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02-06-2008, 12:13 AM   #1
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Pentax/Samsung new 14.6MP CMOS sensor.

I found two images today from a Japanese or Asian site that shows how Samsung is promoting the new 14.6MP CMOS sensor that are shipped with the Pentax K10D and the Samsung GX-20. The new sensor was developed jointly (Pentax and Samsung). From what I was told, Pentax engineers, who have more experience than Samsung with photographic equipment, designed the sensor. Samsung is manufacturing the sensor since they already had manufacturing plants and the technical experience to make this new CMOS sensor come to life.

The images are self explanatory, although technically, I don't quite fully understand the process. Pentax DSLRs

I have always been amazed to read, on various sites, that CMOS APS-C sized sensors were limited to 10MP. A decade ago, CCD sensors were apparently limited to 3 or 4MP while CMOS sensors were too expensive and had a lower IQ. We have surpassed these barriers many times over and I have no doubts that new technological advancements will make it possible in a not-so-distant future, to pack 20MP on an APS-C sensor with excellent IQ at all ISO.

The buzz word these days is Full Frame. The full frame sensors are a vestige from the 35mm cameras era. It was just a handy way to make 35mm lenses fit on a new digital SLR design. Yes, the 35mm lenses do fit on the APS-C sized camera but project an image circle bigger than what the sensor can capture, hence the cropped image circle that makes a 200mm lens act like a 300mm lens and a 20mm wide angle lens act like a 25mm lens. I think it's wonderful. Have you price a 300mm f/2.8 versus a 200mm f/2.8? Telephotos are much more expensive than wide angle lenses. Ultra wide angle lenses are now available, at about the same reasonable price of full frame wide angle lenses, making the APS-C sized cameras getting the best of both worlds. See previously post "APS-C versus Full Frame".

Pentax may produce a full frame sensor in the future, but it will only to meet the false perception of the consumers. With time, the APS-C sized sensors will have the same IQ and pixel count of the full frame sensors. Full Frame DSLR cameras and lenses will always cost more to manufacture and will forever be heavier. For example, the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II series and the Nikon D3 are great cameras but costs between $5,000 and $7,000 US. If you have ever held one of these cameras, you know just how heavy and bulky they are.

So, from my point-of-view, I believe in technology, the same technology that brought us from silver halide film to this new digital age and to this 14.6MP CMOS sensor that the Pentax K20D and Samsung GX020 have introduced. It offers the greatest resolution in its class.

Isnít technology great?

Thank you for reading. Tomorrow, I will post more about my PMA 2008 experience with the new Pentax cameras and lenses.

Thank you for reading.

Yvon Bourque

02-06-2008, 01:07 AM   #2
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Good find!
Please provide a link to your source.
02-06-2008, 05:06 AM   #3
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Yvon, I totally agree with your point of view! The so-called "technological borders" are moved every year further away. So all this talk about that APS-C is limited to 10MP is nonsence.

Interesting thing, that SONY introduced A350 with 14+ MP CCD matrix... Which one will be better, new Pentax's 14M CMOS or new SONY's 14M CCD?
02-06-2008, 05:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Good find!
Please provide a link to your source.
Wieland, if you go to Yvon's Blogspot page (link in OP), and look at his February 5th post, you can see the photos of the source–looks like Samsung promo material, in English.

Last edited by christinelandon; 02-06-2008 at 05:24 AM. Reason: spelling
02-06-2008, 06:21 AM   #5
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Incident Angle

Very nice find, indeed.

May I draw your attention to one apparently minor detail? In the second slide, #4 Incident Angle, Samsung claims to have the largest incident angle ever.

Of course, it remains to be seen if the difference to other sensors is significant enough here.

If this is the case however, it has a very important impact on the use of Pentax FA lenses, actually! Because it should mean that some vignetting issues occurring with FA lenses used in a digital SLR may have been overcome!

This is because normally, digital sensors have a direction-dependent light sensitivity while film (except for the trivial angle effect) has not. BTW, this is even more an issue with FF sensors, of course.

It could mean that this "especially designed for digital" is a thing of the past. Which is good because it not only makes a wider gear of lenses suitable but also because new lenses can again be designed with fewer engineering constraints. Something which is needed to deliver the resolution required to exploit 5 micro-meter sensor cells and smaller...
02-06-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
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Yes, technology is always moving forward. Was the same in film days. Remember reading a Kodak film scientist saying film speed was almost at its maximum with ISO 400 color film. Gave all kind of reasons why film couldn't get much better in speed or quality. Well, we sure didn't stop at 1st generation ISO 400 speed and quality. If more people were shooting film today it would still be improving. Digital is the same. Constant improvement.
ps Kodak has details of new way to improve small chips on that other website today.
02-06-2008, 08:02 AM   #7
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CMOS technology just got bumped up again.
Kodak's TRUESENSE offers hope for cramped chips: Digital Photography Review
Looks like there is life in the ol' yellow box after all.

This is interesting technology if it gets scaled up the APS-C size.

02-06-2008, 08:11 AM   #8
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I've seen those images but, not the images, the actual documents.. I can't put my finger on where though..
02-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
Ultra wide angle lenses are now available, at about the same reasonable price of full frame wide angle lenses, making the APS-C sized cameras getting the best of both worlds. See previously post "APS-C versus Full Frame".
i disagree

making a 10mm lens vs a 15 mm lens to be as distortion free as possible is very expensive, if even possible at all.

but putting that 10mm on you will never get 10mm, you get 15mm

and if you actualy wanted 10mm, well, you just cant get it, cuz it doesnt exist.

by having a full frame, or larger, people on the wide angle side of the board can get fields of view currently ONLY available to the 35mm and MF format cameras.

(unless you stitch but thats a different)
02-06-2008, 10:25 AM   #10
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These are similar to what I got from Pentax Japan web site in an earlier post.

Even though it's Japanese, but it is self-explanatory.
02-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #11
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you know what else is self explanatory? quantum physics

i want to see the machines that MAKE these things, its insane how precise they have to be, and the QC must be nuts.

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