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Sony IMX179 vs IMX179s.

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  • Sony IMX179 vs IMX179s.

    Guys, finally I understood what's going on with -s and non-s versions of Sony IMX179 sensors installed into so popular Allwinner V3-based cams. When you see IMX179 in your fw details you've got the real IMX179, but when it says IMX179s you're a little bit less lucky.

    'IMX179s' in fact means IMX166 sensor module. This model is also 8Mp and 1/3.2", however it is not Exmor R (like IMX179 is), but older previous generation Exmor.

    Update: Seems like the IMX166 is an Exmor R sensor. I can't find IMX179 or IMX166 datasheets, so if you have one please share.
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  • #2
    Click image for larger version  Name:	imx166.jpg Views:	1 Size:	74.7 KB ID:	2936

    Exmor IMX166 AKA "IMX179s" vs Exmor R IMX179.
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    • #3
      I decided to compare IMX179 and -s cams again to find out the real difference between the sensors.
      So I flashed my IMX179 F60B camera with the latest available firmware for it - Crane (surfer boot logo) 2017-02-09 (shows 20170210V4.0). For IMX179s I took V60S action cam with Beike (xdv boot logo) 2017-02-23 (shows RF 2017 / 20170307) fw installed. These firmwares can be found here.

      Cams were fitted with same lenses.

      Here is the first pair of stills for comparison: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...WM?usp=sharing
      I have to say both of them are awful, but IMX179 seems to have increased dynamic range compared to IMX166.
      Last edited by nutsey; 03-25-2017, 06:08 PM.
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      • #4
        Compared the sensors side by side under low-lighting conditions (dusk).
        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4t...ew?usp=sharing

        What can I say. Besides the sensors these cams have different firmwares and therefore different image processing settings. I don't know which one is better for sure, but I see here that the IMX166 cam has much lower black level correction value and IMX179 has increased saturation or vibrance. They also use different sensor settings for readout modes. Will try to compare them again with more appropriate firmware versions for both sensors.
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        • #5
          Another pair of frames grabbed from 1080p30 footages.

          IMX166 (179s) FULLSIZE:


          IMX179 FULLSIZE:
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          • #6
            What is the number of effective pixels of the IMX179. Why everyone seems to liken this instead of the IMX078. Kind of confusing.

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            • nutsey
              nutsey commented
              Editing a comment
              IMX179 vs IMX078

              Diagonal: 1/3.2" vs 1/2.3"
              Number of effective pixels: 8.08M (3280x2464) vs 12.40M (4072x3044)
              Pixel size: 1.4μm vs 1.55μm

          • #7

            Another package of Sony IMX179 sensor.
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            • #8
              I'm not quite sure, but it seems like IMX179s is IMX175 which is very similar to IMX179. The only difference I found is that IMX179 outputs full frame resolution at 30 fps for both 4:3 and 16:9 modes and IMX175 is limited with 16:9 for 4K30 (pixel rate is 200Mhz vs 260 for IMX179).

              So both sensors can do "4K30" in 16:9 aspect ratio which is 3200x1800 in fact, but IMX175 should be a little bit cheaper. This is why we've got these two versions of Allwinner V3 cams. Anyway I may be wrong as I saw 'IMX166' marking printed on a IMX179s sensor ribbon cable.
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              • #9
                According to IMX179s_8.ko module which can be found in some latest V3 fws, there is another sensor masked under 'IMX179' name - it's Omnivision OV8838. Thanks galagaheart for pointing it out.

                I can't find any info about OV8838, so let's assume it is some kind of 'light' or 'SE' version of OV8858 PDF

                Update: This sensor seems to be capable recording in 8M24 / 6M30 / 2M30 / 720P100 modes.

                Update #2: OV8838 driver source
                Last edited by nutsey; 04-12-2018, 01:48 PM.
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                • xeonhenry
                  xeonhenry commented
                  Editing a comment
                  OV8838 is a 1/3.2" image sensor, resolution 3264x2448. Pixel size is 1.4μm, like IMX179.
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