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Gear Talk => Canon General => Topic started by: Canon Rumors on March 04, 2013, 07:19:39 AM

Title: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Canon Rumors on March 04, 2013, 07:19:39 AM
Press Release
TOKYO, March 4, 2013—Canon Inc. announced today that the company has successfully developed a high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor exclusively for video recording. Delivering high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, the new Canon 35 mm CMOS sensor*1 enables the capture of Full HD video even in exceptionally low-light environments.

The newly developed CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in Canon’s top-of-the-line EOS-1D X and other digital SLR cameras. In addition, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects. When recording video of astral bodies, while an electron-multiplying CCD,*2 which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude-6 stars, Canon’s newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and above.*3

Using a prototype camera employing the newly developed sensor, Canon successfully captured a wide range of test video,*4 such as footage recorded in a room illuminated only by the light from burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video of the Geminid meteor shower. The company is looking to such future applications for the new sensor as astronomical and natural observation, support for medical research, and use in surveillance and security equipment. Through the further development of innovative CMOS sensors, Canon aims to expand the world of new imaging expression.

Canon Marketing Japan Inc. will be exhibiting a prototype camera that incorporates the newly developed 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and sample footage captured with the camera at SECURITY SHOW 2013, which will be held from Tuesday, March 5, to Friday, March 8, at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Tokyo, Japan.

cr

Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Ricku on March 04, 2013, 07:37:39 AM
Exclusively for video? Hooray!  ::)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: pj1974 on March 04, 2013, 07:43:01 AM
Sounds very promising!!

Hopefully this technology will also 'trickle through' / cross-polinate to stills, as I believe it could really benefit DSLR photos too! :) Any advancement is great news.

Paul
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: simonxu11 on March 04, 2013, 07:43:18 AM
Another development announcement .......lol........where's the 200-400 f4 IS 1.4x which they announced two years ago ::) ::)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: verysimplejason on March 04, 2013, 07:44:32 AM
Exclusively for video? Hooray!  ::)

The development of the technology is what's important.  It will surely translate to stills eventually or it might not depending on the IQ and DR produced by such tech. 
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: nebugeater on March 04, 2013, 07:49:31 AM
But it might work out for those video clips that are exactly one frame long too!

Exclusively for video? Hooray!  ::)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: AvTvM on March 04, 2013, 07:59:26 AM
Exclusively for video? Hooray!  ::)

+100 - Halleluja! Canon suck up to the videots!


However, I will take a "leading edge" FF sensor ... in a truly innovative ***STILLS ONLY*** mirrorless camera! :-)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: CanNotYet on March 04, 2013, 08:23:50 AM
So if I get this right, Canon is taking a full frame sensor, and ENLARGING the pixels on it 7.5 times, and then market it as the best ISO performer on the market? DUH!

So the pixel count will be 18MP / 7.5^2 = 0,3 MP on a FF?

Ehm, I might have completely misunderstood, but how is this technical progress?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Lee Jay on March 04, 2013, 08:34:36 AM
So if I get this right, Canon is taking a full frame sensor, and ENLARGING the pixels on it 7.5 times, and then market it as the best ISO performer on the market? DUH!

Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Rat on March 04, 2013, 08:34:55 AM
So the pixel count will be 18MP / 7.5^2 = 0,3 MP on a FF?
No, the area is 7.5 times bigger, not 7.5^2. That's 18/7.5=2.4, which is slightly more than full hd. But it is a nicely spun pr message, I'll give you that.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: CanNotYet on March 04, 2013, 08:47:10 AM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO). It would be kind of obvious to think that noise decreases when pixels get larger (at Hi-ISO).

(maybe those are two different sources of noise I am talking about?)
Quote
7.5, not 7.2^2.
Yeah, my bad. :) But I think the principle is the same...2.4MP on FF would have lower HI-ISO noise than 18MP...I guess... :D
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: AprilForever on March 04, 2013, 08:58:11 AM
So, this and the thing about the guy using video to capture stills.... Canon, don't forget photographers. Also, don't forget that photography is not videography. Crank out somrthing to tickle the video industry, then get back to stills...
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Axilrod on March 04, 2013, 09:35:30 AM
So, this and the thing about the guy using video to capture stills.... Canon, don't forget photographers. Also, don't forget that photography is not videography. Crank out somrthing to tickle the video industry, then get back to stills...

Lol you never fail to complain when something you're not interested in shows up on here.  Can't you just ignore it and be happy for the people that shoot video?  And yes there were 2 articles about video, but what about the 10 photo related posts in a row before that?  Oh right, you're not interested in it so therefore Canon has forgotten about photographers.  You're assuming that one takes away from the other, when in reality they are separate divisions.  The Motion Picture industry is just as big or bigger than photography, just because you aren't a part of it doesn't mean they don't deserve any new gear.

I'm curious as to what piece of gear you are looking for that you feel is holding you back so much, because clearly you are looking for something specific and not seeing it.  So what is it?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 09:38:38 AM
If the image circle is circular, then a 16:9 sensor could be slightly wider than a 3:2 sensor. But a 1:1 sensor could have a lot more area than either.

That's just it, though. Many EF lenses don't project a circular image. Not only do a number have baffles that mask off anything coming from outside the 24mm x 36mm imaging area, some lenses -- such as the 50mm f/1.0 -- don't even have fully circular elements. On the 50mm f/1.0, the tops and bottoms of at least some of the elements have been truncated.

Quote
the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases.

im not nativ english speaking but. that sounds wrong.. not?

more noise with larger photosites? 

I believe the point they're making is that, though the noise per pixel generally goes down with larger sensors, the noise per unit of area generally goes up.

So, with your low megapickle large area per pixel sensor, at 100% resolution (pixel peeping) things will look cleaner, but there'll be more total noise in the image as a whole than with a high megapickle small area per pixel sensor.

This would, as usual assume the same level of quality control, similar technologies, and the rest.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: emag on March 04, 2013, 09:59:48 AM
For those of us who do astrophotography, video has for some time been the preferred method for imaging the moon and planets.  The best frames from a video stream are extracted, stacked and processed.  A high resolution imager that can get to magnitude 8.5 would be a welcome addition, bringing a large number of interesting deep sky objects within reach of this technique.  Not too many years ago I was freezing my a$$ off taking 20+ minute film exposures through a scope and happy to get 2 or 3 good frames out of a roll of film.....and the quality sucked compared to what is attainable in 30 seconds with a Rebel series camera.  Although I can understand how underwhelmed many photographers might be, I hope this new Canon sensor is the beginning of deep sky videography.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Stuart on March 04, 2013, 10:57:29 AM
So if I get this right, Canon is taking a full frame sensor, and ENLARGING the pixels on it 7.5 times, and then market it as the best ISO performer on the market? DUH!

So the pixel count will be 18MP / 7.5^2 = 0,3 MP on a FF?

Ehm, I might have completely misunderstood, but how is this technical progress?

Me too, is this just bigger pixels?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: c.d.embrey on March 04, 2013, 11:00:23 AM
The sensitivity is impressive!! 0.03 lux = 0.002787091 footcandles. For those of you who know nothing of lux or footcandles, at ISO 100 a meter reading of 100 footcandles give you f/2.8 at 24 frames a second.

I don't think we'll be seeing this technology in a consumer product this year or next :)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: AprilForever on March 04, 2013, 11:15:45 AM
So, this and the thing about the guy using video to capture stills.... Canon, don't forget photographers. Also, don't forget that photography is not videography. Crank out somrthing to tickle the video industry, then get back to stills...

Lol you never fail to complain when something you're not interested in shows up on here.  Can't you just ignore it and be happy for the people that shoot video?  And yes there were 2 articles about video, but what about the 10 photo related posts in a row before that?  Oh right, you're not interested in it so therefore Canon has forgotten about photographers.  You're assuming that one takes away from the other, when in reality they are separate divisions.  The Motion Picture industry is just as big or bigger than photography, just because you aren't a part of it doesn't mean they don't deserve any new gear.

I'm curious as to what piece of gear you are looking for that you feel is holding you back so much, because clearly you are looking for something specific and not seeing it.  So what is it?

I see a grim trend in a direction I do not like. As the old saaying goes, the squeaking wheel gets the oil. I remember a canon experimental camera from a while ago, a weird white spaceship looking thing, talking about the future of photography being the imager videoing the subject then selecting the best frames. This is NOT a direction I want things going; therefore, I make my voice known. Moreover, I am certain that I am not alone in this.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: pedro on March 04, 2013, 11:20:37 AM
la la la.

Why doesn't Canon actually announce a product rather than things in R&D?

I guess, Canon just want to make sure to us that they're fiddling with new tech. And on a sidenote: If this happens for video, I strongly hope there is something similar ready within the next five years for their 1Dx body update. And given that, the essential part of it surely should trickle down into 5Ds, 6Ds and 7Ds...Please tell me I am wrong, if my one year shy of fifty eyes are way too blueish... 8)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: mrsfotografie on March 04, 2013, 11:21:45 AM
I see a grim trend in a direction I do not like. As the old saaying goes, the squeaking wheel gets the oil. I remember a canon experimental camera from a while ago, a weird white spaceship looking thing, talking about the future of photography being the imager videoing the subject then selecting the best frames. This is NOT a direction I want things going; therefore, I make my voice known. Moreover, I am certain that I am not alone in this.

Same here, I still find it strange when I see someone using a DSLR as a videocamera. Ergonomically it's hopeless so I'm hoping for a spit in stills and video hardware. As for the original post: happy to see some report that Canon is continuing the development advancements in sensor technology, as we should expect.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: pedro on March 04, 2013, 11:24:43 AM
I see a grim trend in a direction I do not like. As the old saaying goes, the squeaking wheel gets the oil. I remember a canon experimental camera from a while ago, a weird white spaceship looking thing, talking about the future of photography being the imager videoing the subject then selecting the best frames. This is NOT a direction I want things going; therefore, I make my voice known. Moreover, I am certain that I am not alone in this.

Same here, I still find it strange when I see someone using a DSLR as a videocamera. Ergonomically it's hopeless so I'm hoping for a spit in stills and video hardware. As for the original post: happy to see some report that Canon is continuing the development advancements in sensor technology, as we should expect.
 

I stronly support your opinion. And yes I hope, the new tech relates to still sensors as well and I expect them to announce it. Hopefully within this year...
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: chauncey on March 04, 2013, 11:40:33 AM
Can anyone explain why DSLRs sensors are not square which would provide more viewing area?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 12:02:39 PM
I wonder if this is a supercooled sensor. As pixel area grows, so does the amount of dark current in the pixel, which means higher read noise. The best way that I know of to reduce noise from dark current is by cooling the sensor. There have been rumors in the past that Canon was working on some kind of active cooling technology...maybe this is the first glimpse of the future to come? If the sensor can detect 0.03 lux at high ISO, that has to mean a proportional drop in noise overall, which should mean, even though it is probably higher at low ISO...it would be much lower than Canon sensors today.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: KyleSTL on March 04, 2013, 12:08:20 PM
Can anyone explain why DSLRs sensors are not square which would provide more viewing area?
This has been gone over more times on this forum than I would ever count.  Simple answer: a square sensor with a diagonal of 43.3mm (same as 36x24mm) would not work due to the extra height needed for the reflex mirror and the flange distance of the EOS system (the taller mirror would hit the rear element or mount of the lens).  And as others have pointed out, not all lenses have round baffles to produce the full image circle (only to cover the portion of the image circle that contains the 36x24mm frame.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: qwerty on March 04, 2013, 12:13:59 PM

Quote
the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases.

im not nativ english speaking but. that sounds wrong.. not?

more noise with larger photosites? 

I believe the point they're making is that, though the noise per pixel generally goes down with larger sensors, the noise per unit of area generally goes up.

So, with your low megapickle large area per pixel sensor, at 100% resolution (pixel peeping) things will look cleaner, but there'll be more total noise in the image as a whole than with a high megapickle small area per pixel sensor.

I'm not sure I follow the "noise per unit of area" thing.

I guess we really have to think of this in the context of very low light levels and not as compared to our dslr sensors. Certainly, for the same level of illumination each of these 19 micron sensels would pick up more photons as compared to a 4.39 micron sensel (like the 7D), and have lower shot noise as compared to the smaller sensel. I'm assuming, (but don't know for sure) that you'd have the same amount of read noise for the two sensels, and hence a better signal to noise ratio for the bigger sensel.
However, if you're pushing to record lower and lower levels of light intensity, then maybe what they mean is "as you try to read lower light levels (and use larger sensels), the shot noise becomes important and with lower light levels the read noise also has a bigger impact on the total noise.

Like I said, I'd be interested to see what neuro and jrista have to say.

I do not have the background to speak to how read noise scales with sensor size but, for the same illumination, photon shot noise will certainly increase for a larger pixel.  Specifically, this noise will increase with the square root of the area.  However, the signal will increase in proportion to the area, leading to a noise-to-signal ratio that decreases for an individual larger pixel (like 1/sqrt(size)), as conventional wisdom of internet message boards expects.

However, the noise(-to-signal-ratio) of an image is not that of an individual pixel.  For reasons I and others have gone into before, if you want to compare the noise between two sensors with different resolutions, you need to divide the per-pixel noise to signal ratio by the square root of the number of pixels to get a figure you can compare between the two sensors.  In other words, there are cases where a lot of low SNR pixels is a lot better than a smaller number of higher SNR pixels.

Long story short, if you have two sensors with the same overall sensor size, quantum efficiency, and a full well capacity and read noise (*) that scales (i.e. increases) with the photosite size, an image converted to a given resolution made from the two sensors will have exactly the same SNR and dynamic range, even if the higher-resolution sensor has a worse SNR if you only look at one pixel.  (But, under the right conditions, the high resolution sensor can obviously give a ... higher resolution final image.  If storage and processing is "cheap", then under these assumed conditions you always want all the megapixels you can get.)


Now, if this new sensor does something like allow large pixels with the same (or lower) read noise per pixel than small sensors, then we have something (remember in the analysis above, you got the same overall picture if the read noise per pixel increased with pixel area).  But I will have to wait for someone more knowledgeable than me about that to chime in.

(*) There might be a square root of the photosite size missing in here; I haven't had my coffee yet this morning, and am too lazy to go looking for it.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Radiating on March 04, 2013, 01:06:25 PM
Is it just me or does this seem like a bunch of made up nonsense?

We're already capturing 50% of the light that enters the camera. And noise and clarity under dark conditions are a result of quantum distribution of electrons. Meaning the noise you capture in a noisy photo is the result of noise from the light itself, not from the camera. You cannot capture less noise than exists in the incoming light, and you cannot capture more light than exists.

These videos seem to show a 4 stop improvement. My guess is that they are simulated by a marketing company and that this is designed to be misleading.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 01:22:02 PM

Quote
the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases.

im not nativ english speaking but. that sounds wrong.. not?

more noise with larger photosites? 

I believe the point they're making is that, though the noise per pixel generally goes down with larger sensors, the noise per unit of area generally goes up.

So, with your low megapickle large area per pixel sensor, at 100% resolution (pixel peeping) things will look cleaner, but there'll be more total noise in the image as a whole than with a high megapickle small area per pixel sensor.

I'm not sure I follow the "noise per unit of area" thing.

I guess we really have to think of this in the context of very low light levels and not as compared to our dslr sensors. Certainly, for the same level of illumination each of these 19 micron sensels would pick up more photons as compared to a 4.39 micron sensel (like the 7D), and have lower shot noise as compared to the smaller sensel. I'm assuming, (but don't know for sure) that you'd have the same amount of read noise for the two sensels, and hence a better signal to noise ratio for the bigger sensel.
However, if you're pushing to record lower and lower levels of light intensity, then maybe what they mean is "as you try to read lower light levels (and use larger sensels), the shot noise becomes important and with lower light levels the read noise also has a bigger impact on the total noise.

Like I said, I'd be interested to see what neuro and jrista have to say.

There are inverse factors at play. Read noise is initially caused by dark current flowing through the sensor (with secondary downstream contributors as well). With a larger pixel area we have a larger photodiode, which means more area for current flow. That increases the contribution to read noise. By how much I can't say...depends on the materials used for the sensor, doping, and a number of other factors. I don't have enough information to offer specific numbers.

On the flip side, the larger sensor area means exponentially greater signal. The 1D X has a 90,000+ electrons in full well capacity (FWC). Assuming a 7.2x larger sensor area and the same Q.E., full well capacity should be somewhere around 650,000 electrons FWC. So, even at the lowest signal levels, there should be a far greater potential charge, simply because there is so much physical area for photons to strike per pixel. Assuming the sensor has a greater Q.E. than the 1D X sensor, then the potential for true sensitivity is even greater, however the FWC is fixed by area, so a higher sensitivity simply means the sensor saturates faster.

The interesting thing about dark current, the prime contributor to read noise at the time of readout, is that it doubles with every 10°C increase in temperature. Conversely, it halves with every 10°C drop in temperature. Assuming a "room temperature" sensor (~23°C), a 10° drop in temperature should improve read noise by a factor of two. Now, it is unlikely a sensor will operate at room temperature, their density and the amount of current used for readout will increase the temperature by a certain amount. Lets say normal usage increases the sensor temperature 10-20°. To get any real benefit, we would need to cool by at least 30° to double read noise performance. According to the specifications of scientific-grade sensors, which use peltier cooling on CCD sensors, by around -80°C dark current is ~200x lower than at normal operating temperatures. That is a drop of ~125°C, so the improvement in dark current is non-linear as you keep cooling (otherwise one would expect a drop of ~1000x in dark current.)

(Aside: For those who wish to test this fact, you can try it with night sky photography on a very cold night. Anyone who does night sky or aurora photography in the northern (or southern) latitudes, you probably know that while your camera's battery performance drops significantly at low (sub-zero) temepratures, your night sky photos have very little, almost no noise. That is all thanks to the fact that dark current is proportional to temperature.)

Dark current today is already mitigated by using CDS, or correlated double sampling, which samples the charge in each pixel when the sensor is reset, and subtracts that charge when the sensor is read for an exposure, effectively eliminating dark current. Analog per-pixel CDS circuitry seems to be a contributor to banding noise, however, which is what lead Sony to move to an on-die, column-parallel Digital CDS approach in Exmor. Regardless, it is possible Canon has developed significantly more efficient CDS circuitry, which, when combined with moderate active cooling to keep the sensor below room temperature, could produce some considerable gains in read noise performance.

That said, if Canon still uses high frequency off-die moderately parallel ADCs in DIGIC chips, I would still suspect the sensor still has banding noise problems. I guess the off-die DIGICs could be cooled as well, and/or the frequency of the ADCs lowered (which should actually be more than possible with a 2.4mp sensor), both of which should lower the banding noise contribution from A/D conversion.

However, if you're pushing to record lower and lower levels of light intensity, then maybe what they mean is "as you try to read lower light levels (and use larger sensels), the shot noise becomes important and with lower light levels the read noise also has a bigger impact on the total noise.

This is true...photon shot noise becomes a problem at higher ISOs (actually, photon shot noise is the primary cause of noise at high ISO...increasing ISO itself does not actually contribute more noise). Nowever, the ratio of signal to read noise is MUCH smaller as well, which is why reducing dark current in the sensor is important. By reducing dark current, you increase efficiency, which supports a higher Q.E., which means that a greater percentage of photons incident on the photodiode itself actually free and electron. By reducing electron contribution to the photodiode from dark current, you increase "true sensitivity", thus making higher ISO settings more effective, with less noise. Combine that with a larger pixel area, and for any given unit of time, SNR should be much higher than with any current Canon sensor, at all signal levels.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Normalnorm on March 04, 2013, 01:37:46 PM
It seems that it may have a real application in a 3 chip camera. The greater sensitivity would be very useful behind beamsplitters. The resolution then would be 3*2.8MP.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Peerke on March 04, 2013, 01:49:58 PM
Oops, this sounds to me like Canon is trying to tell us: "Please don't jump to the dark side, although for the time being we are not able to sell you equal equipment. We are working on some great stuff, so bare with us."
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 01:52:27 PM
Is it just me or does this seem like a bunch of made up nonsense?

We're already capturing 50% of the light that enters the camera. And noise and clarity under dark conditions are a result of quantum distribution of electrons. Meaning the noise you capture in a noisy photo is the result of noise from the light itself, not from the camera. You cannot capture less noise than exists in the incoming light, and you cannot capture more light than exists.

These videos seem to show a 4 stop improvement. My guess is that they are simulated by a marketing company and that this is designed to be misleading.

Actually, if something mentioned by TheSuede recently is correct, we are capturing only about 16-18% of the light entering a camera. We capture between 40% to 60% of the light incident on the photodiode. That means,  40-60% of the photons that pass through the lens, through the IR cut and AA filter, through the CFA, and actually reach the photodiode effectively free an electron. However, only 30-40% of the light that actually reaches the CFA makes it through...as the CFA is explicitly designed to filter out light of certain frequencies. So...50% of 35% is 17.5%...modern cameras are currently working with VERY LITTLE light. We have a long, long way to go before we are recording as much light as we can...and in a bayer type sensor, that would still be at most 40% of the light that makes it through the lens. The lens itself, assuming a multicoating, can cost as much as 15% light loss or more (depending on the angle to a bright light source). Nanocoating improves that, reducing the loss to only a few percent. The IR cut and AA filters cost a few percent as well.

The only way we could preserve more of the light that makes it through the lens would be to either move to grayscale sensors (eliminate the CFA), or use some kind of color splitting in place of a CFA. Combined with nanocoatings on lens elements and an efficient filter stack over the sensor, total light loss could drop to 10% or less, meaning the Q.E. of the photodiode itself determines the rest. 50% of 90% means we would preserve ~45% of the light reaching and passing through the lens on the camera.

As for "noise in the incoming light"...that is kind of a misnomer. Photon shot noise is caused by the random distribution of photon strikes on the sensor's pixels. With larger pixels, noise caused by that physical fact is reduced, as for any given level of light, each pixel on a large-pixel sensor picks up more light than in a small-pixel sensor. To some degree, assuming the same physical characteristics of the silicon used in both a high density vs. very low density sensor, the high density sensor will sense almost the same amount of light in total as the low density sensor...minus small losses due to a greater amount of wiring which reduces the total surface area that is sensitive to light (and yes, losses will occur despite the use of microlenses.) On a size-normal basis (i.e. scaling the higher resolution image down to the same image dimensions of the lower resolution image), the higher resolution image should perform nearly as well as the lower resolution image....assuming the physical characteristics of the sensors are otherwise identical (same temperature, same Q.E., same CFA efficiency, etc.)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 02:21:58 PM
So, this and the thing about the guy using video to capture stills.... Canon, don't forget photographers. Also, don't forget that photography is not videography. Crank out somrthing to tickle the video industry, then get back to stills...

Lol you never fail to complain when something you're not interested in shows up on here.  Can't you just ignore it and be happy for the people that shoot video?  And yes there were 2 articles about video, but what about the 10 photo related posts in a row before that?  Oh right, you're not interested in it so therefore Canon has forgotten about photographers.  You're assuming that one takes away from the other, when in reality they are separate divisions.  The Motion Picture industry is just as big or bigger than photography, just because you aren't a part of it doesn't mean they don't deserve any new gear.

I'm curious as to what piece of gear you are looking for that you feel is holding you back so much, because clearly you are looking for something specific and not seeing it.  So what is it?

I see a grim trend in a direction I do not like. As the old saaying goes, the squeaking wheel gets the oil. I remember a canon experimental camera from a while ago, a weird white spaceship looking thing, talking about the future of photography being the imager videoing the subject then selecting the best frames. This is NOT a direction I want things going; therefore, I make my voice known. Moreover, I am certain that I am not alone in this.

You are assuming that progress on the video front results in zero benefit on the stills front. Sensors are sensors, and they read out the same way regardless. Even if this technology will initially be applied to a low-resolution video camera's sensor does not mean it cannot be applied to high resolution photography sensors in the future. Progress on the sensor technology front is progress on the sensor technology front, and it should benefit Canon products regardless of what category they fall under in the end.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: ddashti on March 04, 2013, 03:11:47 PM
Wow. This might go head-to-head (if not surpass) Nikon's current lineup of legendary low-light performance sensors.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 04, 2013, 03:17:36 PM
1. Suddenly all of the web discussion forum people demanding "lower MP count as this is bound to give better IQ" got more ammunition.

OTOH they said: "In addition, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases."

So for read noise (and total DR) as opposed to photon capture noise....

Quote
2. 16:9 AR using the largest possible image circle in an EF lens. What are they saying?

Just take the largest 16:9 rectangle that can fit inside an EF image circle.

Quote
3. Is this Canon using their silicon fabs advantage/disadvantage where it can be best used (coarser geometry, specialized application)

-h

perhaps, hard to say
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 04, 2013, 03:22:13 PM


I'm not sure I follow the "noise per unit of area" thing.
Like I said, I'd be interested to see what neuro and jrista have to say.

Probably because you've read too much jrista  ;).
He doesn't seem to believe in the concepts of noise per area or normalization (or at least hadn't for a long time).



Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 04, 2013, 03:24:48 PM
Can anyone explain why DSLRs sensors are not square which would provide more viewing area?

sensor cost goes by size, if they made them square then APS_C, to hit same cost, would've been made less width across and since many photos do end up closer to rectangular they figure it is a waste of space- my guess

some older lenses were also masked off to large rectangles too and at a certain size the mirror because trouble
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 04, 2013, 03:28:26 PM
Is it just me or does this seem like a bunch of made up nonsense?

We're already capturing 50% of the light that enters the camera. And noise and clarity under dark conditions are a result of quantum distribution of electrons. Meaning the noise you capture in a noisy photo is the result of noise from the light itself, not from the camera. You cannot capture less noise than exists in the incoming light, and you cannot capture more light than exists.

These videos seem to show a 4 stop improvement. My guess is that they are simulated by a marketing company and that this is designed to be misleading.

you also need to compare 8MP normalization of DxO to the 2MP of this

and you forgot about read noise
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: unfocused on March 04, 2013, 03:29:16 PM
I don't ever get the angst over video advancements from still photographers. What do people think a DSLR is anyway? It is nothing but a video camera optimized for stills.

It's kind of like those who complain that they don't want to "pay" for video because they never use it. It's been explained over and over again – video capability makes DSLRs cheaper not more expensive. Unless you are using film, video enhancements inevitably makes stills photography better.

Wow. This might go head-to-head (if not surpass) Nikon's current lineup of legendary low-light performance sensors.

Nikon has a "lineup of legendary low-light performance sensors?" I must have missed those. Seriously, EVERY review I've read and every comparison I've looked at makes it clear that Canon's lineup of sensors far outperforms Nikon's in high ISO performance. Nikon has been emphasizing megapixels, while Canon has focused on high ISO performance. A few years ago it was the other way around, but since the introduction of the 1D-X Canon has captured the high ISO field.

Take a close look at comparison shots on any of the reputable test sites and it's clear that at higher ISOs Canon outperforms Nikon and Nikon/Sony sensors.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 04, 2013, 03:33:45 PM
Seriously, EVERY review I've read and every comparison I've looked at makes it clear that Canon's lineup of sensors far outperforms Nikon's in high ISO performance.

???

The 1DX is probably only barely better at high ISO than the D4 and it also, I think, has a weaker CFA.
Canon isn't worse at high ISO now but far better???
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 04:16:00 PM
Seriously, EVERY review I've read and every comparison I've looked at makes it clear that Canon's lineup of sensors far outperforms Nikon's in high ISO performance.

???

The 1DX is probably only barely better at high ISO than the D4 and it also, I think, has a weaker CFA.
Canon isn't worse at high ISO now but far better???

I wouldn't say the Canon is "far" better...things are limited largely by physics at that point. In real-world examples, I've noticed more color noise from the D4 at ISO 25600 and 51200 (probably because those settings are digitally amplified, vs. Canon's primarily analog amplification). Outside of that very slight difference, the two cameras are definitely comparable at those levels...you would be hard pressed to notice any real differences in most situations, I think.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 04:31:53 PM


I'm not sure I follow the "noise per unit of area" thing.
Like I said, I'd be interested to see what neuro and jrista have to say.

Probably because you've read too much jrista  ;).
He doesn't seem to believe in the concepts of noise per area or normalization (or at least hadn't for a long time).

I do believe in noise per area normalization. I don't believe that doing so improves photographic dynamic range in any meaningful way. Signal dynamic range, sure, but the process of scaling destroys other image information while normalizing noise...the loss of real-world detail in favor of less apparent noise is a negative tradeoff as far as I am concerned. I don't know how long I'll have to clarify my position on that front...but I don't dispute the benefit purely from a noise standpoint. And when comparing the noise between two cameras, sure, normalize size. If you want to compare photographic dynamic range, normalization destroys detail that might be recoverable with the cameras' native dynamic range at the original image size.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: unfocused on March 04, 2013, 04:32:36 PM
Seriously, EVERY review I've read and every comparison I've looked at makes it clear that Canon's lineup of sensors far outperforms Nikon's in high ISO performance.

???

The 1DX is probably only barely better at high ISO than the D4 and it also, I think, has a weaker CFA.
Canon isn't worse at high ISO now but far better???

I wouldn't say the Canon is "far" better...things are limited largely by physics at that point. In real-world examples, I've noticed more color noise from the D4 at ISO 25600 and 51200 (probably because those settings are digitally amplified, vs. Canon's primarily analog amplification). Outside of that very slight difference, the two cameras are definitely comparable at those levels...you would be hard pressed to notice any real differences in most situations, I think.

Okay. Point well-taken. Post corrected. Strike "far." And, frankly, I may have overreached a bit referring to the 1DX. Upon further consideration, I would say that most of the comparisons I have seen have been between the 5DIII and the D800. General consensus is that the Nikon is great for resolution, but falls apart at higher ISOs, while the 5dIII shines at high ISOs. Early reviews seem to indicate the 6D also performs quite well at high ISOs and from the comparisons I've seen between the 7D and the 24mp Nikons, the Canon 18mp sensor still holds its own against the competition despite its age.

Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 04:35:59 PM
Wow. This might go head-to-head (if not surpass) Nikon's current lineup of legendary low-light performance sensors.

Maybe. There are other things that can add noise besides dark current. Sony Exmor converts sensor data to a digital form as early on in the pipeline as they can, and they gain some benefits from that. They also parallelize processing, allowing lower frequency components, as well as isolating high frequency components away from pixel processors. That minimizes the components in the pipeline that can add additional noise, and minimizes the length of analog components in the pipeline.

So long as Canon continues to use off-die, high frequency ADC and any down-stream amplifiers, I don't foresee their IQ at low ISO being much better than it is now on current Canon sensors, and not as good as Exmor. Dark current is only one of a few primary contributors to noise...the whole pipeline needs to be addressed to compete or surpass the Sony/Nikon alliance and Exmor.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 04:46:21 PM
Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.

Well, in that case, neither are there any "legendary" low-light performance Canon sensors. Canon has "the edge" compared to the D4, but things are really physics-bound at really high ISO, and the margin for improvement is limited. There is a lot more room to grow and "be legendary" on the low ISO end of things, as Canon is currently performing about 2 stops less than the 14-bit depth of their current cameras theoretically allow. A move to 16-bit sensors, assuming Canon still can only produce ~12 stops of DR, would mean they are FOUR STOPS behind the curve.

I think it's tough to really be legendary at ultra high ISO. Things are just too limited, especially for bayer-type sensors. A move to monochrome, or to a color-splitting rather than color-filtering approach, might increase the headroom there and allow a moderately significant jump forward (imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now). I don't foresee color splitting in Canon or Nikon cameras any time particularly soon, and increasing pixel area, along with reducing sensor temperature, are probably the two most effective ways right now to improve photodiode Q.E. and improve high ISO performance...but the gains won't be massive.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: AvTvM on March 04, 2013, 05:38:01 PM
Can anyone explain why DSLRs sensors are not square which would provide more viewing area?
This has been gone over more times on this forum than I would ever count.  Simple answer: a square sensor with a diagonal of 43.3mm (same as 36x24mm) would not work due to the extra height needed for the reflex mirror and the flange distance of the EOS system (the taller mirror would hit the rear element or mount of the lens).  And as others have pointed out, not all lenses have round baffles to produce the full image circle (only to cover the portion of the image circle that contains the 36x24mm frame.

simple solution. a mirrorless camera! Bingo!
Which happens to be exactly what I want.
Even if it does not have a 36x36mm sensor. Although I would gladly take one. :-)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: pedro on March 04, 2013, 06:09:50 PM
Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.



I think it's tough to really be legendary at ultra high ISO. Things are just too limited, especially for bayer-type sensors. A move to monochrome, or to a color-splitting rather than color-filtering approach, might increase the headroom there and allow a moderately significant jump forward (imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now). I don't foresee color splitting in Canon or Nikon cameras any time particularly soon, and increasing pixel area, along with reducing sensor temperature, are probably the two most effective ways right now to improve photodiode Q.E. and improve high ISO performance...but the gains won't be massive.

@jrista: "Imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now"...Hope we get there in about 10 years from now...Likely?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 06:43:43 PM
Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.



I think it's tough to really be legendary at ultra high ISO. Things are just too limited, especially for bayer-type sensors. A move to monochrome, or to a color-splitting rather than color-filtering approach, might increase the headroom there and allow a moderately significant jump forward (imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now). I don't foresee color splitting in Canon or Nikon cameras any time particularly soon, and increasing pixel area, along with reducing sensor temperature, are probably the two most effective ways right now to improve photodiode Q.E. and improve high ISO performance...but the gains won't be massive.

@jrista: "Imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now"...Hope we get there in about 10 years from now...Likely?

Who knows, really. If manufacturers stick to 3-4 year release schedules, it might indeed take that long. Technologically, I think we could probably achieve that today (assuming companies like Canon, Nikon, and Sony had infinite R&D budgets. :P)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: RGF on March 04, 2013, 07:26:50 PM
So if I get this right, Canon is taking a full frame sensor, and ENLARGING the pixels on it 7.5 times, and then market it as the best ISO performer on the market? DUH!

So the pixel count will be 18MP / 7.5^2 = 0,3 MP on a FF?

Ehm, I might have completely misunderstood, but how is this technical progress?

actually divide by the difference in area, not area squared.  18 mp / 7.5 = 2+ MP on full frame.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: qwerty on March 04, 2013, 07:27:15 PM
Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.



I think it's tough to really be legendary at ultra high ISO. Things are just too limited, especially for bayer-type sensors. A move to monochrome, or to a color-splitting rather than color-filtering approach, might increase the headroom there and allow a moderately significant jump forward (imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now). I don't foresee color splitting in Canon or Nikon cameras any time particularly soon, and increasing pixel area, along with reducing sensor temperature, are probably the two most effective ways right now to improve photodiode Q.E. and improve high ISO performance...but the gains won't be massive.

@jrista: "Imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now"...Hope we get there in about 10 years from now...Likely?

Who knows, really. If manufacturers stick to 3-4 year release schedules, it might indeed take that long. Technologically, I think we could probably achieve that today (assuming companies like Canon, Nikon, and Sony had infinite R&D budgets. :P)

You might get your ISO 204800 thats as good as ISO 12800-25600, but its not going to come from sensor efficiency improvements.  You are asking for a 3-4 stop improvement.  Using jrista's numbers earlier in this thread, going from capturing 17.5% of photons to 45% just gives you 1.36 stops (log(45/17.5)/log(2))... even going to 100% photon capture efficiency would just give you 2.5 stops.

I see numbers for quoted QEs for modern sensors at about 50% (see http://sensorgen.info/ (http://sensorgen.info/)), which means that you can only get one more stop out of them (presumably these efficiencies are measured behind the color filter; as jrista points out and I analyze above, you can get a bit more than one by bypassing the color filter)

You might be able to get some benefit from active cooling, but it won't help with photon shot noise.  Anyone have the calcs handy for how many stops (or what fraction of a stop) cooling your sensor with liquid helium (and magically avoiding condensation would buy you)?

The big hope is of course for better image processing algorithms that make the final images "look" less noisy (even though the raw data they are derived from has the same amount of noise).  The upshot to this is your raw images you take today will look better too. 

Of course, bigger sensors help too.  I will buy an 8x10 format mirrorless with per-pixel specs matching the current DSLRs just as soon as I can afford it.  It won't even need active cooling, what with hell being frozen over and all.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 08:02:34 PM
Main point still stands. There is no "legendary" low-light performance on Nikon sensors.



I think it's tough to really be legendary at ultra high ISO. Things are just too limited, especially for bayer-type sensors. A move to monochrome, or to a color-splitting rather than color-filtering approach, might increase the headroom there and allow a moderately significant jump forward (imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now). I don't foresee color splitting in Canon or Nikon cameras any time particularly soon, and increasing pixel area, along with reducing sensor temperature, are probably the two most effective ways right now to improve photodiode Q.E. and improve high ISO performance...but the gains won't be massive.

@jrista: "Imagine ISO 204800 as good as ISO 12800-25600 on the 1D X now"...Hope we get there in about 10 years from now...Likely?

Who knows, really. If manufacturers stick to 3-4 year release schedules, it might indeed take that long. Technologically, I think we could probably achieve that today (assuming companies like Canon, Nikon, and Sony had infinite R&D budgets. :P)

You might get your ISO 204800 thats as good as ISO 12800-25600, but its not going to come from sensor efficiency improvements.  You are asking for a 3-4 stop improvement.  Using jrista's numbers earlier in this thread, going from capturing 17.5% of photons to 45% just gives you 1.36 stops (log(45/17.5)/log(2))... even going to 100% photon capture efficiency would just give you 2.5 stops.

I see numbers for quoted QEs for modern sensors at about 50% (see http://sensorgen.info/ (http://sensorgen.info/)), which means that you can only get one more stop out of them (presumably these efficiencies are measured behind the color filter; as jrista points out and I analyze above, you can get a bit more than one by bypassing the color filter)

You might be able to get some benefit from active cooling, but it won't help with photon shot noise.  Anyone have the calcs handy for how many stops (or what fraction of a stop) cooling your sensor with liquid helium (and magically avoiding condensation would buy you)?

The big hope is of course for better image processing algorithms that make the final images "look" less noisy (even though the raw data they are derived from has the same amount of noise).  The upshot to this is your raw images you take today will look better too. 

Of course, bigger sensors help too.  I will buy an 8x10 format mirrorless with per-pixel specs matching the current DSLRs just as soon as I can afford it.  It won't even need active cooling, what with hell being frozen over and all.

That would be 2.5 stops for full-sensor sensitivity for current-sized sensors. Per-pixel sensitivity can increase by increasing area, so once you hit the limits of Q.E., you can continue improving per-pixel performance by making them larger. That obviously has the impact of reducing image resolution. You can continue getting better overall sensor performance at current pixel counts with larger sensors. Given how cheap FF is becoming, for low-light fiends, it might become practical to produce a larger sensor for the really high-end ($7000+) DSLR's that maintain pixel count with much larger pixels.

Of course...you need a new lens system to support that unless Canon can figure out a way to make the EF mount compatible...maybe with an adapter for current lenses like they did with EOS-M...
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Lee Jay on March 04, 2013, 08:15:51 PM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: tnargs on March 04, 2013, 09:25:51 PM
I remember a canon experimental camera from a while ago, a weird white spaceship looking thing, talking about the future of photography being the imager videoing the subject then selecting the best frames. This is NOT a direction I want things going;

That reminds me a bit of the Canon N that came out last year.

All changes that happen in all areas happen despite the Old School moaning and fighting and withholding their credit cards at every step.

I am also reminded when Nintendo brought out the Wii. The Old School of video gamers pilloried and blasted and canned it from wall to wall and announced that this is the end of Nintendo because no one will buy it. They wanted a standard machine but with more video resolution, more speed, more audio. Just keep the same old formula but ever better.

Is there a parallel in photography, I wonder.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Bosman on March 04, 2013, 09:46:23 PM
I don't care about this. I think it was around 2006 or 2007 I heard about Canon having developed a 50mp sensor. Yippie 6/7 years later and still nothing from that that helps unless the 50mp sensor had the new Micro-lenses design that added to the sensors today. Certainly Canon hasn't advanced sensor tech enough to see major advancement other than high iso which is probably more a software than a hardware thing.
Ok i will be honest here about advancements. I realize that a 50mp sensor is of no use without major advancements in memory tech and decreases in memory storage costs. I still wouldn't want a 50mp camera 5 yrs from now for that reason. So i'll give them that but like the Nikon Mantra, wheres the Dynamic Range advancements? The fact that that tech is avail on Nikon means Canon users are without. I will also say have i missed it on my 5dm3, no, would i be happy to have increased DR, well of course i would? It would be nice to shoot and be several stops over and not blow out and kill color info. That to me would be advancement.
I do really like the whole shoot in the dark thing and i do see Canon start to market that more even like with the 6D so maybe there is something there. Basically the closer a camera can get to what an eye sees we are all better off.
Ahhh, I am glad i ended that on a pleasant note lol.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: qwerty on March 04, 2013, 10:01:28 PM
Quote
That would be 2.5 stops for full-sensor sensitivity for current-sized sensors. Per-pixel sensitivity can increase by increasing area, so once you hit the limits of Q.E., you can continue improving per-pixel performance by making them larger. That obviously has the impact of reducing image resolution. You can continue getting better overall sensor performance at current pixel counts with larger sensors. Given how cheap FF is becoming, for low-light fiends, it might become practical to produce a larger sensor for the really high-end ($7000+) DSLR's that maintain pixel count with much larger pixels.

Of course...you need a new lens system to support that unless Canon can figure out a way to make the EF mount compatible...maybe with an adapter for current lenses like they did with EOS-M...

Here's hoping you're right about larger format sensors being the wave of the future.  I would just as soon have the pixels stay the same size (i.e. more pixels overall), so that I can decide in post whether I want higher resolution or less (per-output-pixel) noise, instead of having the latter forced on me by default.

The problem is that its hard to lay out larger sensors on a silicon wafer, and that yield plummets as you make bigger chips.  How many fully functional 645-size sensors (either true 645 or the smaller 645d digital size) do you think you can get out of a 300mm wafer, or even a 450mm one?  (I did the layout for that once, and looked up some numbers for expected yield and per-wafer cost, and it was not encouraging.  However, I am definitely not an EE or a fab specialist, so someone else might have a better idea.)

The nice thing about making a larger format mirrorless camera is that it would be trivial to make an adapter that would allow the use of existing EF and EF-S lenses (no worries about clearance for the larger mirror) with the obvious caveat that the image circle would not cover the entire sensor (and the less obvious caveat that I have never used a mirrorless camera with hybrid af and the contrast detection af I have used is relatively slow).  Of course, the question is whether Canon would pass up the opportunity to sell everyone a new set of lenses.


Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 04, 2013, 11:29:10 PM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.

It is only a "myth" assuming images are always compared on a size-normal basis. That is certainly a valid way to compare, and the only normalized way to compare. However...assuming one buys a higher resolution camera for the purposes of using it for its native resolution, rather than downscaled to something smaller...the increased noise of a higher density sensor is no myth.

Smaller pixels have a lower cap on charge. Lower charge means higher gain. Higher gain means that for any given illumination level photon shot noise is exacerbated by amplification, which results in higher noise at native size.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: qwerty on March 05, 2013, 12:41:14 AM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.

It is only a "myth" assuming images are always compared on a size-normal basis. That is certainly a valid way to compare, and the only normalized way to compare. However...assuming one buys a higher resolution camera for the purposes of using it for its native resolution, rather than downscaled to something smaller...the increased noise of a higher density sensor is no myth.

Smaller pixels have a lower cap on charge. Lower charge means higher gain. Higher gain means that for any given illumination level photon shot noise is exacerbated by amplification, which results in higher noise at native size.

Normalized is the way to compare that makes sense for... well... pretty much anyone.  Saying that you should compare images at native resolution because one buys the camera to shoot at native resolution does not make much sense.

Sure, a shot from a hypothetical 40MP camera would produce a worse 36x24" print at higher ISOs (if you looked at it up close) than a 18x12" print from a 10MP camera with the same sensor tech.  However, the 40MP print and the 10MP print would look almost indistinguishable if you printed them both at 18x12".  However, and this is the big one, if you printed them both at 36x24", the 40MP print would look better at low ISOs (and basically no worse under other conditions). 

(Sidenote: I was going to use 4x6" and 8x12" as example print sizes, but both sensors have plenty of resolution for that print size.  24x36 should be just about the smallest size where 10MP isn't quite enough)

You don't buy a camera just to shoot at native resolution (at least, I don't); you buy a camera to take pictures (or make prints).  For example, I was doing relatively low light indoor sports shots last weekend with a 5d iii (typically f/2-2.8, iso 6.4-12.8k, 1/250-1/500).  I had to downsize the images to about 3-5MP before I was happy with the quality (in other words, at higher resolutions I was either seeing noise or blur from noise reduction).  So I could have gotten the same printable results with a 5MP camera in that particular case.  However, the 20-whatever MP of the 5diii let me make that decision after I took the picture.  And, if the light had been better, or if I cared enough to really buckle down with the post processing and noise reduction, the extra MP would have given me the ability to get higher resolution images. 

Thats not to say that there aren't advantages to lower resolution cameras - a 5MP 5diii would not fill up the buffer nearly as fast, and previews would load faster in lightroom (the storage space isn't really an issue for me).  A 10MP camera makes decent enough prints at 24x36 (certainly to the point where my skill, rather than the equipment, is the biggest limiting factor).  And I am sure you could design a different sensor for every resolution and get slightly better print quality under those conditions.  But, for me, and given the present state of DSLRs, the flexibility of more pixels is worth the small tradeoffs involved.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 05, 2013, 02:18:50 AM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.

It is only a "myth" assuming images are always compared on a size-normal basis. That is certainly a valid way to compare, and the only normalized way to compare. However...assuming one buys a higher resolution camera for the purposes of using it for its native resolution, rather than downscaled to something smaller...the increased noise of a higher density sensor is no myth.

Smaller pixels have a lower cap on charge. Lower charge means higher gain. Higher gain means that for any given illumination level photon shot noise is exacerbated by amplification, which results in higher noise at native size.

Normalized is the way to compare that makes sense for... well... pretty much anyone.  Saying that you should compare images at native resolution because one buys the camera to shoot at native resolution does not make much sense.

Sure, a shot from a hypothetical 40MP camera would produce a worse 36x24" print at higher ISOs (if you looked at it up close) than a 18x12" print from a 10MP camera with the same sensor tech.  However, the 40MP print and the 10MP print would look almost indistinguishable if you printed them both at 18x12".  However, and this is the big one, if you printed them both at 36x24", the 40MP print would look better at low ISOs (and basically no worse under other conditions). 

(Sidenote: I was going to use 4x6" and 8x12" as example print sizes, but both sensors have plenty of resolution for that print size.  24x36 should be just about the smallest size where 10MP isn't quite enough)

You don't buy a camera just to shoot at native resolution (at least, I don't); you buy a camera to take pictures (or make prints).  For example, I was doing relatively low light indoor sports shots last weekend with a 5d iii (typically f/2-2.8, iso 6.4-12.8k, 1/250-1/500).  I had to downsize the images to about 3-5MP before I was happy with the quality (in other words, at higher resolutions I was either seeing noise or blur from noise reduction).  So I could have gotten the same printable results with a 5MP camera in that particular case.  However, the 20-whatever MP of the 5diii let me make that decision after I took the picture.  And, if the light had been better, or if I cared enough to really buckle down with the post processing and noise reduction, the extra MP would have given me the ability to get higher resolution images. 

Thats not to say that there aren't advantages to lower resolution cameras - a 5MP 5diii would not fill up the buffer nearly as fast, and previews would load faster in lightroom (the storage space isn't really an issue for me).  A 10MP camera makes decent enough prints at 24x36 (certainly to the point where my skill, rather than the equipment, is the biggest limiting factor).  And I am sure you could design a different sensor for every resolution and get slightly better print quality under those conditions.  But, for me, and given the present state of DSLRs, the flexibility of more pixels is worth the small tradeoffs involved.

Well, for certain kinds of photography, everything you've said is probably true. I gather you do sports, which has some detail...with the finest being the players hair...which is not the primary thing viewers of your photography will be looking at. You can get away with a lot less resolution than many other forms of photography. Landscapes, for one, can not only use as much resolution as you throw at it, but near-infinite amounts of DR as well.

However, if you pick up bird photography, you'll quickly learn that no amount of sensor resolution is EVER enough, even though it means having to deal with more noise (and trust me, noise from smaller pixels is no myth, I deal with it every day). It is not as much a matter of how large you intend to blow something up as it is about whether you can adequately capture the extremely fine detail that exists in the scene. It's all about resolving power with bird photography, not whether you can eek out a 30x40 off 10mp. I really want to get my hands on a 5D III, a 600 II, and a 2x TC III, but even if/when I do, I'll still be getting a 7D II as well. There is just plain and simply no substitute for real-world native resolution, regardless of how large or small you indend to scale to in the end. Even with the best of the best gear, say a 5D III w/ 600 II & 2x TC III...you STILL fall short of the 7D w/ 600 II and 1.4x TC, both in terms of raw spatial resolution as well as reach (1200mm f/8 vs. 1344mm f/5.6). The problem is...despite the significantly greater detail the 7D right now *can* capture, ISO 3200 and 6400 are generally unusable. At native size, the smaller pixels just don't cut it in comparison to the 5D III, or even the 5D II for that matter....so I'm generally stuck at ISO 1600.

I don't even think that the 7D II, or any future 7D body, could ever actually quite perform as well as the 5D II or III. They pack in ~65,000 electrons at saturation with as little as 33% Q.E.. The current 7D tops out at just over 20,000 electrons and 41% Q.E. You would need a 120% Q.E. sensor (an impossibility, unless you aim instead for 80% Q.E. with color-splitting in place of a CFA) to achieve a 60k FWC on an 18mp APS-C and have the same native noise performance as a 5D III...and still be able to resolve enough detail for high-quality, professional bird photography (which these days, from the best of the best bird photographers, usually means a 1D X, a 600mm f/4 L II, 2x TC III, and a couple decades of skill in getting extremely close to your quarry. ;))
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Lee Jay on March 05, 2013, 03:57:50 AM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.

It is only a "myth" assuming images are always compared on a size-normal basis. That is certainly a valid way to compare, and the only normalized way to compare. However...assuming one buys a higher resolution camera for the purposes of using it for its native resolution, rather than downscaled to something smaller...the increased noise of a higher density sensor is no myth.

Smaller pixels have a lower cap on charge. Lower charge means higher gain. Higher gain means that for any given illumination level photon shot noise is exacerbated by amplification, which results in higher noise at native size.

Amplification has nothing to do with it and well capacity only matters at base ISO.  And it's still a myth anyway as cutting pixel size by a factor of 16 (area) still allows double the resolving power at lower per-pixel noise in the final image because noise reduction software is so much better than spatial block averaging which is all bigger pixels do.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 05, 2013, 11:15:12 AM
Large pixels generally have high read-noise which means they tend to have a tough time in such environments.  Read the text.  They claim to have developed technologies that counteract that affect (that read noise increases with pixel size).
Hmm, ok. But in the general discussion, noise increases when pixels get smaller (at Hi-ISO).

Yeah, but that's a myth.

It is only a "myth" assuming images are always compared on a size-normal basis. That is certainly a valid way to compare, and the only normalized way to compare. However...assuming one buys a higher resolution camera for the purposes of using it for its native resolution, rather than downscaled to something smaller...the increased noise of a higher density sensor is no myth.

Smaller pixels have a lower cap on charge. Lower charge means higher gain. Higher gain means that for any given illumination level photon shot noise is exacerbated by amplification, which results in higher noise at native size.

Amplification has nothing to do with it and well capacity only matters at base ISO.  And it's still a myth anyway as cutting pixel size by a factor of 16 (area) still allows double the resolving power at lower per-pixel noise in the final image because noise reduction software is so much better than spatial block averaging which is all bigger pixels do.

Well, now your just cheating, throwing NR into the mix. :P Assuming a level playing field, and the use of NR for all sensors being compared, there is still more per-pixel noise for sensors with smaller pixels even after NR. With the kind of NR you would need to make ISO 3200 look acceptable, you would also lose a considerable amount of good detail, diminishing or eliminating the benefit of having a higher resolution sensor.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Lee Jay on March 05, 2013, 05:13:17 PM
You missed my point entirely.   I'll spell it out.

You can cut the pixel linear dimension by a factor of four (giving you four time the resolving power), use NR to reduce the per-pixel noise to parity and still be left with twice as much resolving power.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: jrista on March 05, 2013, 05:39:03 PM
You missed my point entirely.   I'll spell it out.

You can cut the pixel linear dimension by a factor of four (giving you four time the resolving power), use NR to reduce the per-pixel noise to parity and still be left with twice as much resolving power.

No, I understood your point (although, I think you mean cut the pixel pitch by two, for four times the resolving power...you can fit four 1/2-pitch pixels into a 1-pitch pixel when factoring in two dimensions...if you divide the original pitch by four, you end up with 16x the resolving power, as you could fit 16 1/4-pitch pixels in the area of a single 1-pitch pixel.) I don't deny that you gain resolution...you do. But there is most definitely an increase in per-pixel noise, which limits how far you can push ISO on the high end before noise becomes such a problem that even with maximal noise reduction, you can't "have your cake and eat it to." You either have very noisy detail, or smooth "pixels" that barely or don't even offer the same detail as a lower resolution sensor. I wouldn't say it is impossible to get small pixels performing on a similar level as larger pixels...assuming you can get enough light incident on the photodiode, you could probably normalize the difference and make the higher resolution of an APS-C perform just as well as the lower resolution of a FF sensor...but we don't yet have that technology in a camera you can actually buy yet, nor will in the near-term future. Maybe if newer technologies quickly find their way into DSLR products, we might see better native-size performance out of an APS-C sensor...but as it stands now, even with NR, bigger pixels are still less noisy...by a factor of 2x or more. Assuming you normalize reach, fill the frame with your subject in both cameras, the higher image resolution of the 5D III means it would outperform the 7D on all levels, including detail and noise.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Neo on June 09, 2013, 10:02:57 AM
I need this sensor for nighttime animals research. When will be available camera with this chip in market? And how much will it cost approximately?
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 09, 2013, 11:42:07 AM
I need this sensor for nighttime animals research. When will be available camera with this chip in market? And how much will it cost approximately?

This was a Canon announcement of a sensor development.  Plan on waiting 3-5 years for production, and then be greatly surprised and happy if it appears in a year.
 
Canon keeps their internal schedules secret, and leaks just don't happen.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Neo on September 15, 2013, 03:24:47 PM
TOKYO, Japan, September 12, 2013—Canon Inc. has successfully captured video footage of Yaeyama-hime fireflies flying in darkness, a feat made possible by the high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor developed by Canon for video capture that was announced in March 2013. Canon Experimental Low Light Sensor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnUtmenGQ0#)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Click on September 15, 2013, 03:46:06 PM
Impressive performance. Thanks for posting Neo.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on September 15, 2013, 04:49:12 PM
I need this sensor for nighttime animals research. When will be available camera with this chip in market? And how much will it cost approximately?

It is a video chip and will appear in a surveillance camera.  Its likely that law enforcement, military, and large research institutions who can swallow a $100K price tag will be the initial market.  But, maybe I'll be surprised and it will only cost a quarter of that.
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: AvTvM on September 16, 2013, 04:01:34 AM
Impressive performance. Thanks for posting Neo.

this sensor does not look like it's got good DR though.   ;D

As far as I am concerned, I am not after night-vision photo-cameras but rather after a 35mm sensor camera beating the Nikon D800 on all IQ-counts [especially resolution, DR, noise] at a price-point not higher than a D800. Should be really easy for Canon to make, compared to fancy night-time bug-photography video gear. :-)
Title: Re: Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor
Post by: Neo on September 16, 2013, 04:18:53 AM
I shure the production cost of this sensor don't exceed price of the 1D X's sensor.  It have only larger microlenses above pixels and no more. It provides 3 stops sensitivity over. If you want to see how this sensor shots on 102400 ISO, you must shot by Nikon D4 on 12800 ISO by 2.7 crop mode (about 8 times less area than Full Frame).
But the Canon is very greedy and try to extract the greatest profit. Therefore the price will be overrate to >1000%:( So, I want to see in market at least a Sony NEX-FS100, upgraged to Full Frame (2.25 better sensitivity) by price about $8k.