Is this the way of 'the future' in sensors?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by W (winhag), Nov 7, 2005.

  1. W (winhag)

    W (winhag) Guest

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0511/05110701cypress9mp.asp

    Folks,

    This Cypress sensor seems to have done away with micro-lenses due to
    the large inherent light gathering area of the pixels. Seems to me
    getting anything out of the optical path is a good thing (esp. with the
    issues regarding angle of incidence of light 'rays' on the
    micro-lenses). Have these folks made a breakthrough or are they
    'blowing smoke' or somewhere in between?

    Opinions?


    W
     
    W (winhag), Nov 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. W (winhag)

    Larry Lynch Guest

    In order to make a color photo it will still need color filters placed
    over the sensor, and it might get microlenses at that time from the
    camera maker.
     
    Larry Lynch, Nov 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. Some info on noise levels would be interesting, or they might as well
    be blowing smoke in front of the sensors.
     
    =?iso-8859-1?q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?=, Nov 7, 2005
    #3
  4. W (winhag)

    Darrell Guest

    This is the sensor Kodak was using in the DSC-14 series cameras...
     
    Darrell, Nov 8, 2005
    #4
  5. what's going on with foveon?
     
    luscious lips, Nov 8, 2005
    #5
  6. W (winhag)

    Darrell Guest

    ssshhhhhhh, you wake GP ;)

    Foveon seems to be a dead-end at this time. There hasn't been an
    announcement form either Sigma or Foveon since October 2003 when they
    announced the SD10, which had the same sensor as the February 2002 SD9.
    Sigma merely changed their math to claim 10.2 megapixels from a 3.34 mp
    sensor.
     
    Darrell, Nov 8, 2005
    #6
  7. it's a shame that no other manufacturers adopted it other than sigma.
    (well, i guess we can cross polariod's x530 out...)so much potential,
    it seemed to have. so little implementation, it saw. had foeveon
    managed to increased the 'real' resolution to somewhere around 6 mpix
    level, it'd have been a force to be reckoned with. a shame...

    but then, the technology itself showed a lot of potential, so perhaps
    some other sensor manufacturer buy them out and improve the technology?
     
    luscious lips, Nov 8, 2005
    #7
  8. W (winhag)

    Father Kodak Guest

    I just checked out the Foveon website. Not good. Not quite walking
    dead, but not much of a pulse either. Without a major customer win,
    they are probably doomed. At some point, the company enters a death
    spiral: No new customers because of their uncertain future, and no
    future without some new, hopefully high volume, customers.

    Only real hope is that the owners (basically, the investors) sell off
    the company in pieces and another company gets rights to the sensor.

    Here are the warning signs:

    * The customer list is extremely sparse. No "lighthouse" or
    top-tier customers, e.g. Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Canon, etc.

    * No press releases. None. What's the matter with these guys?
    Don't they have anything to announce to the world? I googled "press
    release Foveon" and came up with the X3 announcement June, 2004.
    Nothing since? What kind of VP of Marketing do they have?

    * Job listings? Only a few in engineering, and there is no
    telling if these listings are "real" or if they are on the web site so
    their customers think they are expanding.

    * No mention of investors on the web site. That is a very
    unusual situation. Again, Google turned up the following. So they do
    have investors.

    National Semiconductor Inc., Synaptics Inc., New Enterprise Associates
    and Franklin Templeton Investments.

    (As a side comment, their web site needs work.)
     
    Father Kodak, Nov 8, 2005
    #8
  9. W (winhag)

    Tony Guest

    The last "way of the future" was the Foveon chip - which now seems to
    exist only in the past.
    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for everyone to drop the chips they
    currently use (which are KNOWN to work) for something completely new,
    completely unproven, and no doubt with a completely original set of
    problems.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
     
    Tony, Nov 8, 2005
    #9
  10. W (winhag)

    W (winhag) Guest

    I know the DCS-14 series did not have an anti-alias filter, but did
    they have
    microlenses?
     
    W (winhag), Nov 8, 2005
    #10
  11. W (winhag)

    W (winhag) Guest

    The DCS-14 sensor had a 60% fill factor. This new chip is claimed to
    have a %100 fill factor.
     
    W (winhag), Nov 8, 2005
    #11
  12. W (winhag)

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    I think people who see things like this as the way of the future are missing
    the point: Canon has usually provided that path. I believe that if there's
    going to be a true breakthrough in digital imaging, it will likely come from
    them, since they've got the horsepower to make it real, something that most
    don't.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Nov 8, 2005
    #12
  13. W (winhag)

    Father Kodak Guest

    What is your opinion of the Nikon LBCAST technology?
    http://nikonimaging.com/global/technology/scene/07/index.htm

    Father Kodak
     
    Father Kodak, Nov 8, 2005
    #13
  14. W (winhag)

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    If it's so damned good, why did Nikon only put it in one camera? Why didn't
    they use the technoloty in the D2X? Why a Sony CMOS sensor? Why a CCD in the
    D200? It looks like a hybrid sensor that was supposed to give Nikon a
    competitive advantage, but in the end, it seems that even Nikon has
    abandoned the technology.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Nov 10, 2005
    #14
  15. What strikes me as interesting in the D2X sensor (and which is apparently
    copied in the D200 sensor) is the RGGB read-out which allows them to
    white balance using the analog gains (instead of amplifying the signal
    digitally afterwards).

    The use of a CCD in the D200 is a bit strange. At some point it looked like
    the future would be just CMOS.
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 11, 2005
    #15
  16. W (winhag)

    Paul Rubin Guest

    All these sensors apparently now have close to the theoretical maximum
    quantum efficiency. But CCD may still beat CMOS in readout speed.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 11, 2005
    #16
  17. As far as I know, CMOS has two advantages over CCDs:
    - a lower power consumpsion and therefore less heat related problems
    - better compatibility with digital production lines and therefore cheaper
    to produce.

    So the interesting thing is that Nikon uses the 'cheaper' technology for
    its flagship model and then instead of adapting the D2X design, switches
    to a design that is likely to be more expensive to produce and posibly needs
    more battery power, with the possible advantage that readout is faster.

    Hmm, maybe Sony had excess CCD production capacity and made Nikon an offer
    they couldn't refuse.
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 11, 2005
    #17
  18. According to this article part of your assertion is not completely
    accurate.

    http://www.dalsa.com/markets/ccd_vs_cmos.asp
    --
    LF Website @ http://members.verizon.net/~gregoryblank

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
     
    Gregory Blank, Nov 11, 2005
    #18
  19. That article does not explain why CMOS is so popular. It seems to promote
    CCD by saying that just about everything that can be done in CMOS, can be
    done (better) in CCD.

    If you look at the table, it is obvious that the 1Ds and the D2X should
    contain CCD sensors. But they don't.
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 12, 2005
    #19
  20. I think it explains that when it states that some designers advocated it
    from the point they became a possibility. Of course that's not outlining
    the reasoning.
    --
    LF Website @ http://members.verizon.net/~gregoryblank

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
     
    Gregory Blank, Nov 12, 2005
    #20
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