In addition to analyzing the use of Sony sensors in Nikon DSLRs, Chipworks has also published an article that explores Canon’s full frame sensors. It’s quite technical, but the main points can be grasped without understanding the terms being thrown around:
On the process side, the 1D X is remarkable in that Canon continues to stay with the 0.5 µm process generation it has used for every APS-C and FF device analyzed. While the use of a mature fab likely gives Canon a competitive edge via lower manufacturing costs, it may also weigh heavily in its product development [...] Given the geometric constraints of 0.5 µm design rules, Canon seems content to hang around the 21 Mp resolution for recent FF sensors through the use of shared pixels [...]
So, back to the rumors of Canon allegedly readying a high resolution competitor to the Nikon D800. Will Canon finally move off that 0.5 µm generation? It is worth noting that September 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of Canon’s announcement of the world’s first CMOS FF sensor, the EOS 1Ds [...] every Canon FF sensor analyzed since has used the same 0.5 µm design rules. It is a credit to Canon that it has remained competitive by continuing to optimize its pixels fabricated in a relatively mature process.
What they’re saying is: if Canon wants to continue fighting in the megapixel wars with Nikon and Sony, it’s going to need to shake things up a bit in its sensor department.
Canon stays the course [Chipworks via CanonWatch]
P.S. If you’re into comparing the technical aspects of camera sensors, check out Digital Camera Database. It has a sensor comparison tool designed for you.
All the way back at the beginning of 2011, Nikon Rumors confirmed that the image sensors in Nikon’s D3, D3s, D700 and D3100 were all designed by the Japanese company itself. And now, a recent teardown of the D3200 by Chipworks shows that Nikon was behind the sensor found inside that camera as well. There has been speculation for a while that Nikon is distancing themselves from Sony sensors, and if rumors of the full-frame D600 sensor being made by Aptina turn out to be true, then the list of Nikon cameras left sporting Sony-designed sensors will be getting pretty short indeed.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Image sensors and the advent of digital imaging have been met with differing reactions from the photographical community. But what a team of doctors at the Oxford Eye Hospital have managed to do with the technology is 100% digital, and 100% amazing. Clinical trial leaders Robert MacLaren and Tim Jackson have helped two blind men to partially see again. Read more…
Back in November of last year Kodak sold off its sensor business — Kodak Image Sensor Solutions — to a California based firm in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. We know now that the sale was in vain, and now other camera companies are paying a price for Kodak’s decision.
Both Pentax and Leica are rumored to be developing followups to their medium format 645D and S2 cameras, respectively. The only problem is that both of the previous models were using Kodak-made sensors that are being discontinued. No news has come out of the Pentax camp as to what sensor manufacturer they will now switch to, but Leica’s rumored S3 is said to be sporting a CMOS sensor courtesy of European semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics.
(via Leica Rumors and Photo Rumors)
About two weeks ago we reported that the “Fathers of Digital Photography” who invented the CCD sensor had won a Nobel Prize in physics for their revolutionary achievement. Now, two colleagues of Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith are claiming that the Nobel committee erred by doing “extremely poor research”.
Eugene Gordon and Mike Tompsett worked with Boyle and Smith at Bell Laboratories, where the CCD was invented. They claim that Boyle and Smith were taking the concept in the wrong direction, studying its applications in memory rather than imaging. Furthermore, they believe that Tompsett, who formerly led the CCD researcher group, should have been awarded the prize after being the first two build two examples of the device. Tompsett told Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail:
If you take it all literally, the prize should have been given to me, I think if their name is on it, mine should be, too.
Smith rejected the criticism saying that while Tompsett could be credited for engineering prowess, he wasn’t the original source of the idea.
Though smaller committees play an important role in the Nobel Prize selection process, nomination is made by thousands of people and scrutinized by the experts in each field. However, despite the apparent reliability of the extensive, multi-step process, the Nobel Prize has received its fair share of controversy, and this is simply another entry on the list.