Transparent sensor?

Started Jan 11, 2014 | Discussions
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Pitbullo Regular Member • Posts: 476
Transparent sensor?

These days they can make transparent monitors, would it be possible to make transparent sensors?

If so, we could get mirrorless camerras with OVF. Place the VF in alignment with the sensor, and voila!

What is life without ambitions, right?

darklamp Senior Member • Posts: 3,567
Re: Transparent sensor?

This does sound like one of those things that the marketing department sometimes wander down to engineering discuss and leave feeling very put upon when all the engineers laugh.

Put it this way : possible in theory, maybe if someone finds the right materials ( which have to be able to not just switch from blocking photos to passing them, but also counting them and some interface to deliver a measure of that count. That's four things the sensor has to do ( and they just about manage two of those now ).

However an OVF right behind the sensor would probably make a somewhat awkward handling position ( compared to the evolved position of the SLR OVF ). SO we might still end up with a mirror or prism to shift the OVF to a more conventional position.

But if we did that we'd be no better off, as we're still using a mirror or prism.

Also if the viewfinder is behind the sensor we'd end up with a thick camera body ( as the whole OVF now sticks out the back ). Again, not very nice for handling and not very friendly for packing.

Lastly, tell me what happens when I shoot video ? The sensor clearly can't be transparent for that, so I'm back to an LCD. But where does the LCD go now that the back of the camera had a honking great viewfinder in it ?

So I don't see a transparent sensor as particularly useful in practice compared to some of the mirror based alternatives.

Nigel Wilkins
Nigel Wilkins Senior Member • Posts: 1,006
Re: Transparent sensor?

Pitbullo wrote:

These days they can make transparent monitors, would it be possible to make transparent sensors?

If so, we could get mirrorless camerras with OVF. Place the VF in alignment with the sensor, and voila!

What is life without ambitions, right?

Not so much ambitious as pointless...you'd be able to make an OVF exactly the same as cameras in the 1840's!  A viewing screen showing an upside down image.  You could add a loupe to make it possible to bring it to your eye, then mirrors or a prism to correct the image orientation...

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Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,739
No
1

To measure something you have to effect it.  If 100% of the light passed through a sensor it could measure nothing.  If 50% of the light passed through the sensor would only be half as sensitive as an opaque sensor and the viewfinder would only be half as bright as one that uses a mirror.

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