Panasonic May Be Working on a Sensor with a “Built-In Graduated Filter”

A new Panasonic patent uncovered earlier by Egami shows some exciting new sensor technology that may be heading our way soon. The new tech allows for the exposure values to be adjusted for each individual row of pixels. Essentially, the sensor could automatically apply a graduated ND filter to your images without the need for an actual filter.

This way, if you’re taking a landscape photo that includes both a bright sky and a dark forest, the sensor could adjust the values for each row of pixels to get you the best exposure for both aspects automatically — no need to pick and choose. Sadly it is only a patent, but that does indicate that Panasonic have figured out a way to make this happen, and we don’t see a reason why they wouldn’t integrate the tech into new sensors as soon as possible.

(via TogTech 43Rumors)

  • Osmosisstudios

    Of all the words to “quote” in that title, those are not the correct ones.  There is no actual “filter”, but it is built-in.

  • DL Cade

    You’re absolutely right, we went ahead and changed it to be more accurate, thanks for pointing it out :)

  • Jake

    What if my landscape has tall trees?  I have to bring a different camera too?  I’ll keep my filter/Lightroom 4, thank you.

  • wickerprints

    This technology would have some interesting ramifications for how exposure is specified, in particular, the ISO sensitivity of the image.  How would you meaningfully assign a single number to the image if the sensor response is a variable function of the row?

    Take the bright sky/dark landscape example.  If the sensitivity varies from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 with a weighted average of, say, “ISO 400″ across the entire image, then that ISO 400 does not faithfully represent what is happening in the brightest part of the sky or the darkest part of the landscape, especially as it pertains to the most visibly obvious property of sensitivity, which is image noise.

    One might argue that using an optical GND is a modification of the scene in a way that also does not get fully represented in the exposure settings–e.g., the sky is not really as dark as the GND makes it appear to the sensor–but I think we can agree that actually modulating the sensor response is different.

  • kendon

     shoot it in portrait.

  • Patricia S. Berrios

    I have to bring a different camera too?  I’ll keep my filter/Lightroom 4, thank you.