DXOMark.com just published their review of the Pentax K-5 sensor, finding that it was superior to every other APS-C sensor they’ve tested:
No need for suspense: this new 16.3 MP sensor is simply the best APS-C we have tested so far, sometimes able to compete even with very high-end full-frame cameras.
The overall score of the K5 puts it in the lead with 82 points — more than 9 points better than the D90 or the Alpha 55, and 16 points ahead of the Canon 7D or 60D. The K5 is literally the best APS-C performer for each segment, even in low ISO.
It was only at the beginning of the year that the megapixel race for cell phone cameras hit 14.6 megapixels, but now Sony has unveiled a 16.41 back-illuminated CMOS sensor that can shoot 15 frames per second at full resolution, and is capable of HD video recording (30fps at 1080p and 60fps at 720p). Read more…
Future generations of photographers may one day look back and wonder why we often blinded each other with painfully bright flashes of light for the sake of proper exposure.
NYU researchers Dilip Krishnan and Rob Fergus are working on a dark flash that eliminates the “dazzle” effect of regular flashes in a low-light room. They’ve created this camera rig that combines common infrared photography techniques with an ultraviolet flash that produces a dim purple glow instead.
The team placed an infrared filter on the lens of the Fujifilm S5 Pro, which is has a modified CCD sensor that specializes in IR and UV photography. To supplement existing UV light, the team created a modified filter on an external flash to emit only UV and IR wavelengths. Read more…
A week ago Canon announced the development of a APS-H CMOS sensor that delivers a staggering 120 megapixels. Not content with ruling the megapixel race, they’ve just announced a physically gigantic sensor — the largest CMOS sensor in the world.
In the photo above, the sensor is shown next to a standard 35mm full frame sensor. The thing measures 202 x 205 mm (or 7.95 x 8.07 inches), or 40 times the size of current sensors, and is extremely sensitive. It can supposedly record 60fps video under moonlight. Potential applications of this kind of sensor include capturing the night sky and documenting nocturnal animal behavior, though (like the 120MP sensor) you probably shouldn’t expect this to hit the consumer market anytime in the near or semi-distant future.
Sony dropped quite an announcement today with its new pellicle mirror DSLRs, but Canon doesn’t want us to forget that they have announcements coming up as well.
They released an (semi-meaningless) announcement of their own today: the development of a 120-megapixel APS-H sensor that can handle HD-video recording and 9.5fps shooting. This is the same sensor size found in the 1D line of DSLRs. But get this — they have no plans for actually producing this sensor in a camera anytime soon.
Thus, even though this is pretty interesting news that was widely reported today, it appears that this was some sort of clever scheme devised by Canon’s marketing department to steal some thunder from Sony’s pellicle mirror news. Lets see if Canon can match it when they release their new camera on August 26th.
We all know pointing your DSLR directly at the sun for extended periods of time isn’t too healthy for your sensor, but what about laser lights like the ones used at concerts? Turns out those can be even more lethal for your camera, even with very brief exposures.
Here are two videos shot with DSLR cameras that show a laser briefly passing over the camera and damaging the sensor permanently. Both were shot with Canon 5D Mark II cameras:
See the white line that appears immediately after the laser sweeps across? Read more…
Canon and Nikon broke ground when they launched DSLRs that have HD video capabilities. Now Sony’s taking a different approach by offering a comparatively affordable HD video camera with all the attractiveness of interchangeable lenses, plus the ability to take high resolution stills.
Not only will the camcorder share the same Sony E-mount as the NEX series (it comes standard with a kit 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens), Sony DSLR owners will be pleased to know that with a separate adapter, the camcorder can be mounted with any A-mount lenses — including Sony G and Carl Zeiss lenses.
The camcorder also has the same Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor as the NEX-3 and NEX-5. The DSLR sized sensor alone gives the camera a lot of extra real estate to work with; Sony boasts the sensor to be approximately 19.5 times larger than the standard sensor of conventional camcorders.
The NEX-VG10 can shoot 1920×1080 high def video at 60 fps, which Sony says is ideal for Blu-Ray recording. And for stills shooting, it can capture 14 megapixel images with a continuous burst of up to 7 fps.
Some benefits of using the NEX-VG10 over a video DSLR is that the camcorder has the right ergonomics and image stabilization for shooting video, and doesn’t have the same limited clip time that plagues DSLR video shooters — it can shoot up to 315 continuous minutes. Also, Sony says the NEX-VG10 has a silent auto-focus system that could cut down on noise typical on video DSLRs.
Stills shooters may appreciate the camera’s Auto HDR mode, but the fact that it doesn’t shoot RAW images could be a dealbreaker.
Canon boasts that the new scanner has the highest resolution yet in its line, putting out film scans of 9600×9600 dpi in 48-bit color with its CCD sensor. The scanner can process mounted 35mm slides, 35mm filmstrips, and 120 formats.
In addition to improvements to standard scanner capabilities, the scanner comes loaded with FARE 3 technology, which Canon says provides automatic dust and scratch removal, as well as correction for fading, grain and backlight.
The CanoScan 9000F comes at a fairly reasonable price too, $250.
There’s an interesting discussion going on over at the DPReview forums regarding how the human eye compares to the technology we have in digital cameras.
Here are some of the findings that were compiled from various sources on the web:
Sensor size: 22mm in diameter
Resolution: 576 megapixels
Sensitivity: 1 – 800 ISO
Focal length: 22mm – 35mm
Aperture: f/2.1 – f/8.3
Another interesting idea that came up was the possibility of using the human eye as the lens and sensor for future imaging devices:
Maybe future “cameras” will actually link to your eyes – since the eyeball is such a great lens, who knows? Getting signal from the eye is the trick – would require a surgical implant or a means of reading brainwaves. Maybe that’s 200 years out – similar time [frame] the Mayo clinic is talking about for correcting double/triple vision.
Perhaps in the future we’ll all be documenting our lives at 576 megapixels through our eyes and ears, and storing the photos and videos on petabyte external hard drives at home.
What do you think of this discussion? Is there anything that jumps out at you as being wrong, or do you agree with the comparison for the most part?
InVisage, a California-based start up company, has announced a new image sensor technology that it claims is up to four times more sensitive than traditional sensor technologies.
Their product, QuantumFilm, is a layer of semiconductor material added on top of the traditional silicon that uses quantum dots to gather light.
According to InVisage CEO Jess Lee, quantum dots have a 90% efficiency in gathering light, compared to the 50% of traditional silicon.
What this means is that we can expect cell phone cameras to improve at a much faster pace than what we’ve been seeing, since improving the performance of traditional silicon has proved difficult. Lee predicts that in two years, mobile phones will contain cameras that are superior than current digital cameras in both megapixels and light sensitivity.
If this turns out to be true, we will likely see a dramatic decrease in the number of point-and-shoot cameras sold, as more and more consumers rely solely on their camera phones.