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Author Topic: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash  (Read 10709 times)

melbournite

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New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« on: June 01, 2013, 11:03:09 PM »
I thought my fellow canon rumor buddies may be interested in this article I just read...
http://www.technewsdaily.com/18220-graphene-imagining-sensor-takes-clear-pictures.html

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New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« on: June 01, 2013, 11:03:09 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 11:23:00 PM »
Some sort of external light is always needed.  I'm hoping that the sensor becomes practical, but, there are always shadows, particularly around the eyes that need external light no matter how sensitive a sensor you have.  Some sort of light will be needed, and flash already is a mature technology.
 
I'm also wondering about the property that he quoters of holding light far longer.  Actually, we want sensors that will reset more quickly so that we get more frames per second.
For use in a telescope, it might not be a issue, but for video, it could be a issue.
High sensitivity might make foveon type sensors a bit more practical, but Bayer sensors will still be more sensitive with any given sensor material.
 
The sensor is basically Graphite (Carbon).  What ever happened to the Black Silicone they were hyping 10 years ago :D

RGF

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 11:30:10 PM »
Even at extremely high ISO flash can be used to fill in shadows, add details (such as birds feathers), separate foreground from background.  A highly sensitive sensor (1000x more which is 10 stops) would be great up to a point - imagine trying to get water over rapids - the milky look.  You would need a 10 stop ND filter to get back to where we are today, plus another few stops to slow the shutter down enough.   :P

Pi

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 11:33:01 PM »
Sounds fishy to me. The current sensors have about 50% QE. This means that one can only increase it twice, not 1,000 times.

In principle, "sensitivity" is not a well defined term when it comes to digital sensors. They are photon counting machines, missing every other photon, roughly speaking.

dirtcastle

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 11:37:02 PM »
Take a long exposure in the dark and see how interesting it is. Usually, it's not very interesting.

At a certain point, extra sensitivity becomes less useful. Light is what makes photographs interesting. Yes, it will be nice to take photos at night (@f/13) and have everything in focus. And it will be nice to be able to shoot 1/1000 shutter speeds in low light. But it will be challenging to make those shots look as interesting as shots with stronger sources of light.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 11:54:30 PM »
Sounds fishy to me. The current sensors have about 50% QE. This means that one can only increase it twice, not 1,000 times.

In principle, "sensitivity" is not a well defined term when it comes to digital sensors. They are photon counting machines, missing every other photon, roughly speaking.

Yes, your thinking mirrors mine.  Perhaps its a deeper electron well that holds more photons, but that implies a longer exposure.  The description of "Wang said the key to his new sensor is the use of "light-trapping" nanostructures that use graphene as a base. The nanostructures hold onto light-generated electron particles for much longer than conventional sensors." is a bit vague and does not explain the predicted usefulness for consumer imaging. 
I can see it useful for astronomy and night time imaging, perhaps even satellite imaging, but for a camera that is used to do high fps or video, I do not understand. 

pwp

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 12:35:50 AM »
It's a pleasant inevitability that sensor design and innovation continues at such a cracking pace. Care to remember the gritty sensor on your original Canon 1D?

Lighting will always be important to quality photography to create shape, texture, mood and balance against available light. It's not that long ago that we thought 800 iso was fast, and how incredibly useful it was. Just a few years later we can shoot at 3200 & 6400 with impunity, and 12,800 at a pinch.

These speed gains now have less to do with being able to get an image in lower and lower light, but having the ability to stop action in environments where it previously the stuff of science fiction. Will 51,200 or 102,400 iso soon be the new 800? You'd better believe it.

-PW

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 12:35:50 AM »

mb66energy

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 03:15:45 AM »
Sounds fishy to me. The current sensors have about 50% QE. This means that one can only increase it twice, not 1,000 times.

In principle, "sensitivity" is not a well defined term when it comes to digital sensors. They are photon counting machines, missing every other photon, roughly speaking.

Yes, your thinking mirrors mine.  Perhaps its a deeper electron well that holds more photons, but that implies a longer exposure.  The description of "Wang said the key to his new sensor is the use of "light-trapping" nanostructures that use graphene as a base. The nanostructures hold onto light-generated electron particles for much longer than conventional sensors." is a bit vague and does not explain the predicted usefulness for consumer imaging. 
I can see it useful for astronomy and night time imaging, perhaps even satellite imaging, but for a camera that is used to do high fps or video, I do not understand.

I agree with your statements - so I think it might be a sensor material which allows for 1000x the electrons per pixel increasing the dynamic range by 10 stops (8 stops for real products) - you will have perhaps a native sensitivity of ISO 400 - 8 stops lower sensitivity setting means ISO 4 (!!!) ...
For me it would be very interesting to have the freedom to choose very high DR or very long exposure times at high ambient lighting.

... perhaps "without flash" means that you can lift shadows due to the high DR without visible IQ loss? (this idea came up during writing ...)

The problem of durability could be solved by exchangeable sensors. Would be good idea just with CMOS sensors - I would like to convert my 20D to a B/W camera by removing the RGB Bayer pattern (and increase the sensitivity by a factor of two or three) but would like to have the chance to try the removal procedure on two or three sensors (not cameras).
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John Thomas

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 05:02:32 AM »
There is also another thing:

"Ultrasensible photon hunter":

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107073046.htm

All these things gives us theoretically much more freedom (for ex. think about crystal clear 12800 ISO) because I think that some integrated ways to reduce the sensitivity should exist even if in the form of simple ND filters. Also, there are other advantages like the flexibility of Graphite - thing which allows for curved sensors, hence the resolution will be (almost) the same in the center and in the corners.

Now I'm thinking how the lens will evolve, IF the above will be valid solutions for photography. No more F/1.8? No more F/2.8?

...but I wonder now in how many years we'll have a @ 18MPixel working sensor on these technologies.


GuyF

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2013, 06:12:35 AM »
Seems interesting. Also take a look at this from Canon - replace your flash with incense sticks!

http://www.canon.com/news/2013/mar04e.html
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 08:41:58 AM by GuyF »

Canon-F1

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2013, 06:57:52 AM »
Quote
New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash

well, no.
if you believe that you don´t understand what flash is used for.
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Marsu42

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2013, 07:07:55 AM »
Quote
New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
well, no. if you believe that you don´t understand what flash is used for.

Well, do you :-> ? There certainly is your basic fill/bounce flash, and in many situations you could do without it if you could raise shadows just like that with no quality loss and/or if your sensor would have unlimited iso capability & dynamic range.

Having said that, I agree that the "no need for flash" idea is more based on smartphone photography than multi-flash setups to separate subject/background and create just the light and mood you want anytime.

neuroanatomist

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 07:09:38 AM »
Quote
New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
well, no.
if you believe that you don´t understand what flash is used for.

+1, or at least what flash can be used for.

Apparently the same goes for uses of a wide aperture...   ::)

Now I'm thinking how the lens will evolve, IF the above will be valid solutions for photography. No more F/1.8? No more F/2.8?
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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 07:09:38 AM »

Nishi Drew

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2013, 07:20:42 AM »
Kind of like "New sensor allows for photos to be taken with no light!"
Yeah wow oK, like what others say, without light there's no photography, and the quality, color and 'depth' of a photo is so dependent on light and the quality of it, that people thinking they don't need any external light source because their camera is sensitive enough probably don't understand what makes a good photo to begin with.
Oh well, as some photographer long ago said in response to cameras becoming affordable to the masses:
"I'm not worried about professionals losing their jobs to all these new people with cameras, but rather pleased, as it will become clear what sets the pros apart from the amateurs in the images we can create" :)

jebrady03

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 07:43:35 AM »
I think a sensor that actually does provide a 10 stop advantage at equal or better image quality would absolutely have a place for SOME photographers.  Not sure why people think that their use of equipment is the only valid use and that they must immediately and decisively shoot down any other uses.  We see this same thing happen when a new camera is rumored/introduced - dozens of people disparaging it because it's not the absolutely perfect solution FOR THEM.  In this case for instance, I'd find 10 stops EXTREMELY useful for natural light macro photography (I think that in general, flash-filled macro photography looks like crap and very fake - not always, but in general).  I'd also find it useful for low light indoor photography with enough depth of field to get more than just the eyes in focus without cranking up the ISO.  In my house, 1/200 at close distance with f/8 and ISO 100 is an all black picture of my baby.

So what that this wouldn't be an ideal solution for videographers or high fps photographers?  MOST people shoot one frame at a time and don't have the desire to shoot video with a DSLR because focusing (currently) is a PITA... SURPRISE!!!!  MOST people want to capture PICTURES with their DSLR and not have to sort through 4000 pictures a day because they sprayed and prayed.  MOST people are buying entry level cameras, not 1Dx's.

It's amazing how photographers seem to have such a unique perspective on the world.  Perhaps their hippie-like creative visions have closed them off to understanding the thoughts and needs of the masses.

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Re: New Camera Sensor Eliminates Need for Flash
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 07:43:35 AM »