When I compared Sony FX7 to Sony FX1, I didn’t know what to make of the new CMOS sensor.
In the past, CMOS sensors were only used in single-CMOS, low-end camcorders like the Sony Hc1 or HC3. As far as I know, there were practically NO advantages to using CMOS over CCD.
Things might have changed with the new generation of CMOS sensors from Sony. Just take a look at the graphic below.
Apart from the 45 degree angle of the pixel layout, Sony claims the new ClearVid CMOS chips have a new processor which interpolates the 960×1080 pixels of each CMOS to achieve “full 1080p” (i.e. 1920x1080p).
Normally, interpolation is looked upon because it implies smearing and artefacts (just check out your digital zoom). Sony, however, claims that the new CMOS setup actually results in more detail and less smear and has this pic to prove it.
As you can see, there’s a lot more detail in the brick wall. There’s also improvements in the way the new CMOS sensor reduces smear/flair and improves the dynamic range (see below).
I eagerly expect another camera shootout that will validate (or not) Sony’s claims as this could mean a radical shift from CCDs to CMOS sensors for high-end cameras as well (e.g. Sony V1U).