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04-02-2014, 06:36 PM   #1
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Dream becomes reality: Sony officially unveils their curved sensor tech!

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Imagine a sensor that has no light loss on corners, no aberrations. A sensor designed to allow faster apertures without to sacrifice image quality. Such a sensor would have to be curved to allow all this. Well, this is no more science fiction. Sony officially unveiled their curved sensor tech! And suddenly the hopes are high Sony uses this kind of tech on future RX or Full Frame E-mount cameras. This is the Sony presentation published right before the start of the Technology Symposium :

We realized an ultimately advanced imaging system that comprises a curved, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS) and integrated lens which doubles the sensitivity at the edge of the image circle and increases the sensitivity at the center of the image circle by a factor of 1.4 with one-fifth lower dark current than that of a planar BIS. Because the lens field curvature aberration was overcome in principle by the curved sensor itself, the curved BIS enables higher system sensitivity through design of a brighter lens with a smaller F number than is possible with a planar BIS. At the same time, we controlled the tensile stress of the BIS chip to produce a curved shape that widens the energy band-gap to obtain a lower dark current. The curved CIS can be applied to an ultimately advanced imaging system that is validated by the evolution of the animal eye in Nature.

If Sony is going to put this into a mass production camera...it will really put under pressure Canon and Nikon
Dream becomes reality: Sony officially unveils their curved sensor tech! | Mirrorless Rumors



http://www.vlsisymposium.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Tech-14-program.pdf

04-02-2014, 08:12 PM   #2
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Wow...
04-03-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Mmmh, can't wait to see this technology in Pentax cameras!
04-04-2014, 02:00 AM   #4
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Sony RX2 to have curved sensor

The new Sony RX2 FF compact with fixed 35mm 1.8 will have a curved sensor: Sony leading the sensor tech: Presents new Curved sensor tech! Likely for the RX2 with 35mm f/1.8 lens? | sonyalpharumors

From patent to materialisation in absolute record time!

04-05-2014, 06:08 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I think its a disaster.


It was of course inevitable that it would be investigated, the only reasons for flat sensors are


1 cheapness and ease of build, and


2 to emulate film so that existing lens designs will function.


And that's the issue.


lenses come to a focus on a flat field, lens design to resolve an image in a curving field are well different.


All the existing lenses will be useless, along with all that beautiful glass we love, summiluxes are going in the dumpster along with takumars and super-takumars, tessars, sonnars et al.


Of course the reality is flat sensors will remain to support existing flat field lenses, but in a niche?


Some of the best glass around is 50 or 100 years old, do we really want to abandon it.


Personally I don't believe the hype, the main reasons lenses suffer aberrations and vignetting are fewer air to glass surfaces and poor designs.


Older lenses had 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 lens elements and often suffered aberrations Modern lenses have up to 35 elements and aren't poorly designed, so doesn't suffer.


And Part of the charm and attraction of older lenses is due to these aberrations which the new sensor and its lenses will entirely remove.


You will never be able to put Nikon pentax m42 or any other existing lenses on the new camera, so sony sales of system lenses are assured.


This is not an advance in my opinion, other than for marketing and sales. Its a solution looking for a problem.
04-05-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
I think its a disaster.
You assume that this will be for interchangeable lens cameras, and that may well come to pass eventually. However, I think that initially at least, it will be for fixed lens cameras only.

Really not much different than when FF digital cameras came out and rendered APS-C lenses sub-optimal on the new FF cameras.
04-05-2014, 03:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bimjo Quote
You assume that this will be for interchangeable lens cameras, and that may well come to pass eventually. However, I think that initially at least, it will be for fixed lens cameras only.

Really not much different than when FF digital cameras came out and rendered APS-C lenses sub-optimal on the new FF cameras.
You are right. I think we are years away from this becoming mainstream.

I suspect the initial release will be in the successor to the RX1, with a matched 35mm lens.

Early adopters will probably buy, but the sensible will wait until the technology matures and the price goes down.

FF digital was a bit different, many people (like myself) grew up with film cameras, had lenses and were waiting for the technology to catch up.

04-18-2014, 03:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
I think its a disaster.

lenses come to a focus on a flat field, lens design to resolve an image in a curving field are well different.

All the existing lenses will be useless, along with all that beautiful glass we love, summiluxes are going in the dumpster along with takumars and super-takumars, tessars, sonnars et al.
People selling their superb lenses for dumpster prices isn't a disaster, but a blessing. The "normal" sensor is still going to be around for a very long time. Especially in ILC's. And even moreso in Pentax cameras. Because how is that SR going to work with a curved sensor anyway? They have to move that sensor along a curved axis as wel!
04-18-2014, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I think some sense needs to be spoken. Assuming I have any of course.


This is the premise:-


Imagine a sensor that has no light loss on corners, no aberrations. A sensor designed to allow faster apertures without to sacrifice image quality. Such a sensor would have to be curved to allow all this.


What utter rubbish. Ive seen this kind of irrational fervour before. Lets look at the reality and not the hype.


Aberrations exist not because the lens must resolve onto a flat lane, but simply because when you bend light at a diffraction surface such as glass, the diffraction in the centre does not bring the light rays to a focus in the same location as light rays from the edge.


Different lens shapes show this effect differently, its not simply the focus that is affected, but colour separations occur as well, there are many different aberrations on axial and off axial aberrations. Lens design is extremely complex.


This single change will reduce some aberrations but others will remain. So its not going to magically remove all aberrations and make them a thing of the past, there are something in excess of 15 different aberrations, this will help reduce a couple of them only. It will make lens design simpler in some areas, and that's all.


Light loss in the corners is a result of poor lens design and is more apparent in some lenses than others but the effect will be unchanged with this sensor change, because its created by the lens not the sensor. It may be reduced because lens design is simpler but it will still be there.


Faster apertures are a result of sophisticated lens design, Triplet, Planar, Tessar, all these and many others suffered small apertures due to unsophisticated design, but not only this, the low order off axis aberrations could be avoided by setting a small aperture lens deep within the body.


This was a lens design trick to enable good performance to be achieve from an unsophisticated lens design.


Image quality is related to the lens design, and in this area there may be improvements, that remains to be seen.


This new sensor is not a dream at all, its simply a slight improvement, allowing lens designs to be simpler.


If all lens design were done by hand and slide rule then this would be a huge improvement, but computer design tools have improved the design process out of all recognition so all this new sensor will do is make the computers spend a few less nanoseconds on the design, and the lens will cost a few dollars less to make, and it will be slightly better in some areas.


For the last 80 years lens designs have largely solved the kind of problems this sensor is supposed to fix. Can we not buy well corrected lenses that are sharp, that don't show light loss on corners and have large apertures, am I missing something.


If a car manufacturer advertised a revolutionary "dream" car that for the first time would seat 4 people in comfort, would last than 10 miles without breaking down, and gave better than 5 miles per gallon, would we not laugh saying, we already have these.


In my opinion, apart from the limited use in fixed lens cameras, which by the way I believe will disappear soon anyway due to smartphones, this is not much of an improvement and its 20 years too late.


What do you guys think.
04-18-2014, 08:22 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
In my opinion, apart from the limited use in fixed lens cameras, which by the way I believe will disappear soon anyway due to smartphones, this is not much of an improvement and its 20 years too late.
It's probably smartphones that are going to make most use of curves sensors.
04-18-2014, 01:48 PM   #11
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Gotta wonder if the curved sensor will follow the curved profile of the lens. No more out of focus bokeh? Hmmm... imagine that becoming mainstream. Then today's (traditional?) traditional tech becomes "artsy" and prices for older lenses will jump again!
04-18-2014, 01:56 PM   #12
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What does this mean to printing and viewing of images? No effect or will be buying new technology to view and print?
04-18-2014, 02:18 PM   #13
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Different lenses have different amounts of field curvature. Primes will have one specific amount, whereas on zooms it is variable depending on the focal length used.
Therefore, the curved sensor will work great on a camera with a fixed focal length lens, with a single fixed amount of field curvature from that particular lens.
To use this on an interchangeable lens camera (or with a zoom lens), the sensor curvature would have to be variable to match the field curvature of different lenses (or different focal length in zooms). Not impossible, but my guess is it would be expensive to develop and implement.
04-22-2014, 05:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VladM Quote
Different lenses have different amounts of field curvature. Primes will have one specific amount, whereas on zooms it is variable depending on the focal length used.
Therefore, the curved sensor will work great on a camera with a fixed focal length lens, with a single fixed amount of field curvature from that particular lens.
To use this on an interchangeable lens camera (or with a zoom lens), the sensor curvature would have to be variable to match the field curvature of different lenses (or different focal length in zooms). Not impossible, but my guess is it would be expensive to develop and implement.
All regular photo lenses are designed to have ZERO field curvature. They do have small residual curvature, but not only it changes with focal length, but with focusing distance and color. There is nothing difficult in designing a zoom for a curved sensor, any lens designer can do that. The only problem (still) is the sensor itself. The pixels will have different sizes, grids of rows and columns will be much more complex.
And, in case of ILC system, someone will surely make adaptors (like Speed Booster) to use lenses for flat sensors.

---------- Post added 04-22-14 at 07:28 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gmans Quote
What does this mean to printing and viewing of images? No effect or will be buying new technology to view and print?
Those who shoot jpeg only will notice nothing. Those who shoot raw will complain about many converters lacking good support for curved sensors.
04-22-2014, 06:16 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Wow! A curved field sensor...who'da thunk it?

http://www.ocularbiomechanics.com/images/Eye.jpg
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