October 24, 2014, 08:33:35 AM

Author Topic: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony  (Read 1477 times)

Rienzphotoz

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New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« on: April 04, 2014, 02:25:59 AM »
Sonyalpharumors reports the following interesting info:
http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-leading-the-sensor-tech-presents-new-curved-sensor-tech-likely-for-the-rx2-with-35mm-f1-8-lens/

If you follow SAR closely you will remember I posted two great Sony patents: One about a Curved Sony sensor tech and one about a 35mm f/1.8 Full Frame lens designed for curved sensor. Now, usually it takes years before a patented idea will be materialized in a real product. But you know, Sony cannot afford to avoid to sit down and stay still. They have to make real inovative products in order to catch up with the big two Canon and Nikon.

And the good news is that this is no more a dream! Image sensor World reports a great news. Sony will officially present their curved sensor technology at the Technology Symposium! This is what Sony writes about the presentation they are going to make:

We realized an ultimately advanced imaging system that comprises a curved, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS) and integrated lens which doubles the sensitivity at the edge of the image circle and increases the sensitivity at the center of the image circle by a factor of 1.4 with one-fifth lower dark current than that of a planar BIS. Because the lens field curvature aberration was overcome in principle by the curved sensor itself, the curved BIS enables higher system sensitivity through design of a brighter lens with a smaller F number than is possible with a planar BIS. At the same time, we controlled the tensile stress of the BIS chip to produce a curved shape that widens the energy band-gap to obtain a lower dark current. The curved CIS can be applied to an ultimately advanced imaging system that is validated by the evolution of the animal eye in Nature.

Now combine that sensor tech with a small and fast 35mm f/1.8 lens and you will get a superb new RX2 camera! More compact, faster and of much higher image quality than the current RX1-RX1R. And we also can hope to see an interchangeable mount camera with such a sensor in near future too!

I cannot wait to get some rumors about the RX2. If it has that kind of curved sensor tech I am sure SAR readers will be exctided about this. Or not?
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New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« on: April 04, 2014, 02:25:59 AM »

tolusina

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 04:53:39 AM »
Brilliant!
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.
Took long enough for humans to engineer technology that mimics the retina, eh?
 
Leads me thinking about beautiful and efficient automotive designs patterned after the aerodynamic shapes of birds and fishes, here's hoping that curved sensors arrive and become refined enough for similar success.
 
Hmm, will curved sensors allow for shallow depth of field?
How soon before the flat vs curved arguments begin?
Has Ken Rockwell weighed in yet?
 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 07:05:54 AM by tolusina »
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neuroanatomist

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 09:03:07 AM »
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.

So have the lenses designed for those curved sensors.  In the case of a curved camera sensor, current lenses would not work (thus the suggestion of a new 35/1.8 lens for the curved sensor).  Given the general performance of Sony lenses, I'm not encouraged by their ability to deliver an ILC based on a curved sensor.
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Albi86

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 10:36:45 AM »
I guess it's going to be for small sensors only.

moreorless

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 11:51:38 AM »
Time for a digital widelux? ;)

mackguyver

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 11:56:18 AM »
Maybe it's easier to build curved sensors than to correct field curvature in lenses?  At least for Sony.

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 12:33:08 PM »
Can't imagine that this would work well for Sony if they put in its ILCs.  Curved sensors might have an advantage, but the beauty of the Sony system is getting a higher MP, DR camera and pairing it with superior glass from other manufacturers.  This would effectively put an end to that.

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 12:33:08 PM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 02:45:27 PM »
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.

So have the lenses designed for those curved sensors.  In the case of a curved camera sensor, current lenses would not work (thus the suggestion of a new 35/1.8 lens for the curved sensor).  Given the general performance of Sony lenses, I'm not encouraged by their ability to deliver an ILC based on a curved sensor.
+1 ... Sony has a lot to prove when it comes to producing lenses. Lets see what they come up with.
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mnclayshooter

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 02:49:28 PM »
Are we going to then see the images on a curved screen? or curved print?  At some point, the image still has to be flattened... distortion will occur (see the multiple different variants of ways to project the surface of the earth onto a "2D" map surface - some are accurate at the equator, some are accurate at mid-lattitudes, some are accurate at the poles, none are truly accurate). 

I have had thoughts about this curved sensor for a long time.  (like was posted earlier - the eye is, after all, a curved sensor with a curved lens formula) It makes great sense for image capture... take the flat sensor issues out of the optical formula, and you solve many of the focus, CA, etc etc uniformity problems.  IF the software side of things can correct for the distortion in a very good/non-destructive way (no pixel interpolation/stretching in order to display them in 2D), then maybe this would be a good technology to develop. 

What would the bokeh look like?  can....you.... imagine?  The BOKEH!!! after all, that's the only thing that matters, right? 

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dgatwood

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2014, 06:03:47 PM »

Looking at the patent photo, it looks more like each photosite is individually curved to allow the ones near the edge of the sensor to pick up more incident rays.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor as a whole is curved, so it might well be compatible with existing lenses.

dilbert

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 09:09:27 PM »
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.

So have the lenses designed for those curved sensors.  In the case of a curved camera sensor, current lenses would not work (thus the suggestion of a new 35/1.8 lens for the curved sensor).  Given the general performance of Sony lenses, I'm not encouraged by their ability to deliver an ILC based on a curved sensor.

Why do they need new lenses?

Consider if you will the percentage of photo sites on the sensor that get the image incident rays (or photos) from the lens at an angle at or close to perpendicular to the sensor surface.

A curved sensor should increase that percentage and should increase the angle of incidence towards the perpendicular everywhere across the sensor without any need for a new lens.

It will be interesting to compare vignetting of a particular lens on such a sensor vs a traditional flat sensor.

I'm also curious as to how sensor cleaning will work with the potential for the curved surface to encourage dust buildup.

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2014, 09:24:53 PM »
I guess it's going to be for small sensors only.

Probably as in cell phone small, at least at first.
 
The problem with something like this is that all new lenses are needed to take advantage.  Then users are stuck with what might be a huge investment in lenses.  Its likely why Canon and Nikon have passed on the idea, but Sony is quick to obsolete or discontinue products.  Its one of the main reasons that Pro's are wary, when they buy into a system, they want it to last for more than a year or two.

dilbert

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 12:50:36 AM »
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.

So have the lenses designed for those curved sensors.  In the case of a curved camera sensor, current lenses would not work (thus the suggestion of a new 35/1.8 lens for the curved sensor).  Given the general performance of Sony lenses, I'm not encouraged by their ability to deliver an ILC based on a curved sensor.

Can you explain why a current lens wouldn't work? I suspect that they will all work just fine. The suggestion of a new 35/1.8 for the curved sensor is just that - a suggestion without understanding.

What I find intriguing is that lenses optimised for curved sensors might be smaller as there is less of a vignetting problem to overcome.

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 12:50:36 AM »

dgatwood

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 01:37:51 AM »
Curved sensors are well proven and effective, been in use at least a few million years.

So have the lenses designed for those curved sensors.  In the case of a curved camera sensor, current lenses would not work (thus the suggestion of a new 35/1.8 lens for the curved sensor).  Given the general performance of Sony lenses, I'm not encouraged by their ability to deliver an ILC based on a curved sensor.

Can you explain why a current lens wouldn't work? I suspect that they will all work just fine. The suggestion of a new 35/1.8 for the curved sensor is just that - a suggestion without understanding.

What I find intriguing is that lenses optimised for curved sensors might be smaller as there is less of a vignetting problem to overcome.

The elements in camera lenses are specifically designed to flatten out the focal plane so that the output of the lens is roughly in focus everywhere on a flat sensor even though the distance from the sensor to the lens is greater near the edges.  Some lenses do a better job than others when it comes to flattening the focal plane, hence the reason that some lenses have poor corner sharpness (as I understand it, anyway).

With a lens that is designed to focus light on a flat plane, a physically curved sensor would only cross the lens's focal plane either at a point or in a circular ring.  You'd have to add additional optical elements to the lens and/or remove optical elements from the lens to compensate for that.  Otherwise, only part of the picture would be in focus.

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Re: New Curved Sensor Tech by Sony
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 01:37:51 AM »