Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
brownie314
Contributing MemberPosts: 705
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Re: Worthless for interchangeable lens cameras, great for cell phones
In reply to Dave Lively, 3 months ago

Dave Lively wrote:

This is huge new for cell phone makers. They can use a simpler lens with a curved sensor and maintain quality. Since the lens no longer needs to be telecentric it should be possible to make the lens + sensor combination thinner which is very important for cell phones. You cannot have a curved sensor and image stabilization but most cell phones do not have IS now so that will not be a loss.

Dedicated cameras with a fixed lens should benefit too although the loss of image stabilization would be a problem for many users. But the ability to have better optical quality with a simpler and thinner lens would be a big plus for many users.

For cameras with interchangeable lenses a curved sensor makes little sense. The best curve varies by focal length so any chosen curve would be a compromise. No existing lenses could be used and not having image stabilization would be a big drawback for many buyers. Since SLR lenses have to be somewhat telecentric to leave enough space for the mirror there would be much less potential benefit for SLRs than there would be for mirrorless and fixed lens cameras.

If I was in the market for a $3000 FF camera with a permanently attached lens like the Sony RX1 this would be big news. For the sort of cameras I am actually likely to buy, not so much. I do use my cell phone when I do not have real camera though and they need all the help they can get. But I have a hard time getting excited about the cameras in cell phones.

"For cameras with interchangeable lenses a curved sensor makes little sense. The best curve varies by focal length so any chosen curve would be a compromise."

I disagree.  A flat sensor is a curve too.  Why is a flat sensor the best "curve" for a sensor in any system?  Yes, you would have to choose your curve to be a compromise between all focal lengths.  But I am guessing that if optical designers had a choice, many years ago as to what shape to make the sensor (or film) it would not have been flat.  Flat was chosen for other, non-optical reasons.

And yes, it might make legacy lenses obsolete.  Trailblazing technology often does this.

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