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.
- An imaging element (aspect ratio: 16:9) that supports the largest image circle size possible when shooting with a Canon EF lens.
- A CCD sensor with a readout mechanism that multiplies electrons after being converted from light. Applications include nighttime surveillance and the capture of astral bodies and nighttime nature scenes.
- The brightness of a star decreases 2.5-times with each 1 magnitude increase.
- Recording of test video footage was made possible through cooperation from ZERO Corporation.
Just a little bit of information out there
There isn’t a lot of technical information floating around about Canon’s mirrorless entry.
We’re getting more and more information that the announcement will be coming sometime in the next 30 days, but no solid date has been nailed down. Original estimates pegged an announcement in June, however Canon announcements move around pretty frequently.
Some technical stuff
We’ve heard only little bits of info about the mirrorless camera. The most notable is mentions that it will use the same sized sensor as the G1 X, and maybe even the exact same sensor. There has been no mention of the mount for the camera, that’s probably the biggest question surrounding it.
We’ve been told it will be launched with 3 lenses, which tells me we’re looking at a new mount. I don’t doubt there will be some way to make the camera compatible with at least EF lenses, and maybe EF-S as well.
It’s also been mentioned on more than one occassion, that this initial mirrorless announcement will be the “consumer” level camera and there are plans for “prosumer” and “professional” models.
I do expect more to come out in the coming weeks.
New Sensor Patent
Canon has published a back illuminated sensor patent for APS-C and Full Frame sensors. Back Illuminated Sensors allow for a more effective use of pixel area.
Patent Publication No. 2012-15275
- 2012.1.19 Release Date
- Filing date 2010.6.30
Back-illuminated imaging device
- The two bonded substrates photoelectric conversion unit and the peripheral circuit manufacturing to
- Photoelectric conversion unit and the peripheral circuit microprocessor which is connected by bump
- The incident light is changed and the current strong influence to adjacent pixels in the peripheral circuit, and noise (similar to a smear phenomenon).
- And a peripheral circuit connected to a DC power supply photoelectric conversion unit
- Resistance is lowered, reducing the voltage drop
Source: [NL] via [EG]
What’s in a sensor?
[ISW] has given a nice and concise breakdown of the technology inside the new full frame sensor for the EOS 1D X. Below is a direct quote of the breakdown.
- New photodiode construction has resulted in an improved photoelectric conversion rate that gives increased light sensitivity.
- Improved transistors inside the pixels are said to make SNR higher
- The first time that gapless microlenses have been employed on a Canon full-frame sensor.
- 14fps speed is achieved by a 16-channel analog output with two-vertical-pixel simultaneous readout. The 16 outputs are muxed in 4 ADCs siting on a separate image processor chip Digic 5+. It is around 1.4 times faster than the previous generation EOS-1D Mark IV and said to be a first for a 35mm full-frame digital sensor. At ISO 32,000 or higher the frame rate is reduced to 10fps.
Source Image Sensor World
A Canon Foveon Type Sensor?
3 Layer Image Sensor
A Canon patent was recently released showing a 3 layer sensor. Sigma has been the leader (I use the term lightly) in this type of sensor design when they purchased Foveon.
Patent Publication No. 2011-129785
- 2011.6.30 Release Date
- 2009.12.18 filing date
- Back-illuminated imaging device
- Plurality of light receiving portion is provided in the order BGR
- In one pixel, the charge collection in the center section, provided the charge read to the end
- Focusing capabilities of the microlenses, light in the center of the charge collection has increased, the charge read out at the end of the light is reduced
- Therefore, in reading the charge of B, it becomes difficult to receive light G, to prevent mixing
- Widest area of B. By mixing pixels with narrow spacing of the pixels (light receiving portion for receiving the G colored in B) to prevent
- Read the charge and B matches the central microlens. And easy to read the charges received by B, to prevent mixing
- Improve performance by preventing the mixing color separation
Canon is a sensor manufacturer, this sort of research and development was almost a given. There’s lots of advancements to be made in sensor technology.
If anyone has better knowledge of this type of technology, please join the discussion on the forum thread.
Lasers can damage your Canon HDSLR camera’s CMOS sensor
An interesting story on Planet5D in regards to CMOS sensors and laser lighting.
Lasers used in a light show have damaged a Canon EOS 5D Mark II CMOS sensor and I sure didn’t know it was possible, but I thought I’d get a warning out since it appears to have damaged this guy’s sensor.
Check out the video at Planet5D.
Read More: http://blog.planet5d.com/
PORTLAND, Ore. — Just as photographic film was mostly replaced by silicon image chips, now quantum film threats to replace the conventional CMOS image sensors in digital cameras. Made from materials similar to conventional film—a polymer with embedded particles—instead of silver grains like photographic film the embedded particles are quantum dots. Quantum films can image scenes with more pixel resolution, according to their inventors, InVisage Inc., offering four-times better sensitivity for ultra-high resolution sensors that are cheaper to manufacture.
Read More: EETimes