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There is a need for security cameras to film with clear images in a variety of environments. Sony's image sensors meet this need by providing high sensitivity performance suitable for night filming.

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technology guidE



The STARVIS is back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors for security camera applications. It features a sensitivity of 2000mV or more per 1µm² (color product, when imaging with a 706 cd/m² light source, F5.6 in 1s accumulation equivalent), and realizes high picture quality in the visible light and near infrared light regions.

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STARVIS gallery

STARVIS: back-illuminated CMOS image sensor

Unlike the front-illuminated type image sensor, the image is acquired through the back side where there are no obstacles such as wiring or circuits, so a wider range of light is collected on the photodiode, achieving high sensitivity. Morever, it uses the very first pixel specifically developed for security use in a back-illuminated structure.

Superior low light performance (0.5 lx)

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What is SNR1s?

Sony is introducing SNR1s [lx] as an index used to quantitatively evaluate picture quality at low illumination. SNR1s [lx] is a proprietary index advocated by Sony, and is limited to CMOS image sensors for security camera applications.

A smaller value indicates better picture quality at low illumination.

SNR1s [lx] is an acronym consisting of "SNR" (Signal-to-Noise Ratio), "1" (represents that the signal level when noise =1 is 1), and "s" (for Security).

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Note: SNR1s is a new index proposed by Sony for picture quality at low illumination, and is limited to CMOS image sensors for security applications.

Schematic of SNR1s Measurement Method

Figure 1 shows a schematic of SNR1s measurement.

Two 3200 [K] light sources illuminate an 18% grey chart from different directions, and dimming is performed to 100 [lx]. A camera is placed so that the distance from the grey chart to the imaging surface of the image sensor is 1 m, the sensitivity [e-] and dark noise [e-] are measured, and SNR1s [lx] is calculated using the relational equation (1). The luminance when equation (1) is SNR1s [lx].

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SNR1s Values of CMOS Image Sensors for Security Applications

SNR1s [lx]: A smaller value indicates better picture quality at low illumination.


Darkness arouses unease. To capture images even in dark areas and ensure peace of mind, efficient capture of near-infrared light is essential. Sony's photodetectors ar emade with the optimum structure to capture near-infrared light and provide clear images even in darkness.

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With many security camera images in which light and dark regions coexist, there is a need to clearly capture both regions.

To meet this need, this technology enables both the light and dark regions to be captured clearly to achieve higher security camera visual recognition performance.

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Provision of STARVIS logo data

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Use of positive reproduction

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Use of negative reproduction

Customers may use the "STARVIS" logo with Sony's approval in the following circumstances only. Before provision of the logo data, a logo usage agreement will be concluded with the customer. 

Products: Customers' products incorporating Sony's CMOS image sensors equipped with STARVIS technology.

Materials/media: Product packaging, catalogs, posters, informational websites and other promotional materials, as well as fixtures at exhibitions (panel, etc...) relating to the above mentioned products.


  • The logo may not be used on the  body of a product or in a system (including in application interfaces, etc...).

  • Sony will conduct a preliminary review before concluding the logo usage agreement. Notification of the results will not be publicized. Please be aware that Sony cannot comply with customers' requests in all cases.

  • Sony accepts no responsibility in any matters resulting from use of the logo.

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