Northlight has confirmed that they to have received the same Sony sensors in Canon DSLRs rumors over the preceding months and years. Like us, they haven’t put much faith into the information. I’m far from convinced this is going to happen, but it’s at least worth discussing. “Whilst a cross licensing or some other arrangement between Canon and Sony isn’t impossible, anything that does happen would be much more complicated than ‘just’ putting a Sony derived FF sensor into a Canon body.” says Northlight. Read more opinion on the topic at Northlight.
Chipworks posted an article about Sony, Nikon and Canon and the future of image sensors a couple of years ago. It’s still a worthwhile read today and may shed some light on the future of image sensors and the collaboration between companies. It’s three parts, be sure to read them all, I am linking the Canon related information. Read it here.
Canon has long used Sony sensors in a lot of PowerShot cameras over the years, but never has Canon used a Sony sensor in a DSLR.
“Canon will use Sony’s new 46mp sensor as the 3rd party launch partner, maybe a little after Sony releases it in a camera of their own. Sony and Canon are partnering on many upcoming products – most recently the G7X being a prime example. Canon will use their own CFA / processing and will make a big point of colour accuracy.”
I have received this information a few times over the years, but nothing has never come to fruition, so I’ve never lent much credence to it. I would imagine joint ventures on something as expensive as sensor manufacturing would help lower costs for companies and perhaps customers as well. It’s definitely possible, but I wouldn’t write it in stone yet. If Canon does the manufacturing of the sensor can they put their own technology into a Sony sensor, such as Dual Pixel AF?
Remember the recent Canon interview with DPR.
Q: Canon released two cameras at Photokina – the EOS 7D Mark II and PowerShot G7X. One thing we’ve learned is that the sensor in the G7X is not made by Canon. Does this represent a new philosophy at Canon?
A: We select the best sensor, whoever the manufacturer is. That’s our policy.
A new sensor patent from Canon has appeared and continues to add to what are sure to be new full frame sensors next year.
NL breaks down the patent…
“Patent from Canon that varies the sensitivity of pixels by positioning the photon detection zone deeper in the design.”
Source: [EG] via [NL]
Below is another patent for a multi-layer related sensor patent from Canon has come to light. This is the third one that has appeared in the last month or so.
Keith over at Northlight breaks it down in a way that’s easy to understand. “The issue addressed, is light of the ‘wrong’ colour being reflected from one layer into another, which reduces the ability of different layers to respond to photons of only a particular range of colours. This has the potential to greatly improve the colour accuracy and fidelity of such stacked sensor designs.”
Patent Publication No. 2014-130890 (Google Translated)
- Publication date 2014.7.10
- Filing date 2012.12.28
- Multilayer sensor drawback of
- G is light, the image quality is degraded and reflected by the surface of the layer between the G and B layer, re-enters the B layer
- Canon patents
- The provision of the dielectric film and the insulating film as an anti-reflection film
- First insulating layer, B layer, a dielectric film, insulating film, dielectric film, G layer, a dielectric film, insulating film, insulating film, dielectric film, the R layer
- By increasing the thickness of the dielectric film, to suppress the multiple reflection
- The dielectric film is between the G layer and B layer, the reflectance with respect to G is lower than B
Source: [EG] via [NL]
We’re told that Canon is working to implement depth of field control in upcoming PowerShot and Rebel DSLRs. The idea sounds like what Lytro is doing, or more recently what Google introduced for the Android camera.
There’s no mention of which camera(s) this would be introduced in, but it seems like a logical next step feature.