Nice detective work on the subject by all . Many of these FIMI drones have been shipped by now. I'm very curious, has the mystery been solved yet? What sensor is used in the FIMI x8 SE 2020?
The Mystery That Is The Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 Image Sensor
Here at Action Camera Finder we keep tabs on the latest goings on in the action camera, gimbal and camera drone industries, there are always speculation to new hardware used on the latest releases, and nothing has fascinated us in recent years as that of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 drone cameras image sensor.
What's the mystery you might be asking? It's simple, but one which has such a large story already, which image sensor does the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 camera drone use.
This is something we are interested in, as it is a feature people can use to make a decision on whether this drone is for them or not. We have discovery and comparison tools for action cameras, gimbals and camera drones, and adding that specification to the drones features will make for a better tool.
For the life of us though, we just can't seem to find out what image sensor it uses. So we thought we should create this article to highlight the research we have done and the guesses us and other Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 drone owners and those waiting for their drones have made.
First off, this drone is an exact copy of the 2018 version, visually, but there are many differences that the specs go in to greater detail to show. But the last critical piece of information we're all keen to work out, is what image sensor is used on the newer version!?
The 2018 drone used a very regular image sensor size, one typical of many camera drones and action cameras, a 1/2.3" image sensor by Sony, the IMX 378.
Where things get interesting is that the 2020 drone has been advertised as a 1/2.6" image sensor sized camera drone, ok great, a little change in size, minute difference.
The difference here is less than half a mm, with the 2020 version having a 7.04mm image sensor diagonally and the previous version being 7.66mm diagonally.
But what is the difference? What image sensor is actually being used?
We really don't know, and it seems that most guesses are wild guesses right now. If we look at our action camera comparison tool we can see that there are a couple of cameras utilising a 1/2.6" image sensor.
One of those cameras is the Fimi Palm Gimbal action camera, this is probably the best info we have on which sensor is being used in the X8 SE 2020 drone.
It makes sense too, they are the exact same company, with Fimi creating both the gimbal action camera and the drones, so why not share hardware between their technologies and filming equipment to save on overheads in development.
There is just one problem, we have no idea what image sensor the Fimi Palm is using, other than it's the 1/2.6", as advertised in the manual and the same with the drone too.
Are There Any Other Hints as to the Image Sensor Being Used
On a couple of X8 SE drone groups we have seen a bit of discussion as to which image sensor is being used and even people suggesting that some documentation stated the drone actually uses a 1/3" sized image sensor.
Someone found out that the Fimi Palm (which is the best guess as to the image sensor being used) actually uses a HiSilicon 3559 image processor/chipset. And when you look for cameras that use this processor, you will find that they are partnered with image sensors of 1/3" in size.
On our camera discovery tool you can see the action cameras that use the HiSilicon 3559 image processor, they are the Apeman Trawo A100 and the Seabird 4K, which is mentioned in the screenshot above.
Both of which are 1/2.3" sized image sensors.
So this goes to show that even if the Fimi Palm does use this HiSilicon 3559 and has the same advertised image sensor size as the X8 SE 2020 drone, this chipset can be partnered with different image sensors succesfully. Both the Apeman Trawo and Seabird 4K produce high quality images and are two decent action cameras.
What the screenshot continues to state is that in the printed manual of the X8 SE 2020 they advertise it as a 1/3.06" sized image sensor.
This has since been redacted by Xiaomi Fimi and they are continuing to state that the camera drone is indeed a 1/2.6" image sensor.
Could It Be Using A 1/2.55" Sized Image Sensor That Has Been Rounded Up
The screenshot then goes on to stay that Sony don't actually make a 1/2.6" image sensor, with the nearest being a 1/2.55" which is the Sony IMX260 or the Sony IMX362/3.
Unfortunately we don't have any action cameras in our list of nearly 100 with either of those two image sensors. Which leads us to believe that it is not any of those. But that doesn't mean it isn't the 1/2.5" image sensor which has been rounded up for the documentation.
What is interesting is that when we filter by image sensor size of 1/2.5", we actually end up with 4 high profile and top of the range action cameras from the past couple of years which are all using the Sony IMX317 image sensor.
The cameras using this image sensor size are:
- Gitup F1
- Paralenz Dive, a fantastic scuba and diving action camera which takes outstanding underwater footage in dark environments.
- Sony FDR X3000
- Xiaomi Mijia 4K
What really excites us here is that if this is the image sensor being used, it is quite a high profile image sensor and with some fantastic qualities!
What makes us think that this is possible is that there are two reasons why this image sensor is being used.
Low Light Quality and Noise of 1/2.5" Sony IMX317
It's not a 1/2.55" image sensor, but the Sony IMX 317 is a 1/2.5" image sensor which is close enough and has two things going for it.
We recently saw a low light scene taken with the new Xioami Fimi X8 SE 2020 and it looked like an improvement over the 2018 drone. So this means that this image sensor could be great for low light and is why the Sony FDRX3000, Xiaomi Mijia 4K, Paralenz Dive and Gitup F1 all use it.
Unless they have chosen to work around a smaller sensor size like the 1/2.6" or 1/3" with better software and were waiting for the X8 SE 2020 to push these developments out in firmware updates?
Xiaomi Are The Parent Company of Fimi
And with that in mind, why wouldn't they utilize an image sensor they have used in the past, with the Mijia 4K action camera?
It uses the Sony IMX317 image sensor and they could save on overheads and repurpose it for the camera drone?
Another development came out in the above screenshot which is inkeeping with the idea that the 1/2.6" image sensor is the one being used in the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 camera drone and here are a few possible outcomes.
The drone could be using a Sony IMX234, Sony IMX240, Sony IMX318 or Sony IMX519.
They have come about this as a recent development has found out that the actual effective resolution of the X8 SE 2020 is not actually 12MP, but instead, 16MP.
And the above image sensors are all 1/2.6" image sensors which are capable of 16 MP photos.
As you can see above, someone has rooted through the Fimi Navi app and found options for 16MP photos and enabled them.
The screenshot continues on to state that the IMX318 is 22.5MP so that is no longer a contender for which image sensor is used in the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020.
It then says why aren't they advertising which image sensor it is, and because they are not, it can not be the Sony IMX 519 which is a fantastic and high-end image sensor.
Unfortunately we don't have any action cameras or camera drones with either of the IMX 234 or IMX 240 Sony image sensors, so we can't see as to what are being used by them.
But the screenshot does state the the IMX 240 which is more likley a candidate as the image sensor for the X8 SE 2020 is a great image sensor, fits the size of 1/2.6" and was used with the Samsung Galaxy S6 which was released a few years ago
What Other Image Sensors Are 1/2.55"
There are many, about 12 or so image sensors which are 1/2.55" in size but not in our database, here they are.
- Sony IMX 260 is the first one mentioned in the first screen shot and is a 12.2 MP resolution image sensor
- Sony IMX 333 is another 12.2MP res image sensor
- Sony IMX 345 is another 12.2MP resolution sensor
- Sony IMX 362 is another 12.2MP image sensor which is 1/2.55" in size
- Sony IMX 363 is another 12.2MP image sensor
- Sony IMX 445 is 1/2.55" in size and takes 12MP photos
- Sony IMX 503 is another 12.2MP image sensor
- Sony IMX 563 is another 12.2MP image sensor
- Sony IMX 708 takes 12.2MP photos and is also 1/2.55" in size
So if the camera is any of these, it is actually a 1/2.55" sized image sensor that they have rounded up in the documentation, which would be confusing.
Which Image Sensors Can Take 16MP Photos
To thicken the plot that little bit more, here are some action cameras which take 16mp photos:
- Gitup Git 2 uses the Panasonic MN34120 image sensor
- Hawkeye Firefly Q6 uses the Sony IMX078 image sensor
- SJCam A20 uses the Sony IMX335 image sensor
- Hawkeye Firefly 8SE uses the Sony IMX117 image sensor
- AEE S70 image sensor is unkown to us
- SJCam M20 uses the Sony IMX 206 image sensor
- Nikon Coolpix W300 is unkown to us
The problem here, is that none of these have a 1/2.6" image sensor, they are all 1/2.3"
So in one way it gives us no extra clues, but keeps us on the track that 1/2.6" could be the image sensor size being used and is shared with the Fimi Palm Gimbal Action Camera.
Many are still waiting on their Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE 2020 as it has just been released in May of 2020, a handful already have theirs delivered from their preorder they did earlier in the year.
We will sure enough find out soon what image sensor is used in the drone, we'll just have to wait for someone to take one apart.
Same Image Sensor As Fimi Palm
But for now, the image sensor could be any, the same 1/2.6" image sensor used in the Fimi Palm, we are unaware of what this is, do you know?
A 1/3" Sized Image Sensor
- Panasonic MN34120 if it is a 1/3" image sensor
- Sony IMX 258 if it is a 1/3" image sensor
Either of these two fit the bill if it is a 1/3" image sensor which the printed user guide originally stated.
A 1/2.55" or 1/2.5" Image Sensor
Of which they have just rounded up, to keep people off the scent. A couple of these image sensor could be justified, because of the photo resolution of 16MP which has recently been found to be usable in the Navi App and that the Xiaomi Mi company have used one of these image sensor sizes before.
- Sony IMX260 which is a 1/2.55" image sensor
- Sony IMX317 which is a 1/2.5" image sensor and used in the Xiaomi Mijia 4k Action Camera
Another Sony 1/2.6" Image Sensor
Which is what they state is the size in the online documentation, specs and user guides you can see on their site. The following image sensors tick this box as all being 1/2.6" in size.
- Sony IMX234
- Sony IMX240
- Sony IMX318 is not a 16MP resolution image sensor, it has 22.5MP resolution.
- Sony IMX519
With the Sony IMX 519, the IMX 234 and the IMX 240 all having 16MP photo resolutions.
Which image sensor do you think it will be? Our bets are on the Sony IMX 240 or the Sony IMX 317 being used in the Xioami Fimi X8 SE 2020 camera drone.
We still don't know, have been researching and lurking on Fimi and other drone groups but yet to find out.
We'll make sure to post an article when we do!
Author of this text missed small details in fimi Navi screenshot. This 16m size says exact resolution which is 4608x3456 and there are 5 Sony sensors that match this exact resolution... Imx 371, imx 398, imx 471, imx 498, imx 499
IMX 371 is a 1/3" sensor
IMX 398 is a 1/2.8" sensor
IMX 471 is a 1/3" sensor
IMX 498 is a 1/2.8" sensor
IMX 499 is also a 1/2.8" size image sensor
That Omnivision looks like it could be it too but is 1/2.4", these all seem like very good image sensors k.ox! Really impressed with your research, exciting to imagine any of these and thanks for adding your thoughts.
Wondering if it isn't 1/2.6" then as stated in the specs.
Doesn't seem like there are any other action cameras or drones with these image sensor sizes in the database, new territory!