Sony has officially released the very first image of what promises to be an impressive leap forward in digital imaging technology: the curved full-frame sensor.
Initially unveiled in April, Sony hasn’t taken any pains to keep this one a secret — and why should they? The process for making and stabilizing these curved sensors was developed entirely in-house, using machines Sony’s R&D department designed, and the company says it’s closer to mass manufacture than any previously-attempted curved array.
With a curvature equivalent to that of the human eye, this sensor promises 1.4x better sensitivity in the middle and 2x better sensitivity in the corners! All of this while actually reducing noise caused by ‘dark current’ (which sounds like something out of Star Wars but is actually the current that is flowing through pixels even when they’re not receiving light).
Also, because the light is hitting the corners directly and not at an angle, many of the issues that have to be corrected with additional glass when using normal sensors go away, allowing for flatter lenses with larger apertures. Sony fan or not, this tech should have image nerds borderline giddy.
Sony presented the tech this week at the 2014 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, where it showed off both full-frame (43mm) and mobile phone-sized (11mm) versions of the curved sensor. The former is rumored to appear in the wild when Sony unveils the full-frame RX2 compact.
Image credits: Sensor photograph by Sony via Spectrum