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Canon Develops 8 X 8 Inch Digital CMOS Sensor

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the you'lll-need-deep-pockets dept.

Input Devices 209

dh003i writes "Canon has developed a 8 x 8 inch CMOS digital sensor. It will be able to capture an image with 1/100th the light intensity required by a DSLR and will be able to record video at 60 fps in lighting half the intensity of moonlight. There are already many excellent quality lenses designed to cover 8 x 10 inches, although Canon may develop some of their own designed specifically for their requirements."

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209 comments

what is the spectral response? (1)

dnix (831940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458436)

what is the spectral response?

Re:what is the spectral response? (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458812)

Perfect for capturing the Sorority girls in the next dorm over that turn-off the lights, but never close the curtains. "No honey I can't see you, but my camera can."

IR Cameras (1)

teko_teko (653164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459200)

Perfect for capturing the Sorority girls in the next dorm over that turn-off the lights, but never close the curtains. "No honey I can't see you, but my camera can."

I think Infra-red cameras will work better for your case. Sure, the colors aren't natural, but it works much better in low light.

Re:IR Cameras (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459996)

You'll need a big IR spotlight, though. This wouldn't even need that.

Re:IR Cameras (1)

GrpA (691294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460246)

Or an intensifier CCD... Intensified CCD's work in light levels down to microlux... This thing only works in 0.3 lux.

Intensified CCD - 0.000005 Lux.
This camera - 0.3 Lux.

See the difference?

There are already color video systems that work down to similar levels as this chip. In terms of low-light performance, it isn't all that impressive.

But it's size is very impressive.

As for watching people at night? I taken it you haven't ever heard of night vision equipment?

Modern image intensifiers don't really need much light so an IR torch is probably overkill.

As for the OP's intended use? Sounds pretty stupid to me... A good way to get into trouble.

David

Re:what is the spectral response? (1)

rangerfan558 (842657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460406)

ah Q-Link, where I met my first wife, and the time just before the net went to hell in a handbasket.

Re:what is the spectral response? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458842)

I've heard it's Double Shlong!

Coming soon? (3, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458518)

The article did not explain if this would be incorporated into a camera anytime soon. Also I wonder how it compares to the Hasselblad digital backs and cameras. http://www.hasselbladusa.com/ [hasselbladusa.com]

Re:Coming soon? (0, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458648)

Canon doesn't just make cameras, they also make copy/fax systems that are already big enough that an 8 inches squared sensor would fit nicely.

Re:Coming soon? (3, Informative)

blhack (921171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459664)

What you're saying is absolutely insane, I'm sorry.

The sensor in my copier costs, what, $10? Maybe?

You're talking about replacing that with something that would likely cost over $100,000 as well as well as the optics to support it.

The sensor in a fax machine and the sensor in a camera are *totally* different things.

Re:Coming soon? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459778)

Yeah if this is cheaper than comparable CCDs it could be very good for amateur astronomers.

Re:Coming soon? (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459898)

but then you wouldn't have to wait for the sensor to sweep across the page. you must have more time to waste than me.

Re:Coming soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33460306)

You're talking about replacing that with something that would likely cost over $100,000 as well as well as the optics to support it.

When that does happen, it'l be called iCopier.

Re:Coming soon? (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459888)

a lot of the perceived quality in the hasselblad digital backs is in the operating system that lays on top of the sensor, and the hardware user interface and the lens interface... more data is going to mean higher latency and response times...

Re:Coming soon? (5, Informative)

shawb (16347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460286)

Bigger CCD does not necessarily mean higher pixel counts. In this application it means that each pixel will receive more photons per exposure, allowing for much better low light photography (I.E. less grainy.) Making larger CCDs previously meant higher latency (and therefore more motion blur or related distortion, in addition to lower framerate in video applications) due to limits in the speed of transfer of electrons in the medium. The innovative bit here is that Canon apparently came up with a circuit design that eliminates this latency.

Re:Coming soon? (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460416)

i'd hope canon wouldn't brag about a 8"x8" sensor if it wasn't already as dense as existing sensors.

adding more data and decreasing latency almost surely implies some sort of multiplexing is going on, and that the "sensor" is really a grid of smaller sensors packaged together.

Re:Coming soon? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33459976)

Will this be in a camera? No. Good god no.

Have they used their 120 megapixel APS-H sized sensor? Have they used the 50 megapixel one before that?

This is just money down the toilet. It's development to make the executives feel good. It's R&D masturbation.

I love Canon, I love their sensors and cameras but they are and the path to bankruptcy. Quick make the employees stand not sit make them and run everywhere so they look busy!

Re:Coming soon? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460296)

I still think it is cool that cameras made 20-30 years ago from Hasselblad can get digital imaging backs put on with 39 megapixels worth of resolution.

Cam whoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458526)

This sensor is going to revolutionize cam whoring. Today's cameras just don't show the nose pores, and pubic hair stubble like this will.
I can't wait

no resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458538)

it's be great if it were something lame like 6 megapixel

Re:no resolution (4, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458564)

it's be great if it were something lame like 6 megapixel
 
Why is 6 mp lame? Do you know the Hubble is something like .8 mp and it takes amazing pictures because the sensor is huge. Like this thing.

Re:no resolution (4, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458598)

Actually, they use software to merge the photos. Otherwise the photos would suck.

Re:no resolution (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458702)

even 640 by 480 would be pretty amazing if it was low-noise, 60 FPS, in moonlight.
I can't be arsed to post-process everything like NASA can.

Re:no resolution (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458808)

Well for video yeah. For photos, not so much. However photomerging in Photoshop is a two step process. Select the photos, and hit OK. It does all the work for you.

Re:no resolution (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459920)

yeah, and in a field of black with white spots, i'm sure the merging automation never makes mistakes.

the merge process has to be built into the photo taking process to work with any level of confidence.

Re:no resolution (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460326)

The whole point of sensors like this is that what may look to you like black with a few white dots is in fact a much more vivid image, but at intensities too low for human perception. When your sensor is capable of discriminating the differences in intensity or color between stars, stitching the exposures is very easy.

Re:no resolution (1)

m2shariy (1194621) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458708)

Yes, 6 Mp is a lot. It is three 1920x1080 monitor screens.

Re:no resolution (0)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458880)

Ahem. Remember that you have to account for the Bayseian Filter in front of the sensor. So that kicks it down to about one 1920x1080 screen. Then take into account noise. Then account for lens abberations. So yeah, uhm I'd like a higher res thank you.

Re:no resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458988)

That's an AMAZING full HD sensor! What are you talking about?!?!

Re:no resolution (4, Informative)

shams42 (562402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459008)

Ahem. Remember that you have to account for the Bayseian Filter in front of the sensor.

It's not a "Bayseian filter" [sic], it's a Bayer matrix [wikipedia.org] .

Re:no resolution (4, Insightful)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459208)

And how is a higher resolution sensor going to undo lens aberrations? That would be nice.

Re:no resolution (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459272)

The higher res gives you the data to allow the software to do that. Canon's Digital Photo Profesional already does a lot of this automatically.

Re:no resolution (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459602)

That's not true. Canon's professional cameras have larger sensors combined with higher pixel counts, however, once you hit a certain point where you're out resolving the lens, you're not going to get a whole lot out of adding more pixels without enlarging the area by more than that. Which is why the full frame 35mm format will always be capable of having more pixels than the APC-S or 4/3 formats will, at some point you hit the point of out resolving the lens at which point you're only option is to go larger. No technical wizardry in chip or in the camera hardware will ever make up for that.

Same goes for lens aberrations of various sorts, you can make them less obvious, but at the end of the day, you're still sacrificing image quality and counting on the camera system to do the right thing. But you're still going to lose detail and introduce other image problems.

Re:no resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33460316)

I think you misunderstood. As the grandparent said, it's done in software (post), not in camera hardware. The effects of the aberrations is still recorded on the sensor, but with a known lens profile, software can remove it from the final image. Of course, this costs resolution... which is where the extra "overhead" resolution comes into play (which is what the original statement stated.) It's not unlike saying that extra resolution gives you more reach; of course it's not changing the focal length of your lens (hardware), but it gives you more ability to crop (in software).

Re:no resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33459924)

The Bayer filter doesn't change the resolution, the current N megapixel cameras don't have Nx3 sensors, they use the colored data to extrapolate a full color frame at the full sensor pixel count. Also, there are 2x as many green filters as either red or blue IIRC.

Re:no resolution (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458792)

Not sure about the Hubble's image processing, but I had some dealings with satellite images several years ago. Our images were created from a combination of a high resolution monochrome image to provide detail then a sequence of lower resolution colour images potentially ranging from UV through to IR. The images were then combined, the colour spectrum compressed and/or shifted to fit within the range visible to the human eye before being output as high-resolution (for the time) colour images.

Re:no resolution (2, Informative)

Whiternoise (1408981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459152)

That's not the whole story. The actual size of the HST sensor is something like 45mm square (or maybe diagonally). Hubble takes amazing pictures for a few reasons. 1. It's got an 8 foot (2.4m) collecting mirror, so its light gathering prowess is amazing compared to normal cameras - like most telescopes. This means that the sensor is only effective because Hubble can direct so much light onto it. 2. It tracks the sky - like motorised ground based telescopes it is incredibly good at pointing in the same place for extended periods of time. So it can take longer exposures to get more light in. The Deep Field was taken with exposure times of roughly 1200 seconds, for instance. I assume it could expose for longer if it was at a Lagrange point and didn't have to contend with orbiting the Earth. 3. It's in space.. so there is very little in the way of light pollution (besides the sun!) and no atmospheric diffraction limit. Presumably they also make "panoramas" of the images to make them appear larger in print. The famous "Pillars of Heaven" shot is certainly not one image.

back to old style camera sizes? (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458540)

I assume this means a would-be digital Ansel Adams will need to drag around a camera the size of a bread machine? I'm not too confident the market size is large enough for anything other than highly specialized scientific equipment. I don't see large format digital cameras even for professional photographers because of what it will probably cost to produce.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (4, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458640)

For architectural photography, and many landscapes, nothing, but nothing, beats a view camera. If you take a picture of a building with a standard DSLR, the picture will look like a pyramid, because the film plane was at an angle to the building. With a view cameras, with swings and tilts, you can have the lens and film plane parallel to the walls of the building, giving you a much more natural look.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458774)

You can do that with a standard DSLR. Using a tilt-shift lens. Granted, with a view camera that functionality is built into the body rather than having to get specialized lenses, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the sensor size.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459000)

Last time I looked, which waasn't that long ago, there were two DSLR tilt-shift lenses on the market, they cost about $3,000, and the coverage they had was unimpressive.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459310)

Last time I looked, which waasn't that long ago, there were two DSLR tilt-shift lenses on the market, they cost about $3,000, and the coverage they had was unimpressive.

It must have been a quite a LONG time ago, because Canon has had 3 tilt-shift lenses available for years. The were released in 1991, and are still available today. A few years ago they added a 4th lens to the batch (and updated one of the old models with a
new version). So your choices are:

17mm f/4
24mm f/3.5
45mm f/2.8
90mm f/2.8

Also, when I checked a few years ago, the cheapest one was under $1500. Today they range from $1200 to $2200.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33459338)

while nothing beats an 8x10 view camera, even canon's new tilt-shift, the fact is that DSLR is faster and that's what clients care about. Unless you're doing fine art photography.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (2, Informative)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459812)

The 35mm tilt/shift lenses provide nothing like the range of flexibility provided by a view camera.

I've looked at both and a DSLR + tilt/shift lens is a poor substitute for a view camera if you are looking range of adjustment, quality of image, and the size of print possible without pixelation or blurring. The DSLR sensor is just too small and the 35mm tilt/shift lenses 2 axes of adjustment cannot compare with the 3 axes of adjustment available in a view camera. Plus, the view camera has a much greater range of adjustment. There's really no comparison between the two.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459394)

Look again.

Canon has four tilt / shift lenses in their lineup, from $1200 to $2200, in 90mm, 45mm, 24mm, and 17mm focal lengths. I have the 24, and it’s an amazing lens. Reviewers are describing it as having the best optics of any 24mm lens made for the 135 format. Its movements are nearly unlimited. The 17 is much the same lens. The 45 and 90 are restricted to tilting and shifting on either parallel or perpendicular axes, and you need a screwdriver to switch from the one to the other. They’re also older designs and will likely be replaced sooner rather than later by ones in the style of the newer 24 and 17.

Nikon makes some PC lenses that I’ve never known anybody to get ecstatic about; perhaps that’s what you’re thinking of? But everybody I know of who does serious stuff on Nikon is using medium format lenses with a bellows. Many do the same with Canon. At that point, you really do have a view camera with a 135-sized digital sensor.

Also worth mentioning: the current round of “full frame” cameras generate prints with resolutions that rival those that Ansel Adams made, though of course modern large format cameras and emulsions are significantly superior. So, unless you’re planning on making door-sized prints that people will be sticking their noses into or unless you need an insanely shallow depth of field, there’s no technical reason to use film instead of digital. There are, of course, many aesthetic reasons, but that’s the artist’s choice. Up to 24 × 36, assuming impeccable technique, good glass, and all the rest, you need a loupe to tell the difference between a 5DII and large format. And, at normal viewing distances, it’s hard to tell even at twice the size.

Cheers,

b&

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459526)

This is true, but perspective can very easily be fixed in photoshop.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459676)

That's not correct. It's much more than that. The large format cameras are far more than just the camera movements. It's the relationship between the lens, film plane and the meditative stance that one must take with film that expensive. And the time it takes to set up. Sure the camera movements are necessary, but it's the format which Ansel Adams used which was special, on top of his processing and other technical mastery. I doubt very much that he'd be using anything other than large format were he alive today.

I would say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458684)

you're wrong about its uses, but with new and coming art directors being completely unaware about megapixels and print size, the death of print publication.... I agree that I don't see much use from an 8x10 camera. Photoshop and tilt-shift camera takes care of architecture photography, not to mention most arch. firms uses 3d rendering. Publications are going online, and you don't need anything more than 1200px the longest side.

Every publication I've been working for are about content quantity rather than quality. From weddings to fine art, and finally magazine editors. They seem to want all the shots these days, not realizing that shooting is just one half of the equation; printing (or post-processing in photoshop) is the other half.

Anyhoo, I def. see this in scientific use. Not for fashion spreads anytime soon.

Re:I would say... (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458992)

I can see this used by many professional photographers who would have much less post-processing to do as a sensor that size could produce an image of poster size with very little manipulation. Those pros who make a good living selling fine art photographs will be drooling over this as the size of the print possible with this sensor will be very large with very little pixelation.

Re:I would say... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459702)

Precisely, the best photographers whether they be pro or serious amateurs know that the best chance to get the shot is in camera. You can do a lot of those things in photoshop, but it really and truly isn't the same. Best case you limit the size at which you can print and more likely you get something of inferior quality. Beyond that, it just takes less time to do it right the first time, than to try and figure out how to fix it later on, even with raw formats it's still just not as good.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458748)

Hey, those lenses are dirt cheap, only $1,000 to $1,500, so how expensive can the camera be?

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458798)

Lenses for 8" x 10" (and 4" x 5") cameras have both the the aperture iris and shutter (which uses an adjustable mechanical clockwork) built in. Plus, they need a lot of extra film plane coverage, to allow for swings and tilts.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459074)

This thing takes an entire silicon wafer. Off the top of my head, I'd guess at least thousands of dollars per sufficiently defect-free 20cm x 20cm sensor. Though I suppose it depends on the resolution of the features on the sensor.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459140)

Oh yeah, no question it's gonna cost a metric fuck-ton of money. What would be surprising (to me) is if it didn't need cooling, like most of the larger sensors do.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459050)

I too noticed the lenses seem bizarrely cheap - I guess because the ones listed have relatively short focal lengths and high f-stop numbers (in other words, they're little). For $1500 you get a 300 mm f5.6. Since the receptor is huge, 300mm would be pretty short focal length. 10 inches is 254 mm, so a 300mm lens would only be equivalent to a 35.4 mm lens for a 30mm camera. (300 * 30 / 254 = 35.4) The $9,000 lens is still only 800 mm (94.5mm focal length in 30mm equiv, which is a mild telephoto, nice for portraiture) and only opens to f/12. You would NEED a very sensitive receptor to go around shooting at f/12 all the time.

Re:back to old style camera sizes? (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459466)

I assume this means a would-be digital Ansel Adams will need to drag around a camera the size of a bread machine? I'm not too confident the market size is large enough for anything other than highly specialized scientific equipment.

Ansel Adams used a 4x5 camera---large format [wikipedia.org] . Had this been available in his day, he might well have used it.

Telescopes (2, Interesting)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458546)

are the first thing I think of for this.

There is currently no information about the sensor's resolution.

Darn, that was my biggest question. Low light photography has always been one of my interests, so I would have a lot of fun with a camera based on this technology :D ... Actually, I'd be rather keen to have a try making my own... Maybe that's for another day though. ;)

Re:Telescopes (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459072)

You can shoot in light that's so low that you can barely see in it with a few thousand bucks of equipment now. (Thinking a Nikon D700 and 50/1.4 lens or something.)

Re:Telescopes (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459754)

If you want low light, you shouldn't even consider Nikon. I'm not sure about in recent times, but Canon has been kicking Nikon's ass in that respect for many years. It's really not a coincidence that the vast majority of sports photographers have those lenses with the red ring around them. It's simply because Canon is better at low light, fast shutter speed photography than Nikon is. On top of that they do a much better job with the longer lenses needed for those pursuits.

That's not to say that Nikon is trash, it's not, they just don't focus on those markets for whatever reason. If you're just looking for things which are more standard, a Nikon or Fuji is just fine. In fact Fuji is great if you're into portraits, they've always been very good about reproducing skin tones.

Re:Telescopes (2, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459842)

Things *have* changed in recent times. Nikon introduced a 35mm-frame DSLR about two years ago, the D3, and now has four fullframe models that are just astounding in low-light performance. The D3S is the best of them: see dpreview's review at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3s/page33.asp [dpreview.com] .

The D700 I mentioned above is their affordable fullframe model: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond700/page32.asp [dpreview.com]

Re:Telescopes (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459858)

Also, I believe that the very long lenses used for this sort of thing are pretty much a wash. But I do know that a lot of bird photographers have been moving from Canon to Nikon for the Nikon superteles (500 f/4 and such), so they can't be that bad.

what we could get? (2, Informative)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458550)

Moonlight on the earth surface or moonlight of the moon?

Taking photos of the moon is same thing as taking photos of the bright sunlight of theearth surface. Like 1/125 f:11 ISO 100.

No but really, that is impressive but depends from the aperture and lens quality do we get better than f:0.4 or something. But that just means the A/D conversion is impressive at that size of sensor so we might see very noiseless ISO of 250 000 setting.

But there really is demand to get a old formats back. Especially if the megapixel amount would be same as with negative. What is not going to happend because Canon likes more to make bigger sensors than tight megapixels. Thing about A4 (197x210mm) sized full size architecture camera. On such negative with ISO 50-100 you can capture more details than what you could even think about with digital cameras.

Re:what we could get? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458804)

think they mean taking photos of the Earth by the reflected light of the moon, but even then you have a huge variance in lumens depending on the phase of the moon, so I'd assume a full moon. Of course, it would have been much more concise to just specify the actual light level required!

Re:what we could get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458920)

Of course, it would have been much more concise to just specify the actual light level required!

You mean like in the article where they say "facilitating the shooting of 60 frame-per-second video with a mere 0.3 lux of illumination"?

Re:what we could get? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459222)

I have never really understood why large sensors are better in low light. The amount of light collected depends on the size of the objective lens, not on the size of the sensor. Thus for a given resolution the number of photons landing on each pixel should be the same regardless of sensor size.

The only exception I can see is the gaps that must exist between rows and columns of pixels - they would cover a smaller percentage of a larger receptor.

But surely it's not just that?

Re:what we could get? (1)

LordByronStyrofoam (587954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459430)

It's because small sensors have a much worse signal to noise ratio.

Re:what we could get? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459774)

It's because the photosites are further apart and the lenses over the individual photosites are larger. Meaning that you can crank up the gain further without increasing the interference between photosites and have more light available to begin with. Basically you end up with more photons being directed at the photosite and less chance of energy generated at other photosites from interfering.

Re:what we could get? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459964)

No, I said small vs large sensor assuming a fixed objective lens size and rows/cols of pixels - so the total amount of light is the same, as is the light per pixel / photosite. When you say the photosites are further apart, do you mean there are insulating gaps between them that are larger, or that the average distance between points on neighboring photosites is larger, thus reducing leakage between them?

Re:what we could get? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459882)

Not sure that this is right but if you imagine a small number of photons arriving on your detector then reconstructing the image will depend in part on the resolution of the detector. The resolution helps you turn an indistinct blob into a real image.

Resolution...? (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458606)

The article says that there's currently no information available about the resolution. I just wondered if this might be the same sensor from the story the other day about the 120MP sensor [slashdot.org] ...? Two stories for the price of one? Agree? Disagree?

Re:Resolution...? (2, Informative)

m2shariy (1194621) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458742)

RTFA: This follows last week's development announcement of Canon's 120 megapixel 29.2 x 20.2mm APS-H CMOS sensor. They are different sensors.

Re:Resolution...? (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458950)

Did read. I disagree that that means they are not related. It's only a statement made by the reporter.

Re:Resolution...? (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459632)

Actually, let's take this a step further:

The article says

is approximately 40 times the size of Canon's largest commercial CMOS sensor

And then quantifies that

The approximately 21.1 megapixel 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor employed in the company's EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR cameras

So the new sensor is ~40 times larger than their 21.1MP sensor.

120MP/40=3MP: If we assume that they are the same sensor, and take a chunk of the sensor the same size as as their 21.1MP sensor, we get 3MP.

21.1MP/3MP=7: The 21.1MP sensor is 7 times more dense than this sensor if we assume it to only be 120MP. Meaning that the receptors are potentially as much as 7 times the size, therefore making them highly sensitive and suitable for really low light, while having incredible high resolution. This adds a lot of weight to the possiblity that they are the same sensor.

With that difference in density, they could use current technology and still have room to use for their

innovative circuit design

I'm not saying you're wrong. It's quite possible that they are different sensors. However, your resoning is:

This follows last week's development announcement

You are quoting an announcement, not a chip.

These are both impressive achievements. Cannon would have pumped a lot of money into this, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if they decided to milk it a little.

Re:Resolution...? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460356)

Not just megapixels. What's the color depth, dynamic range, etc. The best high res digital photo still falls on its face when taking photos of something like the sky, where the hue changes gradually. I can see the color bands in 8 bit per color raw data of such photos.

Is it as good as Kodachrome [slashdot.org] ?

This will never happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458660)

but I'll ask just one more time:

What I want is a digital collector that lays in/on the rails of my Nikon Fs and has the circuitry where the cassette would have gone with maybe a usb jack cut in the bottom of the film back. I know, this is pure nostalgia. Tell me nostalgia doesn't sell. I'm not buying a DX-blah for some time but I'd buy one of these tomorrow. Maybe two.

Re:This will never happen (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459750)

There was one shown off at trade shows in the late 1990s but it never went into production despite a lot of interest. Anyone with a microscope plus 35mm camera mount would have paid thousands for it instead of the tens of thousands to attach digital cameras.

Re:This will never happen (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459896)

Yeah I have a good Nikon camera at home which I will never use again because it uses film. I feel bad about it but the sad fact is I can get better bang for my buck by buying a new DSLR.

A little late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458750)

That Paris Hilton sex video really could have used one of these!

...or rather more likely, not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458806)

"although Canon may develop some of their own designed specifically for their requirements"

...or not. This isn't intended for a product launch, it's a technology demo intended to get some publicity for Canon Expo (and hence, for Canon itself).

I'll eat my hat if this sensor is every used in any product sold by Canon.

No free lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33458862)

If it requires 1/100 the light of a 35mm sensor, then it also achieves 1/100 the depth of field using the same lens type. So your landscape photo (it'd be useless for portraits) would have about a battery width worth in focus, and the rest blurred.

Re:No free lunch (4, Insightful)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459248)

You have this exactly backwards. The more you can stop down your lens, f2.8 wide open and f60 stopped down, means less light to your sensor, the greater your depth of field. This sensor means you could shoot at ISO 25, a shutter speed of 1/500 or 1/1000 of a second, and an fstop of 60 very easily in a lot less than full light conditions. That's a great depth of field, a shutter speed fast enough to reduce the effects of any vibration, and still get enough light to get a good exposure. I'm just guessing on what the fstop and shutter speeds would be with a sensor that light sensitive, but with a modern dslr you couldn't even get close to those settings in anything less than bright sunlight without very low shutter speeds that require the use of a tripod and higher ISO settings that tend to induce noise.

Re:No free lunch (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459788)

Depth of field doesn't just relate to the aperture size (less DoF for wider aperature/small F-number), but also focal length of the lens (less DoF in telephoto lense or the larger SLR versus compact cameras) and the distance to focussed object (less DoF if it is closer to the camera). Your statement, as the other person points out is wrong. If it requires 1/100th of the light, you might have to close the aperture somewhat, increasing the DoF. This is a really cool DoF Calculator [dofmaster.com] .

Shutter speed (2, Interesting)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458866)

"It will be able to capture an image with 1/100th the light intensity required by a DSLR"

I'm reading that as ultra fast shutter speeds being available for fast moving photography. Cool.

Re:Shutter speed (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459038)

At the moment highspeed photography is limited by how fast the shutters will go. The larger focal-plane shutters used for this larger format are likely to be even slower than the ones used on today's DSLR's.

My camera, a bog-standard Olympus DSLR, can do up to 1/4000. Nicer cameras can do 1/8000, but I don't know of any off-the-shelf DSLR that can do faster.

I can shoot 1/4000 at ISO 800 f/5.6 in sunlight. With a f/2.8 lens (you'd use at least f/2.8 for highspeed work, f/2 if you can get it) you can get up to 1/8000 in outdoor light at a reasonable ISO. (Four Thirds cameras can do ISO 800 with reasonable quality; the best APS-C, like the Nikon D300, can do ISO 1600; fullframe can do ISO 3200.)

This thing might be able to get up to 1/8000 in worse light, but only if you can find a f/2.8 or f/2 lens for it. Large-format lenses tend to be slow.

Re:Shutter speed (1)

LordByronStyrofoam (587954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459476)

The size of the sensor is going to have an impact on shutter speed. If you want to pull a little slit past a 200mm sensor, it's gonna take a lot longer than pulling it past an APS-C size sensor.

Re:Shutter speed (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459696)

Yes, but this is less important than the amount of time that each piece of the sensor is exposed for certain sorts of highspeed photography. I shoot hummingbirds, for instance, and what I care about is that each piece of the bird is exposed for a very short time -- I'm not terribly concerned about whether it's the *same* very short time. (The travel time on my sensor, which has 1/2 the linear size of fullframe, is about 1/180.)

Some sorts of high speed photography are very concerned about this, I imagine, and they're unlikely to be able to use a focal plane shutter at all.

Yes, and No... [Re:Shutter speed] (1)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459838)

An SLR shutter doesn't expose the whole frame at the same instant: It's like a scanning line running down the frame, so if your gap (between the separately-controlled curtains) is small enough, you can have _any_ shutter speed you want - just don't expect the whole frame to be recording the same instant in time. Also, you don't need to put the shutter immediately in front of the film/sensor plate (but it helps give a clear image).

Re:Shutter speed (2, Interesting)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459690)

Nikon d3s (35mm size sensor) can currently do up to 102400 ISO and produce usable images.

Can anyone tell me why this wouldn't be used with an electronic shutter if ultra high speed photography was the goal?

Re:Shutter speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33459918)

Yes, I can tell you: the short answer is that electronic shutter just isn't very fast.
The long answer is that CMOS sensors must be sampled in series, aka a rolling shutter, and it takes a fair bit of time to go from one corner to the other. Enough time that it causes skew of moving object in video. Sensors are getting better (the first video on DSLRs, a Nikon, was so bad that panning the camera at a leisurely rate caused jello, although this is largely fixed now) but mechanical shutters are still far faster.

Re:Shutter speed (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459254)

Maybe in carefully staged settings, but we already have super high-speed cameras for carefully staged settings. In real life, have fun trying to use a view camera to capture fast motion. The larger your sensor, the longer the lens you need to get the same field of view, and the shallower your depth of field. With a view camera shooting sports or what-have-you you'd need an absolutely ridiculously insanely long lens and it would be all but impossible to focus it on anything moving faster than a glacier.

Re:Shutter speed (1)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459568)

my guess is this can be overcome by using an electronic shutter? i.e turning off the sensor

Re:Shutter speed (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459658)

This comes at a cost of quality so you're not likely to see this kind of system in any camera not a) specifically designed for it or b) having the option to turn it off. Some of the entry level Nikon DSLRs of yesteryear at shutter speeds above 1/250th would open the shutter, THEN start the sensor and close the shutter for this very reason.

Re:Shutter speed (1)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459732)

It seems likely that a) such large sensors will (if they ever reach any market at all) only have highly specialised camera backs which will almost certainly be specially designed for them. One thing that occurs to me is astronomy

Re:Shutter speed (1)

getto man d (619850) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459572)

Very cool. I'm also interpreting it as better image capture in a natural environment, say 'x' meters below sea levels. Of course light won't reach certain depths but using ROVs scientific crews can always stage sub-sea lighting further away. Or here's a relevant project / application: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/09bioluminescence/background/lowlight/lowlight.html [noaa.gov]

Re:Shutter speed (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459952)

the only problem is now you're dealing with enormous amounts of data... the bottleneck will be transferring that data to storage before the next exposure can start.

How many pixels? (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33458916)

TFA doesn't say how many pixels it is.

One?

Re:How many pixels? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459116)

Yes, It is ONE GIANT PIXEL. It captures 16-bit grayscale.

Re:How many pixels? (1)

aethogamous (935390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33459428)

A very crude guess of about 10mp, assuming that the extra light gathering is solely based on larger pixels and that they are assuming they can get lenses that cover this side with the same maximum aperture as for a 35 sensor. Sensor is 50 times larger and pixels 100 time larger.

8x8? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460074)

Inches? Could we please have that in useful units. Like football fields.

Imagine the images you could get (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33460116)

With a Beowulf Cluster of these....
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