While smartphone cameras may never be able to fully replace a high end digital camera, they're definitely giving it a darn good try. We've already seen the first 8-megapixel camera phones hitting the streets, and now OmniVision has announced the development of a 12.7 megapixel camera chip sensor capable of full resolution stills at 24 frames per second. As well as helping ensure that mobile photographers are able to grab all the action by minimizing shutter lag between shots, the new sensor also caters for in-device image editing and high dynamic range photography.

The new OV12830 camera chip sensor is built on the same 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture as last year's OV8850 module, but has been designed for mobile devices moving beyond 8 megapixels. It features an active array of 4,224 x 3,000 pixels and is OmniVision's highest resolution 1/3.2-inch optical format sensor to date, and fits into the industry-standard module size of 8.5 x 8.5 mm currently housing 8-megapixel sensors.

In addition to the impressive 24 fps at 12.7 megapixels stills capture capability, the sensor can also shoot 10-megapixel images at 30 fps, and there's support for 10-bit RAW RGB output. Full resolution alternative row output at two different exposures offers HDR video/image possibilities and there are programmable controls for frame rate. Image quality controls like defective pixel correction, lens shading correction and black level calibration are also programmable through a standard serial SCCB interface. On the editing front, in-device cropping, mirror and flip, windowing and scaling, and horizontal/vertical sub-sampling are all supported.

While not quite as impressive as the 4K2K video capabilities offered by OmniVision's 16- megapixel 1/2.3-inch OV16820 and OV16825 sensors unveiled late last month, the new OV12830 is capable of capturing full 1080p video at 60 frames per second in low lighting conditions, with additional pixels for electronic image stabilization.

The new sensor is currently in sampling ahead of anticipated volume production in Q4 2012