Sony Sensors in DSLR Cameras, Action Cams, and Drones

Sony is the world’s leading manufacturer of sensors, with a market share of 45% in 2016. Second place is held by Samsung with 15%, Canon has a 5% market share and then everyone else. So it won’t be surprising to hear that Sony sensors can be found in nearly all manufacturers’ cameras, mobile phones, action cameras, and even drones. Sony victory began with the Exmor series. It was a revolution in the market for CMOS sensors because until then, CMOS was very “noisy”, which prevented it from being actively used in digital cameras.

The CMOS sensor, by transforming the analog signal into digital, created a lot of additional noise other than the CCD sensors. Sony’s engineers, on the other hand, made improvements to these CMOS sensors, based on their CCD technology experience, which resulted in them creating sensors with significantly less noise – Exmor. Because Sony Exmor sensors are able to provide more “dynamic range” (I don’t know how to translate this correctly) and color depth, most cameras (mostly all except Samsung) use Sony sensors in their cameras. Phase One and Hasselblad, including.

To put together the theory with the facts, I’ve finally gathered the information and created a small table of cameras and Sony sensors they use. <br>

So Sony’s sensors can be found in the following cameras: Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Pentax, Olympus, Phase One, Hasselblad, AS well as DJI drones and myriad sports cameras (Sony, GoPro, and Xiaomi). And no doubt Sony is also on mobile phones: Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC, Google pixel and also on all iPhone 4/5/6/…/8 and X models (incidentally, Sony gets 7-20 $for each iPhone sensor).

I have searched for information in various forums, wiki, as well as sites where I mix cameras and study ingredients (p.s. when I actually break cameras and prank chips, then there are surprises).

Sony Cameras

APS-C sensors
NEX-3 IMX100-AQL
NEX-5 IMX100-AQL 14MP May10 4592×3056 ISO12800 25f.p
NEX-5N IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
NEX-6 IMX080-AQM
NEX-F3 IMX095-AQL 16MP May12 4912×3264 ISO16000 25f.p.
NEX-C3 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
SLT-A77 IMX096-AQL 24MP Aug11
A33 IMX080-AQL
A55 IMX080-AQL
A500 IMX038-BQL
A550 IMX049-AQR
A560 IMX100-AQL
A580 IMX080-AQL
A700 IMX021-BQR
A5000 IMX??? 20MP Jan14 5456×3064 ISO16000 25f.p.
A5100 IMX210-AQL 24.3M Aug 14 6000×4000 179 f.p,
A6000 IMX210-AQL 24.3M Aug 14 6000×4000 179 f.p,
A6300 IMX284 24.3MP Exmor
A6500 IMX284 24.3MP Exmor

Full Frame Sensors
DSLR-A850 IMX028-BQR 24MP Sep08 6048×4032
DSLR-A900 IMX028-BQR 24MP Sep08 6048×4032
RX1 IMX128-AQR 24MP Sep12 6000×4000 ISO6400 exp25600 25 f.p.
SLT-A99 IMX157-AQR 24MP Sep12 6000×4000 ISO6400 exp25600
SLT-A99II IMX251-AQL 42.4MP 7952 x 5304 BSI EXMOR-R
A7 IMX157-AQR 24MP Oct13 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 117 f.p,
A7 II IMX157-AQR 24MP Nov14 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 117 f.p.
A7S IMX235-AQR 12MP Apr14 4240×2832 ISO25600or51200 exp409600 video exp102400 25 f.p.
A7S II IMX235-AQR 12MP Apr14 4240×2832 ISO25600or51200 exp409600 video exp102400 25 f.p.
A7R IMX094-AQR 36MP Oct13 7360×3912 ISO25600 25 f.p.
A7R II IMX251-AQL 42.4MP 7952 x 5304 BSI EXMOR-R

A7R III IMX251-AQL 42.4MP 7952 x 5304 BSI EXMOR-R
A9 IMX310

RX1R II IMX251-AQL 42.4MP 7952 x 5304 BSI EXMOR-R

Nikon Cameras

APS-C sensors
Nikon D40 – Toshiba ICX453-AQ (CCD)
Nikon D40x – Toshiba ICX493-AQA (CCD)
Nikon D50 – Toshiba ICX453-AQ (CCD)
Nikon D60 – Toshiba ICX493-AQA (CCD)
Nikon D70 – Toshiba ICX453-AQ (CCD)
Nikon D70s – Toshiba ICX453-AQ (CCD)
Nikon D80 – Toshiba ICX493-AQA (CCD)
Nikon D90 – Sony IMX038-BQL 12.2MP 4288×2848
Nikon D100 – Toshiba ICX413-AQ (CCD)
Nikon D200 – Toshiba ICX483-AQA (CCD)
Nikon D300 – Sony IMX021-BQR 12.2MP 4288×2848
Nikon D300s – Sony IMX038-BQL 12.2MP 4288×2848
Nikon D3000 – Sony ICX493-AQA (CCD)
Nikon D3300 – Sony IMX193-AQK 24MP Jan15 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 39 f.p,
Nikon D3400 – Sony IMX193-AQK 24MP Jan15 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 39 f.p,
Nikon D5000 – Sony IMX038-BQL 12.2MP 4288×2848
Nikon D5100 – Sony IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
Nikon D5300 – Sony IMX193-AQK 24MP Oct13 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 39 f.p,
Nikon D5500 – Sony IMX193-AQK 24MP Jan15 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 39 f.p,
Nikon D5600 – Sony IMX193-AQK 24MP Jan15 6000×4000 ISO exp25600 39 f.p,
Nikon D7000 – Sony IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
Nikon D7500 – Sony IMX321
Nikon D500 – Sony IMX321

Full-Frame sensors
Nikon D600 – Sony IMX128-AQP
Nikon D610 – Sony IMX128-AQP
Nikon D750 – Sony IMX128-AQP ISO to 12800, expand to 51200
Nikon D800 – Sony IMX094-AQP 36MP 7360×4912
Nikon D800E – Sony IMX094-AQP 36MP 7360×4912
Nikon D810 – Sony IMX094-AQP 36MP 7360×4912
Nikon D810a – Sony IMX094-AQP 36MP 7360×4912
Nikon D850 – Sony IMX309AQJ sensor
Nikon D2X – Sony IMX007-AQ (CMOS)
Nikon D2Xs – Sony IMX007-AQ (CMOS)
Nikon D3X – Sony IMX028

Fujifilm Cameras

X-Pro1 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
X-E1 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
X-E2 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
X-T1 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600

Pentax Cameras

K-5 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
K-30 IMX071 16MP Apr11 4928×3264 ISOexp25600
Q IMX078-CQK 12MP sensor, launched February 25, 2011
Q-10 IMX078-CQK 12MP sensor, launched February 25, 2011
K1 IMX094-AQP 36MP 7360×4912

Canon Cameras

Canon makes sensors for its EOS series itself, but PowerShot and other pocket cameras tend to use Sony sensors as well.

SX600 HS IMX206 16MP BSI
SX700 HS IMX206 16MP BSI

Panasonic Cameras

Micro Four-Thirds
GX80 IMX159 16MP EXMOR
GX8 IMX269 20MP EXMOR
GH3 IMX109 (samazināts IMX071)
GH4 IMX159 16MP EXMOR
GH5 IMX269 20MP EXMOR

Olympus Cameras

Micro Four-Thirds
E-PM2 IMX109 (samazināts IMX071)
E-M5 IMX109 (samazināts IMX071)
E-M1 MkI IMX269 20MP EXMOR
E-M1 MkII IMX270 20MP EXMOR

Action Cameras and Drones

GoPro Hero3 IMX117-CQT 12MP 35fps Exmor R
GoPro Hero4 IMX117-CQT 12MP 35fps Exmor R
GoPro Hero5 IMX117-CQT 12MP 35fps Exmor R
GoPro Hero6 IMX277 12.2 MP 44fps Exmor R
GoPro Session 4 IMX117-CQT 12MP 35fps Exmor R
GoPro Session 5 IMX117-CQT 12MP 35fps Exmor R

Sjcam SJ5000X IMX078-CQK 12MP, 1080p/60fps February 25, 2011 Exmor R
Gitup Git2 IMX206 16MP December 21, 2013 Exmor R

Xiaomi Yi IMX206 16.3MP December 2013 Exmor R
Xiaomi Yi 4K IMX377 12.2MP April 2015 Exmor R

Drones

DJI Mavic Pro IMX377 12.2MP April 2015 Exmor R
DJI Phantom 4 Pro IMX183 20MP

Conclusion

I’ll remind you that these are just sensors. The quality of the picture depends on a large number of factors, such as processing processor, lens, etc. Although Olympus and Panasonic have the same Micro 4/3 sensors, it is Panasonic that is strong and popular among films, because Panasonic behind them has a huge experience of video processing, and cameras have video processing-oriented processors. The same is with Nikon and Sony cameras. Nikon has chosen to go the photograph path, so until now (since Nikon D850 came out) the video was not their square and priority, so all the emphasis was placed on the processing of pictures (at processor level). Sony, meanwhile, has gone both ways, they have become strong on both fronts in recent years. Sony’S A7R II is an unquestioned photograph leader while Sony’s A7s is strong in filming.

A little surprise is GoPro. They use the same sensor in their 3/4/5 models. So GoPro Hero3 is perfectly enough for image quality purposes.

“Hopefully, this table was useful for you.” I will try to improve it on a regular basis. If you’ve seen a mistake, then make sure of the comments. I’ll fix it because some cameras know safe and stable about the sensor (virtually all Sony/Nikon cameras have been dismantled), there has been speculation about others. But the table’s accuracy is up 95%.