Tech company Rambus just announced “Binary Pixels,” a new sensor technology that intends to bring ultra-high dynamic range to small sensors like those found in smartphones and P&S cameras. By allowing pixels to “reset” and saturate more than once, the pixel tech promises to expand the dynamic range of these sensors to “single-shot HDR” levels. Read more…
The recent high profile Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement case further emphasizes the incestuous nature of the supply chain for components in consumer electronics. Apple has traditionally sourced a great many components for its smartphones and tablets from its competitor Samsung. An analogous relationship exists in the DSLR world where Nikon both designs its own CMOS image sensors (CIS) to be fabricated by a foundry partner, and sometimes uses CIS components from its camera competitor Sony [...] What is somewhat interesting is that after a run of Nikon-designed CIS devices in Nikon FF and APS-C cameras, Sony has muscled its way back in for the FF format D800 [...]
Sony supplies the CIS for the D800, a camera with the resolution (36.3 Mp) and performance that approaches the performance of medium format cameras for some applications [...] While there are certainly those who groan at the prospect of cranking up the resolution of a FF sensor, the D800 appears to be a disruptive event in the FF camera segment – one that Canon is rumored to likely respond to.
Chipworks notes that the D800 has the smallest pixel size of any full frame sensor it has examined so far. Canon is reportedly hard at work testing tiny pixels of its own.
With each new generation of popular digital camera lines, consumers generally expect that feature upgrades also be accompanied by improvements to the image sensor. According to camera testing service DxOMark, that’s not the case with Canon’s entry level DSLR lineup. Read more…
Update: Apparently they’ve decided to not allow external embedding of this promo video… You can watch it here.
If you’ve been reading us awhile (and I mean a long while) then you might remember that two years ago we reported on the California start-up InVisage and their innovative QuantumFilm technology — essentially a layer of “quantum dots” that could make image sensors up to 4 times more sensitive to light. Well, now they’ve released a short video explaining the technology with as little geek-speak as possible.
Amusingly, back then we speculated that this technology could mean a dramatic improvement in camera phone technology and subsequent decrease in compact camera sales. We now know that nothing quantum was required to make that happen, but if the idea finally comes to full production fruition then it may just lead to another leap of quantum proportions for the camera phone.
When German image sensor scientist Joachim Linkemann gave a talk called “Advanced Camera and Image Sensor Technology” at Automate 2011 back in March 2011, he tried to boil things down to terms people could understand and ended up using beer to illustrate the concepts. If you want to learn about how things like signal-to-noise, dynamic range, and dark noise would work if a glass of beer was the pixel on an image sensor, check out the PDF slideshow.