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01-25-2021, 07:41 PM   #1
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Curved sensors are coming... TOMORROW! Sony's camera LEAKED

The video is mainly about an expected announcement tomorrow (1/26/21) from Sony about a curved sensor in a fixed lens camera. This gets around many problems in terms of going to a somewhat "curved" sensor. However, this is not really my point in posting this.

My primary point here is thinking about Pentax sliding into the future. If indeed Sony follows through with their announcement, there is still a lot of engineering and innovation that is necessary to adapt and apply this to interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), but in terms of Pentax's business/R&D plans - why make a series of product changes - dslr to mirrorless (which requires a new lens mount and family of lenses) to possibly a curved sensor based product set, which would again necessitate a set of lens designs. They could very well follow Sony's lead with the GR product line - and as the technology and manufacturing capabilities matures (yields increase) - have a new lens design family set waiting in the wings and when ready take the conversion path - be it late, but not be forced to take multiple leaps as others may be doing sometime in the future. We just might be seeing why Pentax has been somewhat resistant to moving away from a dslr centric product line.

I'm not expecting this technology to be ready for an ILC tomorrow (or anytime soon) - that is going to be sometime in the future. The point is, that curved sensor migration closely following the industry's mirrorless migration, all following the ILC market collapse (due to smartphones) - is not financially healthy. Just thinking out loud. The point is surviving and managing the ever changing technology landscape.



01-25-2021, 08:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
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It would be very cool to see Ricoh develop a mirrorless ILC camera with a curved sensor, but It's not happening. I would be surprised to see this sensor in anything but a fixed lens RX series body. The sensor will be expensive, cutting edge tech, and Ricoh doesn't do either of those.


The real advantage would be for a medium format system. The curved sensor would allow the lenses to be 30%+/- smaller and the already large MF lenses would see some significant saving, but that would be one pricey system.
01-25-2021, 08:42 PM   #3
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Too bad it won't make sense for other than a fixed lens camera. OTOH, it is a great way to sell tons of lenses. OTOH, perhaps they will do a compromise with supplemental lenses similar to the Contaflex.


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01-25-2021, 09:09 PM   #4
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I could see a Ricoh GXR module based on this. Perhaps a reason to revive that concept. But otherwise I donít see it.

01-25-2021, 09:54 PM   #5
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One more tidbit. The Sony countdown has the alpha symbol which has only been used in interchangeable lens cameras.
01-26-2021, 04:50 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I can only imagine that curved sensors will be very expensive.

I think the most likely product is a relatively small FF mirrorless camera with a modest selection of small lenses. It'll be something of a prestige product.
01-26-2021, 07:51 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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My understanding is that curved sensors:
- Allow lenses to be smaller for the same aperture or wider aperture for the same size
- Are best suited to prime lenses and complicate the design of zooms
- Among primes, they are better suited to the wide end and not so beneficial for telephotos
- Make it difficult to get good video performance, because the bending of the sensor makes it difficult to stack layers of electronics behind them

When you think about Ricoh (as opposed to the Pentax brand):
- They make fixed lens compacts, with lenses as flat as possible
- They have history with small prime lenses in compacts and ILC (thinking of L-mount and GXR)
- Most of their lenses are between 21mm and 50mm
- They don't focus on video at all in their cameras (even less than Pentax)
- Every brand except Ricoh is committed to at least one mirrorless mount with a flat sensor
- Ricoh has Theta, which would seem to benefit a lot from curved sensors

So while I think this technology is most likely to appear in a smartphone or Sony RX camera, it is not impossible that Ricoh could be a customer for curved sensors from Sony. They seem to fit well with Ricoh's heritage and priorities. Could they be used for a future GR compact, an ILC along a similar philosophy to the GR or a future Theta?
01-26-2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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The ONLY slant I can put on this for curved sensors being a benefit at this present moment is that you could theoretically incorporate a thicker filter stack, for reducing moirť and reflections, whilst retaining edge sharpness with wide-angle lenses.
How a curved sensor would play with the current, already-accounting-for-thick-filter-stack Sony lenses is anyone's guess.

01-26-2021, 08:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
- They have history with small prime lenses in compacts and ILC (thinking of L-mount and GXR)
- Most of their lenses are between 21mm and 50mm
- They don't focus on video at all in their cameras (even less than Pentax)
- Every brand except Ricoh is committed to at least one mirrorless mount with a flat sensor
- Ricoh has Theta, which would seem to benefit a lot from curved sensors?
The GXR has a Leica M-Mount rangefinder lens module. L-Mount is the DSLR Mount used by Sigma / Panasonic / and Leica.

Like you Iíd expect these might have a place in GR or GXR style offerings and Theta in the future.
01-26-2021, 08:19 AM   #10
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Sensor tech is Sony's real trump card, as they can always steal a march on the majority of the competition who are reliant on their sensors. I wonder if Canon are up to it, sensor tech wise, or whether they'll wait to see if it flies
01-26-2021, 08:22 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Curved sensors are great for cameras with a single fixed-focal length lens (e.g., smartphones and Ricoh GR) but they don't actually solve any optical design problems for camera systems that need interchangeable lenses or variable focal length (zoom) lenses.

Each focal length requires a different sensor curvature. Designing a lens for the "wrong" curvature is really no different than designing a lens for no curvature at all, you need extra elements in the lens to make it focus all the rays without aberrations at that specific curvature.

The only group that will really will love curved-sensor ILCs are the bean counters at the brand-name camera companies. A curved-sensor camera system totally obsoletes all flat-sensor lenses. All the old lenses become almost worthless because you'd need a nasty adapter with a bunch of glass in it to adapt a flat-sensor lens to a curved-sensor camera. Buyers of a curved sensor camera really would be forced to replace all their glass. And it gets better for the bean counters and worse for consumers! If each camera brand picks a different sensor curvature, then the third-party lens makers would in a world of hurt because they could no longer make lenses that are compatible with more than one mount. Curved sensors are great if the goal is to force consumers to buy all new lenses all from the maker of the camera.

I sincerely hope that Pentax stays way from curved sensors for ILCs because it will mean the end of getting to use old lenses and getting to muck about adapting other kinds of lenses (from projectors, copiers, telescopes, etc.).
01-26-2021, 08:25 AM   #12
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And Tony Northrup is wrong again...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/76-non-pentax-cameras-canon-nikon-etc/41...announced.html
01-26-2021, 10:42 AM   #13
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Thereís a speculation about a FF curved from Sony. I wouldnít be surprised. If they have already made their way into the majority of the photography market, maybe itís possible to tweak things a little (or more) and slowly get the idea passed among their crowd and eventually among many other - branded pros and enthusiasts. Itís an idea. A hard start but itís doable.
01-26-2021, 10:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michail_P Quote
Thereís a speculation about a FF curved from Sony. I wouldnít be surprised. If they have already made their way into the majority of the photography market, maybe itís possible to tweak things a little (or more) and slowly get the idea passed among their crowd and eventually among many other - branded pros and enthusiasts. Itís an idea. A hard start but itís doable.
Canon patented a curved sensor using magnets to change the curve.

Expect initial curved sensors to be in phones.

As for this rumor... Tony was way off. Iím not surprised.
01-26-2021, 12:32 PM   #15
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The idea of a super wide fisheye lens on a curve sensor came to my mind, having me contemplate the idea in my mind, hummm hummm for a while.
Then I asked myself "would I really want to see the world like a fish is seeing it?" and my answer was "no no".

---------- Post added 26-01-21 at 20:35 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I can only imagine that curved sensors will be very expensive.
Not to mention the curved mirror necessary in DSLRs having a curved sensor.
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