it could switch to high resolution mode when motion is detected and then drop back to 2x2 or 3x3 binned when no motion is detected for a period of time.

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Would like to know how this would fair in a shootout with Avigilon and Hanwha. Testing each at 30MP setting. I would assume Avigilon would come out looking favorable since they are end-to-end with their own VMS and not new to 8K Video Surveillance. Would also like to know if Hanwha or Sony have any key differentiation.

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We currently don't know of anyone using this sensor for a surveillance camera and Sony has stopped making branded surveillance cameras, but that is a good idea when a 61 MP camera is made with this sensor. We have observed fewer of the issues with high MP cameras when using end-to-end systems.

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