Omnivision, the company that makes the camera in your iPhone, have just outed their second-generation backside illuminated sensor, the OV8830, and it’s a pretty exciting product for Apple fans: it should give the iPhone 5 the ability to record 1080p video at thirty frames per second, as well as substantially improve image quality.
Packing eight megapixels — already the rumored capacity of the next-gen iPhone’s sensor — the OV8830 is 1/3.2 inches in size, just like the sensor in the iPhone 4. That makes the OV8830 a good fit (literally) for the iPhone 5 even if Apple doesn’t radically redesign the handset.
Megapixels aren’t everything, though. In fact, they’re almost irrelevant from a quality perspective when it comes to a sensor small enough to fit in a smartphone. Luckily, the OV8830 has more improvements to boast of than just more megapixels: it also affords smartphone’s 35% better low-light sensitivity.
It’s not definite that the iPhone 5 will use this sensor, of course, but Apple’s past history with Omnivision and the OV8830’s identical footprint to the current sensor certainly imply as much. Let’s hope so: if the OV8830 makes it in, the iPhone 5 will double as a true HD camcorder that’s always in your pocket.