Toshiba: On July 7, 2011, Toshiba Corporation announced its 8.08-megapixel CMOS image sensor with backside illumination (BSI) technology. In terms of video the sensor can capture 1080/60p. Impressive, but this new 1/4-inch image sensor has a pixel pitch of 1.12µm.
That seems to be a bit lacking. Most of us in photography have learned that cramming more pixels into an image sensor does little to improve photo quality. On the contrary: photo quality suffers. I guess the smartphone image sensor guys haven’t learned this lesson yet.
OmniVision’s five megapixel CMOS image sensor currently being used in the iPhone 4 has a pixel pitch of 1.75µm. The bigger the pixel pitch, the more light absorbed, the better the photo quality. The iPhone 4 is considered by most to be the best smartphone for photo and video quality. I’m sure pixel pitch, along with BSI technology, has something to do with it.
There is a rumor that points to an eight megapixel image sensor in the next iPhone. My guess is that Apple will choose an eight megapixel image sensor with a pixel pitch of at least 1.75µm. I hope the lens gets bigger, too.