4K video is the realm of high end cinematography gear right? Maybe not. Two new 16MP sensors announced yesterday by OmniVision may be bringing smooth 4K video technology to everything from compacts to smartphones. The sensors, which are the tiny 1/2.3-inch format, can record 4K (3840 x 2160) video at 60fps, or even higher resolution (4608 x 3456) at 30fps.
The two sensors are no less powerful in the area of still photography either, being able to capture 12-bit RAW images. Of course your phone or camera processor will have to be able to handle the load, but newer devices with beefier image processors may well be sporting the new OmniVision sensors before long. Check out the press release for all of the
juicy technical details.
(via Omnivision via Engadget)
The latest rumor circulating around the “entry-level full-frame” topic is that Nikon may shying away from Sony when it comes to getting a full-frame sensor for the rumored D600. The rumor came as a result of an article on the Italian website MarsicaLive, which stated that Aptina Imaging is designing a new full-frame CMOS sensor for DSLRs; they also write that — according to unconfirmed rumors — the sensor is being designed specifically for Nikon. Although this is the first full-frame sensor designed by Aptina, Nikon is already familiar with the company as the V1 mirrorless camera already uses one of Aptina’s sensors.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Image credit: Aptina by DIKESH.com
Camera rating business DxOMark has published its in-depth sensor review for the Canon 5D Mark III. For Canon fans, there’s both good and bad news: while the camera boasts the best sensor seen in a Canon DSLR so far — besting the sensor found in the 1Ds Mark III — its score of 81 is far below the Nikon D800’s 95. DxOMark does, however, point out that the two cameras focus on different strengths:
The duel between the Nikon D800 and the EOS 5D Mark III would most certainly take place except that the different sensors each one has adopted makes it difficult to do a head-to-head comparison. Both sensors offer different advantages —in principle, sensitivity for the Canon and definition for the Nikon. With its 36 megapixels, the Nikon D800 clearly has concentrated its efforts on fine detail reproduction.
For its part, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III chose to make a grand compromise: with its 22 megapixels, it offers both higher definition and in theory, higher sensitivity.
Canon 5D Mark III Review [DxOMark]
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.
Advanced Camera and Image Sensor Technology (via Image Sensors World via Rob Galbraith)
Last week camera testing service DxOMark announced that the Nikon D800 had earned the highest sensor quality score ever awarded. Roger Cicala of LensRentals wanted to see for himself how much of an advantage the D800’s 36.3MP sensor had over its competition, so he did some sensor resolution tests on the camera, comparing it to the Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, and Nikon D700. His conclusion?
[...] there’s no question the D800 can actually get those pixels to show up in the final product (assuming your final product is a big print – they’re going to be wasted posting on your Facebook page). But you’d better have some really good glass in front of it. I don’t think the 28-300 superzooms are going to cut it with this camera.
In the real world, highest possible resolution is nice to know about and talk about, but usually not of critical importance compared to other factors. You’ll be able to make superb images with any decent lens for an 8 X 10 or even 11 X 16 print. But if you’re getting the camera because of the resolution, it makes sense to know which lenses will allow all of that resolution to be utilized. Just in case you get that job that needs billboard sized prints.
Samsung may not be the only camera company dabbling with the idea of a digital Hasselblad 500CM-style camera: Sony is reportedly working on a new SLT camera called the “A1S” that features a “full frame” square sensor. sonyalpharumors writes that the prototype camera in development has the following specs: compatibility with existing Alpha and Minolta lenses, a 36x36mm square sensor with 37-megapixel resolution, a large body (larger than the Sony A900), a square electronic viewfinder, and a 3×3-inch display.
Image credit: Hasselblad 500C/M with Planar 1:2,8 80mm by Cheffalo
Turns out the 36.3 megapixel sensor inside the new Nikon D800 isn’t just a megapixel war marketing tactic: the sensor has been given the highest score ever awarded by camera equipment rating service DxOMark. Calling it a “complete success in every sensor-related respect”, the lab states that the D800’s sensor has become the new sensor of reference by which all other camera sensors will be measured. Furthermore, it boasts an “unmatched quality-to-price ratio” by being the cheapest (by far) among the 8 top cameras. The sensor is even comparable in quality to the best medium-format sensors out there, and even outperforms them at higher ISOs. Check out the full review for a more detailed analysis of the sensor and how the D800 stacks up against competition.
Nikon D800: The best sensor analyzed on DxOMark! [DxOMark]
Samsung has developed what the company claims is the world’s first CMOS sensor that can capture both RGB and range images at the same time. Microsoft’s Kinect has received a good deal of attention as of late for its depth-sensing capabilities, but it uses separate sensors for RGB images and range images. Samsung’s new solution combines both functions into a single image sensor by introducing “z-pixels” alongside the standard red, blue, and green pixels. This allows the sensor to capture 480×360 depth images while 1920×720 photos are being exposed. One of the big trends in the next decade may be depth-aware devices, and this new development certainly goes a long way towards making that a reality.
(via Tech-On! via Gizmodo)
Here’s a great diagram by Mobot that shows how the 41-megapixel sensor inside Nokia’s new 808 PureView phone stacks up against other popular sensor sizes. It’s pretty clear that they didn’t just milk a small sensor for more megapixels as a simply marketing ploy, but instead came up with a sensor that’s significantly larger than those found in other smartphones. Engadget also has a photo showing a comparison of sensor sizes, while Digital Trends has published an article on five reasons why the 41-megapixels isn’t a gimmick.
(via Mobot via PhotographyBLOG)
Devin Coldewey of TechCrunch created this helpful diagram showing the relative sizes of various sensors, including the one found inside the Lytro light field camera (a camera that lets you focus after shots are taken). The FCC published photos of the Lytro camera’s guts last week, revealing that the sensor inside is roughly 6.5×4.5mm (smaller than our previous estimate). This means that it’s slightly larger than the iPhone sensor and slightly smaller than the one in most point-and-shoot cameras.
Another interesting finding is that the chip inside supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The company says that they’re working on wireless connectivity, but doesn’t have it enabled in the initial Lytro camera.
Lytro Teardown Shows Potential Wireless Capability, Smallish Sensor [TechCrunch]