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October 28, 2004 — Sharp Japan announced Tuesday it will begin shipping its new 8.5-megapixel 1/1.8-inch CCD sensor in January. The Sharp RJ21V3BAOET measures just 7.2 x 5.3mm and packs 8.3 effective megapixels. The new CCD should translate to more compact digital cameras with better imaging capabilities. A primary color filter and standard 4:3 aspect ratio provide the basics of a good sensor, but the ability to capture 640 x 480 videos at 30 frames a second — on such a small surface — will make this sensor a popular choice. The Sharp RJ21V3BAOET will sell for about 8000 Japanese yen or US $75-80. Apparently, Sharp Japan expects the CCD to be a big hit, as it plans on cranking out 2 million every month.