I think I may have found some specifications on the Sony IMX294 from what I would consider a fairly reliable source - FRAMOS.
I expected there were three main possibilities as to how this image sensor would be designed. I had previously mentioned two of the three. I did not mention the third as I thought it was the least likely and the least desirable. But strangely, the design doesn’t even match what I thought was the third possibility. I really hope this information is not correct, but it sure looks like the real deal.
Quick summary of the three possibilities I envisioned:
1. 4:3 aspect ratio and 8MP resolution giving the largest pixel size around 5.3um to 5.4um. This is what I think most of us would like to see.
2. 16:9 aspect ratio with 8.3MP resolution to support the UHD-1 4K television video standard of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This has precedence with the IMX274 sensor shown in the same STARVIS chart. The IMX294 would basically have been a scaled-up version of the IMX274. The pixel size would have been around 4.9um which is 9.26% smaller than 5.4um.
3. A combination of 1 and 2 above - using the 4:3 aspect ratio AND supporting 4K video. This is done by significantly increasing the number of pixels to at least 11.06MP so the sensor can be cropped to 3840 x 2160 pixels for 4K video. This reduces the all-important pixel size to 4.5um which is 16.67% smaller than the 5.4um it could have been.
But the apparent specifications of the IMX294 sensor show something else. It looks like they stopped a little short of supporting the 4K video standard. For me, the question is why? Maybe it has something to do with a limitation or efficiency of the STARVIS process. Maybe someone who has experience in image sensor design and/or has knowledge of the design requirements for this particular sensor can shed light on this decision.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a cool sensor and it might be fantastic for EAA cameras. I just think it could have been better for EAA and I wonder why it was designed like this. Now that I have the array and pixel size I am going to play with various optical systems using this sensor in CCDCalc.
If I haven’t bored you to death and you are still with me, here is the link to the specifications I found for the color version of the IMX294.