New sensor tech coming from Panasonic

Started Feb 4, 2013 | Discussions
SeanU
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New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
Feb 4, 2013
Lia_
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

That's a really promising development, cool idea!

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DrWhom
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

SeanU wrote:

http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/02/en130204-6/en130204-6.html

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Sounds interesting - I wonder what the net gain will be in terms of light collection.  If the current Bayer array blocks 50-70% of light, AT BEST we can probably hope for 1/2 stop improvement (if I am understanding this correctly).

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s_grins
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This is real Breakthrough
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

Thanks for the link.

Best.

S.

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Looking for equilibrium...

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jkrumm
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to DrWhom, Feb 4, 2013

Well, you can likely compare the new black and white Leica to the color version to get an idea. Seems to be a solid improvement in low light sensitivity. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

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sigala1
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Re: This is real Breakthrough
In reply to s_grins, Feb 4, 2013

s_grins wrote:

Thanks for the link.

Best.

S.

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Looking for equilibrium...

yeah, it will make the lousy Panasonic sensors almost as good as a Sony sensor.

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RicksAstro
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to DrWhom, Feb 4, 2013

DrWhom wrote:

SeanU wrote:

http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/02/en130204-6/en130204-6.html

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Sounds interesting - I wonder what the net gain will be in terms of light collection. If the current Bayer array blocks 50-70% of light, AT BEST we can probably hope for 1/2 stop improvement (if I am understanding this correctly).

Which is a lot!    We're getting close to hitting the physics barriers, so 1/2 stop is a major breakthrough.

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s_grins
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Re: This is real Breakthrough
In reply to sigala1, Feb 4, 2013

sigala1 wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Thanks for the link.

Best.

S.

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Looking for equilibrium...

yeah, it will make the lousy Panasonic sensors almost as good as a Sony sensor.

We have to wait for implementation.

But I can imagine a thread like this: "is it a Pana sensor in Canon 9 mark-IV BD?"

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Looking for equilibrium...

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Anders W
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

SeanU wrote:

http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/02/en130204-6/en130204-6.html

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Thanks for the heads-up. If the technology really works as well as that announcement claims, it would be a major breakthrough.

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Tony Rogers
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to Anders W, Feb 4, 2013

Looking at the diagram below, it seems to show light from one microlens being defracted to an adjacent pixel. That gets more light to the adjacent pixel but isn't it going to blur the image?!?

The centre pixel on the right (W+R) seems to get white light from the centre microlens and red light from those on either side.

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: This is real Breakthrough
In reply to sigala1, Feb 4, 2013

sigala1 wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Thanks for the link.

Best.

S.

-- hide signature --

Looking for equilibrium...

yeah, it will make the lousy Panasonic sensors almost as good as a Sony sensor.

GH3 has a panasonic sensor (and so does EM5, etc), just to remind you again :

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/09/28/qa-with-panasonic-the-story-behind-the-new-gh3-and-compact-system-tech

"Panasonic: Our main priority was image quality, both for stills and movies. For our former models, the GH1 and GH2, we developed a special sensor that was a little bigger than Four Thirds. However, because we wanted to make so many improvements with the GH3, we didn't have a larger sensor available. The Four Thirds-size sensor was what was available from our sensor group."

"Panasonic: It's actually not possible to reset the whole sensor, because it's a CMOS, not a CCD. Instead, you can reset each line separately, and also read out separately. How many lines you're resetting, capturing, and then reading out at once sets the shutter speed. This means from top to bottom, the readout speed is limited to around 100 milliseconds. Of course, 100 milliseconds is longer than some other cameras like the Nikon 1, because it has only 10 megapixels, and we have 16 megapixels. Our sensor isn't specially designed, so it just scans normally."

"Panasonic: We don't publish a specification for dynamic range, but yes, we increased the saturation electron number and also improved the signal-to-noise ratio." Some people continue to hallucinate that Panasonic refers to Sony Semiconductor by using on record such wording as "our sensor group", "our sensor", "we increased".

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/01/14/qa-with-panasonics-darin-pepple-the-importance-of-connectivity-and-video

" when we've poured so much R&D into making the Micro Four Thirds sensor so good, and you can see that in the GH3"

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Anders W
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to Tony Rogers, Feb 4, 2013

Tony Rogers wrote:

Looking at the diagram below, it seems to show light from one microlens being defracted to an adjacent pixel. That gets more light to the adjacent pixel but isn't it going to blur the image?!?

The centre pixel on the right (W+R) seems to get white light from the centre microlens and red light from those on either side.

Compared to the Foveon technique used by Sigma (where the colors are separated inside each pixel), this one would yield lower resolution at the same pixel count. But it wouldn't lose resolution compared to a Bayer sensor (the one labeled "Conventional" in the illustration) with the same pixel count. In both cases (Bayer and micro color splitter), each pixel of the final, "demosaiced" image, has to borrow color information from neighboring pixels. Furthermore, the sensor industry doesn't seem to have any difficulties increasing the pixel count as desired, and the higher per-pixel efficiency that this technique promises makes such an increase quite reasonable. We can have more pixels than we used to at the same per-pixel noise as we have now and a choice between better resolution (at lower ISO) and lower noise (at higher ISO), by trading the extra resolution for lower noise as desired.

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Chris Tofalos
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013
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Iskender
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Re: This is real Breakthrough
In reply to exdeejjjaaaa, Feb 4, 2013

Why is the idea of all M43 sensors being made by Panasonic so important to you?

You seem to post a lot of words in any thread that is even slightly related to the topic. At least often you mention that the OM has a Panasonic sensor too. Your links here say nothing about that camera, but still you feel the need to say its sensor is made by a specific manufacturer.

Olympus have switched sensor manufacturers before and if they survive they will likely do it again. So what's the point? Why does it matter to you who made the OM sensor?

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Everdog
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...and Nikon uses Toshiba sensors...
In reply to exdeejjjaaaa, Feb 4, 2013

http://www.chipworks.com/blog/recentteardowns/2013/01/08/inside-the-nikon-d5200-dslr-toshiba-found/

Everyone licenses the Sony tech...until they find something better like this new Panasonic patent.

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sigala1
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Re: This is real Breakthrough
In reply to exdeejjjaaaa, Feb 4, 2013

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Thanks for the link.

Best.

S.

-- hide signature --

Looking for equilibrium...

yeah, it will make the lousy Panasonic sensors almost as good as a Sony sensor.

GH3 has a panasonic sensor (and so does EM5, etc), just to remind you again :

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/09/28/qa-with-panasonic-the-story-behind-the-new-gh3-and-compact-system-tech

"Panasonic: Our main priority was image quality, both for stills and movies. For our former models, the GH1 and GH2, we developed a special sensor that was a little bigger than Four Thirds. However, because we wanted to make so many improvements with the GH3, we didn't have a larger sensor available. The Four Thirds-size sensor was what was available from our sensor group."

"Panasonic: It's actually not possible to reset the whole sensor, because it's a CMOS, not a CCD. Instead, you can reset each line separately, and also read out separately. How many lines you're resetting, capturing, and then reading out at once sets the shutter speed. This means from top to bottom, the readout speed is limited to around 100 milliseconds. Of course, 100 milliseconds is longer than some other cameras like the Nikon 1, because it has only 10 megapixels, and we have 16 megapixels. Our sensor isn't specially designed, so it just scans normally."

"Panasonic: We don't publish a specification for dynamic range, but yes, we increased the saturation electron number and also improved the signal-to-noise ratio." Some people continue to hallucinate that Panasonic refers to Sony Semiconductor by using on record such wording as "our sensor group", "our sensor", "we increased".

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/01/14/qa-with-panasonics-darin-pepple-the-importance-of-connectivity-and-video

" when we've poured so much R&D into making the Micro Four Thirds sensor so good, and you can see that in the GH3"

News sources say the E-M5 sensor is Sony, not Panasonic.

The rest of your post is Panasonic marketing propaganda. Every company is going to say "our products are the best" but that doesn't mean they are actually the best.

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kenw
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Thanks! But I'm sceptical...
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

Thanks for the link, very interesting!

I'm a little sceptical about just how revolutionary it will prove to be in the end.  Three red flags:

1. We've seen a simpler approach that didn't work - CMY arrays.  You do notionally get more SNR at the image pixels but then you lose it in the color space transform.  This could very well have similar problems.  And it is a bit worse, color spatial information is sent to different pixels requiring more demosaicing work that could also reduce the theoretical benefits of more photons at the photodiode.

2. Acceptance angle could be very sensitive.  The question would be is it any worse than for current micro-lens designs.  If it is then look for edge and wide aperture performance problems.  On the other hand modern lenses are already rather telecentric so it might be a non-issue.  I don't have the experience to know.

3. If you read the press release carefully it sounds mostly like a software/algorithm design story.  Algorithms that will make it feasible to efficiently design these concepts, not much word on manufacturing itself.  That said, it appears entirely focused on sticking with mostly common fabrication techniques so that is a good thing.

So definitely a cool idea, and neat to see someone working on it.  But I wouldn't get too excited about seeing the technology any time soon, or expecting it to work miracles, or expecting it not to have some other trade off to deal with.

Again, thanks for the link, interesting read (which is exceedingly rare around here these days).

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Ken W
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Dheorl
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to RicksAstro, Feb 4, 2013

RicksAstro wrote:

DrWhom wrote:

SeanU wrote:

http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/02/en130204-6/en130204-6.html

-- hide signature --

Sounds interesting - I wonder what the net gain will be in terms of light collection. If the current Bayer array blocks 50-70% of light, AT BEST we can probably hope for 1/2 stop improvement (if I am understanding this correctly).

Which is a lot! We're getting close to hitting the physics barriers, so 1/2 stop is a major breakthrough.

Purely out of curiosity, what physical barriers are we getting close to hitting?

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Franksson
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Re: Thanks! But I'm sceptical...
In reply to kenw, Feb 4, 2013

kenw wrote:

Thanks for the link, very interesting!

I'm a little sceptical about just how revolutionary it will prove to be in the end. Three red flags:

1. We've seen a simpler approach that didn't work - CMY arrays. You do notionally get more SNR at the image pixels but then you lose it in the color space transform. This could very well have similar problems. And it is a bit worse, color spatial information is sent to different pixels requiring more demosaicing work that could also reduce the theoretical benefits of more photons at the photodiode.

2. Acceptance angle could be very sensitive. The question would be is it any worse than for current micro-lens designs. If it is then look for edge and wide aperture performance problems. On the other hand modern lenses are already rather telecentric so it might be a non-issue. I don't have the experience to know.

3. If you read the press release carefully it sounds mostly like a software/algorithm design story. Algorithms that will make it feasible to efficiently design these concepts, not much word on manufacturing itself. That said, it appears entirely focused on sticking with mostly common fabrication techniques so that is a good thing.

So definitely a cool idea, and neat to see someone working on it. But I wouldn't get too excited about seeing the technology any time soon, or expecting it to work miracles, or expecting it not to have some other trade off to deal with.

Again, thanks for the link, interesting read (which is exceedingly rare around here these days).

There is a reference in the Panasonic announcement to Nature Photonics. In this month's edition there is a more detailed article about the technology here: http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphoton.2012.345.html

Unfortunately money is required to see the full article, but there are some tantalising snippets to be found in the abstract and in a Supplementary Information pdf here: http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nphoton.2012.345-s1.pdf

They state that the amount of light received at the sensor is 1.85 times that of a conventional Bayer colour filter array.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get this into a production camera.

Peter

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iano
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Re: New sensor tech coming from Panasonic
In reply to SeanU, Feb 4, 2013

I don't get it.

I am trying to recall the last time a manufacturer announced a new technology without announcing a product at the same time.

I mean if no one can buy anything yet, why make news about it? Sure these things get leaked etc...but this is a manufacturer announcement.

How does telling us about this tech without even an upcoming product we can buy, help sales in any way?

If they are starting the lead up to announcing a product, then great. Makes sense and we should not have to wait long to hear the plan.

Otherwise this seems a reason NOT to buy Panasonic as any Camera could be the launch for this.  Isn't it simply a reason to delay buying right now?

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