Camera sensors

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca@gmail.com, May 7, 2007.

  1. Guest

    I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    Samsung).
    I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?
    , May 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. Charles Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    > cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    > Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    > cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    > Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    > Samsung).
    > I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    > (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?


    First, Foveon:
    http://www.digitaldingus.com/news/2006/09/09262006dongbuelectronics.php

    Second, it does not much matter from a consumer point of view.

    Third, quality is a hop-scotch game. Tune in and be amazed at the changes.

    Fourth, it is the whole camera (like a car ... not too often that the
    transmission makes a huge difference).
    Charles, May 7, 2007
    #2
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  3. ray Guest

    On Sun, 06 May 2007 19:32:08 -0400, Charles wrote:

    >
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    >> cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    >> Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    >> cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    >> Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    >> Samsung).
    >> I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    >> (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    >> I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    >> generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    >> the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    >> made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    >> (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    >> Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?

    >
    > First, Foveon:
    > http://www.digitaldingus.com/news/2006/09/09262006dongbuelectronics.php
    >
    > Second, it does not much matter from a consumer point of view.
    >
    > Third, quality is a hop-scotch game. Tune in and be amazed at the changes.
    >
    > Fourth, it is the whole camera (like a car ... not too often that the
    > transmission makes a huge difference).


    That's true, but you certainly don't want to buy a car which is known to
    have transmission problems. And I certainly hesitate to buy the first year
    model when a manufacturer changes technology significantly - e.g. last
    year when Dodge came out with Caliber - CVT.
    ray, May 7, 2007
    #3
  4. wrote:
    > I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    > cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    > Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    > cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    > Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    > Samsung).
    > I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    > (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?
    >


    CCD and CMOS sensors are pretty mature technology. All good
    digital cameras, from small sensor P&S to large sensor DSLRs
    have noise dominated by photons noise (Poisson statistics),
    and as a result the major performance difference between
    sensors is due to the size of each pixel.

    See:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/index.html#sensor_analysis

    (Kodak makes sensor too.)

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 7, 2007
    #4
  5. Alex Monro Guest

    wrote:

    > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?


    Fuji's sensors used in their DSLRs (S5 Pro etc.) have a unique design
    with large and small photodiodes for each photosite, which enables them
    to give about 2 stops more dynamic range, at the expense of some loss
    of detail.

    Foveon sensors used by Sigma use a 3-layer design which enables red,
    green & blue to be captured at each photosite, giving better colour
    resolution at the expense of luminance resolution.
    Alex Monro, May 7, 2007
    #5
  6. Ron Baird Guest

    Greetings Animarac,

    Actually, Kodak makes their own sensors. We also make them for some other
    camera manufacturers. You can review details on Kodak sensors, which are
    pretty good. You will enjoy the read.

    http://www.kodak.com/US/en/dpq/site/SENSORS/name/ISSHome

    Talk to you soon.

    Ron Baird
    Eastman Kodak Company



    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    > cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    > Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    > cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    > Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    > Samsung).
    > I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    > (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?
    >
    Ron Baird, May 7, 2007
    #6
  7. Charles Guest


    > That's true, but you certainly don't want to buy a car which is known to
    > have transmission problems. And I certainly hesitate to buy the first year
    > model when a manufacturer changes technology significantly - e.g. last
    > year when Dodge came out with Caliber - CVT.


    Please cite a recent example in digital photography.
    Charles, May 7, 2007
    #7
  8. Trev Guest

    "Charles" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >
    >
    >> That's true, but you certainly don't want to buy a car which is known to
    >> have transmission problems. And I certainly hesitate to buy the first
    >> year
    >> model when a manufacturer changes technology significantly - e.g. last
    >> year when Dodge came out with Caliber - CVT.

    >
    > Please cite a recent example in digital photography.

    My Minolta phi has just had its sensor replaced free of charge because Sony
    made a lot of 5mp sensors for just about every manufacture cept Fuji that
    have developed a failure. Its old hat now but it was a good indication of
    many manufactures use the same sensor.
    Trev, May 7, 2007
    #8
  9. Rich Guest

    On May 6, 7:32 pm, "Charles" <> wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > >I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    > > cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    > > Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    > > cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    > > Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    > > Samsung).
    > > I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    > > (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    > > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?

    >
    > First, Foveon:http://www.digitaldingus.com/news/2006/09/09262006dongbuelectronics.php
    >
    > Second, it does not much matter from a consumer point of view.
    >
    > Third, quality is a hop-scotch game. Tune in and be amazed at the changes.
    >


    Nothing radical is likely to happen. Sensor physics has been static
    for ages. The only thing they've improved on is how fast they can get
    the data out and how well they can process it.
    Rich, May 7, 2007
    #9
  10. Rich Guest

    On May 6, 11:44 pm, "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)"
    <> wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > I noticed that there are only limited sensor manufacturers for digital
    > > cameras. For the known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic/
    > > Lumix, they are basically supplied by 4 companies: Canon (for Canon
    > > cameras), Matsushita/National/Panasonic for Panasonic brands, Fuji for
    > > Fuji cameras and Sony (for others including Nikon, Sony, Pentax and
    > > Samsung).
    > > I am surprised that Nikon is using Sony's sensor in all of their DSLR
    > > (except for Nikon D1 and D2H, which is manufactured by Nikon).
    > > I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    > > generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    > > the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    > > made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    > > (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    > > Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?

    >
    > CCD and CMOS sensors are pretty mature technology. All good
    > digital cameras, from small sensor P&S to large sensor DSLRs
    > have noise dominated by photons noise (Poisson statistics),
    > and as a result the major performance difference between
    > sensors is due to the size of each pixel.
    >
    > See:http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/index.html#sensor_analysis
    >
    > (Kodak makes sensor too.)


    Kodak is fascinating. They make some of the finest high-end sensors
    for scientific and medium format cameras,
    they also make cheapo CMOS sensors for cell phones and low end P&S
    cameras. But they threw in the towel and watched the DSLR market
    become the most lucrative in photography. What a group of losers.

    >
    > Roger
    Rich, May 7, 2007
    #10
  11. Alex Monro wrote:
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I wonder whether all of the sensors made by these four suppliers are
    >> generally the same (Just like coke or pepsi)? Any superiority among
    >> the others in term of their function? Has any of the manufacturers
    >> made better or known to supply better sensor type than the others
    >> (i.e. CMOS vs CCD?). I also noticed tha Sigma DSLR's sensor is made by
    >> Feveon. What sensors are in Kodak cameras?

    >
    > Fuji's sensors used in their DSLRs (S5 Pro etc.) have a unique design
    > with large and small photodiodes for each photosite, which enables them
    > to give about 2 stops more dynamic range, at the expense of some loss
    > of detail.


    I have yet to see an actual analysis that pits Fuji's sensor
    against a single larger pixel that shows this design actually
    results in 2 stops dynamic range. An especially interesting
    question when most cameras are already limited by the 12-bit A/D
    converter.

    > Foveon sensors used by Sigma use a 3-layer design which enables red,
    > green & blue to be captured at each photosite, giving better colour
    > resolution at the expense of luminance resolution.


    Not quite. The Foveon captures cyan, magenta, yellow (CMY) from
    which reg, green, and blue (RGB) are synthesized. The CMY
    filters are relatively low quality, and the broad spectral
    response of any CMY filter causes issues with poor color
    accuracy in different lighting conditions. This explains
    the design's fundamental flaw and why Foveon sensors have
    had trouble, in particular, with skin tones in different
    lighting conditions.

    Roger
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 8, 2007
    #11
  12. nospam Guest

    In article <>, change username to rnclark
    <> wrote:

    > > Foveon sensors used by Sigma use a 3-layer design which enables red,
    > > green & blue to be captured at each photosite, giving better colour
    > > resolution at the expense of luminance resolution.

    >
    > Not quite. The Foveon captures cyan, magenta, yellow (CMY) from
    > which reg, green, and blue (RGB) are synthesized. The CMY
    > filters are relatively low quality, and the broad spectral
    > response of any CMY filter causes issues with poor color
    > accuracy in different lighting conditions. This explains
    > the design's fundamental flaw and why Foveon sensors have
    > had trouble, in particular, with skin tones in different
    > lighting conditions.


    foveon calls it red green and blue, and the spectral plots show each
    layer to have a lot of overlap. is that why you consider it to be
    cyan, magenta and yellow? in fact, some bayer cameras had cmyg
    filters and did not do anywhere nearly as bad.

    also, i'm curious about the total well capacity of the sensor and the
    individual layers. is the full capacity of a pixel divided amongst the
    layers? according to foveon, the blue layer is approximately 1/8th of
    the total thickness, the green layer is about 1/4 and the rest is for
    red. would this mean that the well capacity for blue is extremely low
    (~7500 photons if the total capacity is 60k)? if so, that would
    explain the noisy blue channel and the yellow blotches so often seen.
    nospam, May 8, 2007
    #12
  13. John Sheehy Guest

    nospam <> wrote in news:070520072122363571%
    lid:

    > also, i'm curious about the total well capacity of the sensor and the
    > individual layers. is the full capacity of a pixel divided amongst the
    > layers? according to foveon, the blue layer is approximately 1/8th of
    > the total thickness, the green layer is about 1/4 and the rest is for
    > red. would this mean that the well capacity for blue is extremely low
    > (~7500 photons if the total capacity is 60k)? if so, that would
    > explain the noisy blue channel and the yellow blotches so often seen.


    From what I've seen, the blue and green channels are both noisy. Perhaps,
    since green has so much "luminance" weight, software works to keep the
    green channel smooth.

    In the RAW data, the green and blue channels have complementary noise.
    IOW, some areas are darker than they should be in the blue channel, but in
    those same pixels, the green channel is brighter than it should be, and
    visa versa. I have two crops, one from the green and one from the blue,
    with one inverted (made negative), from the red hull of a ship:

    http://www.pbase.com/jps_photo/image/77239784


    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    John Sheehy, May 10, 2007
    #13
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