A few months ago we mentioned that compact camera manufacturers were approaching smartphone competition the wrong way. We posited that instead of adding creepy unique features like sleeping face recognition and make-up mode, they should instead be focusing on improving ease-of-use and image quality.

It seems that Sharp was listening — or at least had the same idea — because they just announced a new 20-megapixel 1/2.3-type CCD sensor for use in compact cameras, the RJ23G3BA0LT. The new sensor is smaller than most, but even though it boasts only a 1.20µm pixel pitch, Sharp claims that it has the same sensitivity as similarly sized 16-megapixel sensors with 1.34µm pixels.

The new sensor will also support 720p video at 30fps; and while sampling won’t start until later this month — with full-scale production of 200,000 sensors per day not scheduled until August — this might be one small step towards saving the compact camera from existence. Of course, that’s only if smartphone manufacturers don’t start using the same technology to cram more pixels into their own creations.

(via Photography Blog via TogTech)