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Thread: Sony's new sensors

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    Sony's new sensors

    I thought this was interesting news and might be the near future of how large CMOS sensors are used with MF seeing that it eliminates the need for micro lenses.

    Sony RX2 Curved Sensor Image Leaked « NEW CAMERA

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this completely kill the technical camera market?

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    Senior Member MaxKißler's Avatar
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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    I doubt that this technology will find its way into the established camera systems be it MF or smaller formats. Mainly because the optics that were already developed prevent a sensible use of such a sensor. It could be interesting for completely new camera designs in a market segmant that doesn't require any specialty applications i.e. you only have one unshifted lens such as in cell phones, bridgecameras or maybe even in a mirrorless special wide angle camera. We'll see.

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    When looking at small sensor technology one should keep in mind that they are plagued with extremely poor angular response (partly due to small pixel size), and we can see now that the new MF sized Sony CMOS still has very poor angular response compared to the larger pixel MF CCDs.

    So when they talk about huge improvements in sensitivity on the sides and no need for micro lenses this is in a small format context, it could still mean that angular response is less good than say a 6um Dalsa sensor. Not sure that actually is the case... but I know that for MF sensors angular response is usually around 40 degrees or so, and with sensors for compacts the range used to be like 10 degrees, ie what considered "good" is on a different scale.

    Curved sensors open up for interesting lens designs, my guess is that you can simplify optics and improve corner sharpness at the same time.

    edit: uhh... mixed it up with RX100, RX2 is 135 full-frame of course. Makes it indeed more interesting. I would still remain a bit skeptical about angular response performance, it will be better compared to the current Sony full-frame sensors, but those don't have good angular response at all, from a tech cam perspective.
    Last edited by torger; 15th June 2014 at 12:30.

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this completely kill the technical camera market?
    Yes a curved sensor is not great for shifting . It will also require different lens designs, as seen on the image the curving is visible to the eye and thus rather large, and this means you need to design optics which has field of curvature that matches. This is great for a compact camera when you design one lens for one sensor, but it's probably not going to happen for any system anytime soon, as it would be a completely new lens line only working with curved sensors.

    As a sidenote -- already the Sony CMOS in IQ250 is designed for not being shifted: along the sides the microlenses are offset to get better response for wide angle lenses, but this of course breaks when shifting the lens.

    What the tech cam community needs is photo diodes at the surface, which I think is much better than a curved sensor but harder to produce. It should have excellent angular response as far as I understand, which is what tech cameras need. Imagine no more color cast and crosstalk issues with wide angles, even the SK28 and SK35. That exists in the RX100 compact if I remember correctly, but in no larger sensor due to it's hard to make.
    Last edited by torger; 15th June 2014 at 12:34.
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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post

    As a sidenote -- already the Sony CMOS in IQ250 is designed for not being shifted: along the sides the microlenses are offset to get better response for wide angle lenses, but this of course breaks when shifting the lens.
    Wow!!!! I have always appreciated your input but this one really is more than just a little interesting. I have put the IQ250 way back on some really low burner..... I was not interested because of giving up pixels AND having to deal with a cropped sensor. But this revelation adds a whole new meaning to 'Wait until the dust settles'. Crippled shifting??? I would/will never purchase this back. Cmos for MFDB has a long ways to go......

    Victor

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Curved sensors means mostly new lenses. That sucks.
    Eduardo

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Yes it does, but it also means much simpler lens designs with hopefully associated quality improvements.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Unfortunately, it probably is not going to be useful or even desirable to use this in an interchangeable lens system. Field curvature is related to focal length. Great for a specific short focal length lens, not so ideal for long focal length lenses.

    What this would be great for is fast systems that have a know curvature, like Schmidt cameras, although they are going to have to have a convex surface.

    I am not sure why this design would eliminate micro lenses? Micro lenses are used on all pixels to effectively create a larger surface area for the pixel.
    Will

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    I think the future ( > 10-20 yrs ) lies in flexible and stretchable "sensors" that can tilt, shift, stretch, compress in order to comply with our requirements and the optical tool used ( and perhaps in a lighter vein, even make a kissing sound when everything is in focus ). Think of it as a 5x5 inch piece of "rubberised" sensor hooked to motors that do the movements. Until then, I'm done buying... Well, perhaps maybe not until I pass the "GAS" of wanting a Leica S as a travel companion to my Tech kit.
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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    Wow!!!! I have always appreciated your input but this one really is more than just a little interesting. I have put the IQ250 way back on some really low burner..... I was not interested because of giving up pixels AND having to deal with a cropped sensor. But this revelation adds a whole new meaning to 'Wait until the dust settles'. Crippled shifting??? I would/will never purchase this back. Cmos for MFDB has a long ways to go......
    I have not seen in any documentation published by Phase One that the back has offset microlenses, but the A7r sensor indeed has (well-documented) and the early IQ250 tech cam tests showed a behavior that strongly indicates that they have kept the same design for this larger sensor, so I'm confident that it indeed is the case. But it would be nice if Phase One actually made this type of information available to potential buyers so we did not have to guess.

    One should say that you need to shift quite far before the offset microlenses becomes a problem, ie the center of the lens must be close to the edge of the sensor. From a tech cam perspective the narrow angular response in general of the IQ250 sensor is a larger problem than the offset microlenses.

    This new curved sensor has a much stronger impact on lens design and probably makes even small shifts impossible.

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    i would assume these are spherically curved?

    and that the radius of curvature would not depend simply on the lens focal length but the actual focal distance?

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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Sony isn't waiting around for us to speculate, we could be getting a piece of the action by end of the year if they keep up the pace: Sony says “We are ready” to produce curved sensors on mass scale. | sonyalpharumors

    Has there ever been a camera company that's been this aggressive regarding new technology roll-outs in recent years? It seems like every couple of weeks that Sony announces something new and then proceeds to get it to market as soon as possible.
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    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: Sony's new sensors

    Curved-surface digital sensors is an old idea, which astronomers already implemented over a decade ago.

    Eg. this paper from 2001, where the thinning process for a backside-illuminated CCD resulted in the convex shape they needed to bring a Schmidt camera into the digital era.

    Interesting to see what Sony are up to - thanks for the link. Their device would have to be paired with specific lenses that have matching concave field curvature.

    Ray

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