Based on a proposed electrically tunable liquid crystal (LC) micro-lens array (MLA) instead of a commonly used microlens array with fixed focal length in a conventional type, a new prototyped Shack-Hartmann sensor is reported. The LCMLA with 128 × 128 elements is fabricated by the methods of photolithography and hydrochloric acid etching. Composed of the proposed LC-MLA and a CCD, a new type Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor is got. This kind sensor can solve problems of the tradition wavefront sensor that the larger measurement range and high measurement accurate can't be realized by the same device. Except for adaptive switching the two working modes, this wavefront sensor also has a dual-mode imaging feature with obtaining wavefront information of the target and it's two-dimensional optical intensity image at the same time. In order to verify it's characteristics, an extreme experiment is designed, which introduces a distortion wavefront. At this circumstanc, the traditional wavefront sensor can't get anything. However, with proposed wavefront sensor, this situation can be solved by adjusting the applied voltage of LC-MLA to change it's focal length. With a reconstruction method, the three-dimensional information of the wavefront can be got. At the same time, the two-dimensional optical intensity image is also got. From the experiments, we can prove that it can effectively improve detection sensitivity and dynamic measurement range of wavefront. Results of the prototype demonstrated qualitatively verify this feasibility. This kind new type wavefront sensor will have a wide variety of applications in adaptive optics.