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Fujifilm and Panasonic collaborate on 'industry-leading' organic/CMOS sensor

By Richard Butler on Jun 12, 2013 at 00:00 GMT

Fujifilm and Panasonic have announced the joint development of a sensor technology that combines a light-sensitive coating on top of a CMOS chip. The companies claim higher dynamic range and sensitivity than current CMOS sensors, along with the ability to receive light at steeper angles - making it easier to design cameras with wide-angle lenses and allowing lenses to be mounted nearer to the sensor. The announcement extends from the work Fujifilm has been conducting on organic (carbon-based) photo-senstive materials and combines it with CMOS underpinnings developed by Panasonic. The result is a chip that uses CMOS technology only for circuitry - with the organic layer taking over the role of converting light into electrons.

Although the companies don't detail a timeline for production, the joint presentation made at the VLSI Technology show in Japan shows images of pixel designs on the 0.9μm and 3μm scales. The smaller pixel would allow the creation of a 20MP sensor for mobile phones, while the larger one would result in a 41MP APS-C sensor.


Press Release:

Fujifilm and Panasonic jointly develop an organic CMOS image sensor technology using organic photoelectric conversion layer

A schematic of how the Fujifilm/Panasonic sensor uses an organic photo-sensitive layer near the front of the sensor(left), compared with a convention CMOS design (right)

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) and Panasonic Corporation (President: Kazuhiro Tsuga) have developed organic CMOS image sensor technology that uses an organic photoelectric conversion layer with a photoelectric conversion property at the light receiving section of an image sensor to achieve performance beyond that of conventional image sensors**. Applying this technology to the image sensors of digital cameras and other imaging devices expands its dynamic range*** and enhances sensitivity*4 further to prevent highlight clipping in bright scenes and capture a dark subject with vivid colors and rich textures.

The industry has put into continuous efforts to explore image sensor technologies for increasing their number of pixels. This has dramatically improved sensor resolutions, but, in order to further boost image quality, it is necessary to expand the dynamic range, enhance sensitivity and prevent cross-talk or color mixing between pixels. Panasonic took advantage of its semiconductor device technology to boost image quality for its high-performance image sensors. Fujifilm, on the other hand, has developed highly-reliable organic photoelectric conversion layer with high absorption coefficient to be used on a sensor's light receiving section instead of silicon photodiode*5 in its effort to build a new image sensor technology.

In the latest collaboration, Fujifilm and Panasonic have combined Fujifilm's organic photoelectric conversion layer technology with Panasonic's semiconductor device technology to jointly develop an organic CMOS image sensor that outperforms conventional image sensors. The new organic CMOS image sensor offers the industry's highest dynamic range of 88dB, advanced sensitivity 1.2 times more sensitive than conventional sensors** and broader range of incident angle*6 to enable the production of more sensitive and compact cameras with better image quality.

The two companies will promote the application of this organic CMOS image sensor technology to a wide range of products including security cameras, in-vehicle cameras, mobile device and digital cameras.

Fujifilm and Panasonic will present the research results at the 2013 Symposium on VLSI Technology (VLSI2013) to be held in Kyoto on June 11, and the 2013 International Image Sensor Workshop to be held in Utah, U.S.A. on June 15.

* Performance of the light receiving section of image sensors, as of June 11, 2013 according to Panasonic data.
** Estimation from Panasonic image sensors
*** Range of light that can be recorded (ratio between the brightest and darkest areas recorded)
*4 The sensitivity of image sensors refers to the conversion ratio of light into electric signals. The greater the sensitivity is, the clearer you can capture low-light scenes.
*5 A type of photo detector that senses incident light, installed for each image sensor pixel to convert light into electric signals
*6 Range of incident light angles for efficient conversion into electric signals

Transmission electron microscope images of the 3μm (left) and 0.9μm (right) organic/CMOS pixels the companies have developed.

The organic photoelectric conversion layer (OPF), in relation to the microlenses (ML) and color filters (CF) is indicated.

Overview of the newly-developed organic CMOS image sensor technology

A conventional image sensor consists of a silicon photodiode for capturing light, metal interconnect, color filter and on-chip micro-lens. The newly-developed organic CMOS image sensor technology uses organic photoelectric conversion layer with high absorption coefficient instead of the silicon photodiode, reducing the thickness of the light receiving section down to 0.5 microns, i.e. one severalth of the thickness of a silicon photodiode. This structure provides the following benefits:

  1. Industry's highest dynamic range of 88dB to prevent highlight clipping and produce a vivid and texture-rich image even in low light

    Panasonic's semiconductor device technology has improved the signal saturation value*7 by four folds compared to that of conventional image sensors. Coupled with the newly-developed noise-cancelling circuit, the sensor technology provides the industry's highest dynamic range of 88dB, preventing highlight clipping in bright scenes and capturing a vivid and texture-rich image in low light.

    *7
    The maximum amount of electric signals that can be handled. Receiving a signal greater than this value leads to highlight clipping.

  2. 1.2 times higher sensitivity than conventional sensors to capture clear images even in low light

    The transistors and metal interconnects in each pixel, fabricated using Panasonic's semiconductor device technology, are coated with photoelectric conversion layer, developed using Fujifilm's organic material technology. The area of the light receiving section becomes limited in conventional image sensors because of the existence of metal interconnects and the need to form light shield film to prevent light incidence into areas other than the photodiode in each pixel. However, the organic CMOS image sensor technology coats the sensor with organic film, which can harvest all the light received on the sensor. This boosts sensor sensitivity by 1.2 times compared to conventional sensors to deliver clear images even in low light.

  3. Range of incident angle expanded to 60 degrees for faithful color reproduction (See the image sensor illustrations above)

    The thickness of the organic film with high absorption coefficient, developed by Fujifilm, has been reduced to just 0.5 microns, or one severalth of the thickness of silicon photodiode in the light receiving section. Since the conventional silicon photodiode measures at least 3 microns in depth, the range of incident angles was limited to around 30 – 40 degrees. The thin film, achieved with the organic CMOS image sensor technology, has enabled the expansion of this range to 60 degrees, efficiently utilizing light entering at an angle for faithful color reproduction with no color mixing. It also gives greater flexibility in lens designs, facilitating the reduction of overall camera size.

  4. Offering high reliability for broader applications

    Fujifilm has developed a process technology to produce inorganic films for protecting the organic film. It prevents the entry of moisture and oxygen into the organic film to safeguard it against performance degradation. The sensor technology has cleared reliability tests involving the application of stress such as temperature, humidity, electrical voltage and light, paving the way for the use of the organic CMOS image sensor in a wide range of applications.

Comments

Total comments: 185
12
trungthu
By trungthu (7 months ago)

It's only the technology in the sensor, when reducing the pixel dimension, the less light receiving, the more noise grow. And the worst of all is the resolution of the best lens of the present can not see the pixel.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ingram98ab
By ingram98ab (10 months ago)

I still don't see why this organic sensor is better than another sensor technologies Panasonic is researching like this one:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/02/04/panasonic-promises-high-sensitivity-sensors-using-micro-color-splitters
This one looks far more revolutionary than fuji's x-trans idea and or even than x-trans and organic sensors combined. Might in fact be really close to the performance of a foveon sensor witout the cost

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

Maybe Panasonic will combine it. and get better result if they are smart

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

"advanced sensitivity 1.2 times more sensitive than conventional sensors**
** Estimation from Panasonic image sensors"

That would make it... still a little behind the best Sony sensors.

0 upvotes
kforever
By kforever (10 months ago)

I wonder, what will Fujifilm named for next generation sensor when X-Trans CMOS II + Organic CMOS become one brand new sensor?

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

Any prediction, when new camera with better sensor will be available on the market ? this year or next year ?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

2015 at best.

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

Thanks. But I hope it is sooner.

0 upvotes
Bryan Campbell
By Bryan Campbell (10 months ago)

Impressive. Let's make it even better by making the sensor out of Graphine which is said to allow current sensor design to be 1000x more sensitive.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

this looks the same as BSI but with possibly lower cost.

it underscores Pana's move to m4/3", that Oly's original 4/3" looks just stupid. probably the worst design in camera history except one part, the f-number cheating which is part of Pana's current strategy.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Soluon
By Soluon (10 months ago)

88dB for 3umx3um pixel size is extremely good -> 15 EV in native dynamic range.
In the VLSI2013 papers, they mentioned that well saturation is 8500 e/um and readout noise is 2.9 e.
D800E have 4.8 um pixel and 80dB -> 13.3 EV. If Nikon use this technology, they would have 97dB and 16.2 EV, which is huge.
In the near future, we would see APSC camera with 42Mp/15 stops DR, or APSC w/ 21 Mp/16 stops,
-> and fullframe 80Mp/15stops or 40Mp/16 stops.
Of course, A/D converter will be upgrade to at least 16 bit to exploit the full potential of the technology.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

I'd prefer A/D converters of less bits. then we'll have to make the pixels smaller that the full well can suit in.

the ultimate goal may be a single bit "all digital" sensor.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (10 months ago)

Think you're at a whole different level of discussion that's usually on here. Photo-scientist, engineer or just able to understand the white paper on this?

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

After the Mega Pixel War
Followed by Zoom War
And then some Faster Lens war
I hope now the war is on the Better Image sensor.
If all the manufacturer start using better Image sensor like this, I believe it will be better result compared to other war.

Lets see who will win

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

the mega pixel war is the war on the better image sensor because we have to go smaller pixels to get better image quality (SNR) and this sensor looks no different.

we don't have enough pixels for resolution either.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (10 months ago)

@utomo99 - you believe in myths, I see.

More mega pixels generally increase image quality, except for some cases, mainly extremely high ISO, or very small sensors.

Lots of the improvements made has been to get better image quality.

0 upvotes
BozillaNZ
By BozillaNZ (10 months ago)

Is it 1.2x MORE sensitive or 1.2x AS sensitive? That makes a lot of differences. 1.2x AS sensitive as old technology as in less than 1/3 stop ISO improvement? Not interested.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

As stated below - 1.2x larger pixels for the same pixel count in the same area - so you can either put more pixels in the same area or have each pixel 1.2 times larger for the same pixel count in the same area - hope that helps ;)

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (10 months ago)

What they're not telling you is that "organic" is just another word for "carbon-based life form." Bottom line: this sensor is alive; it's a creature that was either discovered or genetically engineered to live inside your camera and translate photons into images (remember the bird that lived inside Fred Flintstone's camera and chiseled pictures onto stone tablets? Same principle, different species). Nobody tell PETA or they'll put the kibosh on the whole thing.

10 upvotes
E_Nielsen
By E_Nielsen (10 months ago)

That's hysterical!
I wonder what the life expectancy of the organic matter is? Would it be closer to a hummingbird or a parrot?

1 upvote
BozillaNZ
By BozillaNZ (10 months ago)

Animal cruelty! And when I say "my sensor just died", I mean it! Literally!

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

More importantly - what do they eat, and what about the waste? Thanks for that ;)

1 upvote
Padaung
By Padaung (10 months ago)

Organic waste: maybe that explains the 'dust and oil spots' that some Nikon owners are reporting on their D600 sensors??? Are Nikon using this technology already?! Amazing :)

1 upvote
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (10 months ago)

Monster slime will ooze out of your camera if you do not regularly worship it. DO NOT WIPE SENSOR WITH HOLY WATER!!!

0 upvotes
CosmoZooo
By CosmoZooo (10 months ago)

I've read your comment and it didn't sound right so I looked it up and I think what you're saying is nonsense.

Organic is carbon based indeed but NOT a life form - not a living creature. If organic compound means life form then cow's farts are alive - methane which is per Wikipedia is one of the simplest organic compounds.

Here's a link to the Wikipedia article http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound

0 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (10 months ago)

Is it kosher too?

0 upvotes
Haim Hadar
By Haim Hadar (10 months ago)

Don't tell this to Nikon! They will declare it a "dangerous animal" and will market glass to help annihilating it.
Improved DR sounds good...

0 upvotes
JKP
By JKP (10 months ago)

Similar performance boost was recently observed by using MoS2 instead of silicon:

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-ultrasensitive-molybdenum-based-image-sensor.html

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

JKP, Fujifilm/Panasonic only promise a slight increase (1.2 times), while your link promises 5 times more sensitive than current silicium-based technology.

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

1.2x in area NOT sensitivity - sensitivity is 44db greater:
Fuji/Panasonic organic sensor: 88 dB = 29.2 EV
Nikon D800E: 46db = 15.3ev

http://www.slrlounge.com/breaking-news-panasonic-fuji-developed-worlds-first-organic-sensor.

0 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (10 months ago)

Interesting tech - it would be nice to see such sensors utilized in Fujifilms X-Pro1 and XE-1 successors.

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (10 months ago)

Fill lighting will be a concept for the history books since we can just slide a lever in the near future. I'm guessing it's gonna take many updates to photoshop to get this right, but it will happen eventually.

Next up, maybe we can add IR sensitive senors that capture a 3D representation of objects so we can add lighting in a 3D space. Also with that 3D information, we can selectively blur objects based on different distances. We can shoot with a deep dof, but recreate a shallow dof shot in post. The Microsoft Kinect already does this with a separate camera. Why not just add those sensors to the RGB sensor now that we got room to play with?

1 upvote
RandyPD
By RandyPD (10 months ago)

The Lytro already has this technology, where you can select the focus point after you have already taken the picture..

https://www.lytro.com/camera

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

In the future it will be representational like our brains - objects, colors, textures all filled in - much more compact storage and infinite zoom and focus - except now with computers we will have 3D reconstruction so we can even change perspective... They do it in video games now, just a few generations to go... Not saying good old silver halide will die but....

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

What is it the naysayers have been saying here for 13+ years?

You can't do that. Impossible. Physics won't allow it.

LOL!

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

You are so right, Johnsonj.

"The laws of physics" ignorant BS ...

0 upvotes
JKP
By JKP (10 months ago)

So this camera will have lowest ISO of 12 or what..

0 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (10 months ago)

One thing that seems quite clear from the diagram is that the organic coating is not discrete compared to the current technology, so I imagine there will be spillover between pixels (which is already the case with discrete photodiodes).

0 upvotes
Matsu
By Matsu (10 months ago)

A detect a bit of marketing hype here. Though I'm by no means an authority, the notes suggest they're comparing it to their own sensors when they quote "conventional".

The angle of incidence part is interesting though, could have positive ramifications for lens design...

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

I hope we can see the Panasonic cameras with this sensor. I hope it can reduce the noise a lot and produce much better images.
Good luck

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (10 months ago)

I like to see the improvement in incident light angle. Mirrorless APS-C has issue with this, I would hate to see how bad a full frame mirrorless would perform in the corners with existing lenses. A sensor like this could help a lot.

1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (10 months ago)

Yes, but I find it telling that there are still microlenses. Not that they are bad, but they do suggest that light coming in at extreme angles is still an issue. The color filters and protective layer would still reflect considerable light striking at too much of an angle, even with modern coatings.

0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (10 months ago)

Interesting to see different sensor technologies being developed. Some will take market share, other perhaps superior in technology, will disappear as happened with colour TV. Do look forward to better sensors. Don't think it will happen in time for my next likely purchase - a Panasonic GX7, but we shall see.

F.

2 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (10 months ago)

Not too long ago that Panasonic was talking up that color splitting layer that would eliminate color filters. Combine this with that and you could have something very interesting.

0 upvotes
Thomasbd
By Thomasbd (10 months ago)

Its really exciting that Fujifilm is bringing such a fantastic technology. I think the monopoly of Nikon and Canon DSLR is coming to an end.

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

What about this ?

Clear Photos in Dim Light: New Sensor a Thousand Times More Sensitive Than Current Camera Sensors

May 30, 2013 — Cameras fitted with a new revolutionary sensor will soon be able to take clear and sharp photos in dim conditions, thanks to a new image sensor invented at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530094624.htm

2 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

A graphene sensor only 1 atom thick, 1000 times more sensitive, 10 times less energy consumed, 5 times cheaper to make? I hope it succeeds commercially.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

Thanks for sharing.
And right next to that article, how Google Glass just became obsolete:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309082343.htm
:-)

1 upvote
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

I hope many manufacturer look at this. and If it is really good they pay the patent and produce new sensor.
If the sensor is 1000x more sensitive, we can use slower lens and still produce good images. by using slower lens means cheaper camera too

1 upvote
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

I think small sensors will benefit greatly from this. We can have the small body and lens of m4/3 without compromising on high ISO performance. Big sensors will also benefit from the very thin graphene layer. I can foresee two problems. Firstly, 2/3 of graphene patents are held by just 3 countries, which may explain why the Japanese companies are not too eager to jump into it. Secondly, the mining of graphene is as environmentally destructive as mining of rare earth.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (10 months ago)

The original paper that the graphene story comes from says it's 1000x more sensitive than existing graphene sensors - not current silicon technology. It's been widely mid-reported.

The Fujifilm/Panasonic technology, with at least two pixel sized having been designed and made, sounds much closer to market than the fundamental research around graphene.

4 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

The graphene sensor was designed with existing CMOS manufacturing process in mind. In other words, the CMOS fab can start to produce graphene sensors just by changing the base material.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (10 months ago)

I've been reading about the miracle properties of graphene for years now, being a bit of a science geek - but the R&D never turns into a bonafide product for the market place. Its like the boy who cried wolf too many times - you don't take it seriously anymore.

1 upvote
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

@limlh

I'm sorry... mining of graphene!?

0 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

@Dheori

I'm sorry. Graphene is obtained from Graphite. You have to mine for Graphite. Some mines have closed because of environmental concerns.

0 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

@GabrielZ

Not to over blow the potential of Graphene since it is a very new discovery. The team that won the Nobel prize in 2010 obtained Graphene by sticking a scotch tape on a piece of Graphite.

But companies that don't ignore it but make full use of it will benefit the most. I can see Samsung going all out over it.

0 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

@limlh

I would imagine for a use such as this they'd just perfect a method of growing it on meaning they could use other carbon sources than graphite.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (10 months ago)

In any case, the amount needed for a sensor is incredibly tiny. This is not going to deplete the world's graphite supplies.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

Goes on to prove that you can't beat an organic sandwich, even if it's thinner ;)

Anyway, this is good news. It will just take some more time to wait before the new cameras emerge, so the ad-people can spin their thing right from the beginning. The prices of the "old, non-organic" gear might drop, though...

2 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (10 months ago)

New Imaging Technologies (NIT) offers world class CMOS imaging sensors based upon a unique and patented pixel technology which provides intrinsic high dynamic range response of more than 140dB, no noticeable fixed pattern noise and operability without image artifacts to more than 90°C.

http://www.new-imaging-technologies.com/
http://photographyforartists.wordpress.com/tag/140-db-dynamic-range/

:)

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (10 months ago)

No solid background knowledge, ogl.

E.g., the D800 has 79.7 dB DR at 36.6 MP using the strict DxO measurement rules.

Because SNR is dependent on spatial frequency (just like in audio), this translates to 100.5 dB DR at VGA resolution (D800) which I mention because the NIT sensor is a video sensor. So 120 dB (NIT writes 120 dB at many places) isn't as spectacular as it sounds.

Other than that, NIT invented a pixel architecture which produces a logarithmic output with potentially extreme DR if exposed long enough. The NIT pixel uses the photo-voltaic effect which creates a current rather than a charge. Don't expect class-leading image quality from such a device, other than a high DR.

The NIT sensor has no reason to be cited here in this context.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (10 months ago)

Are you sure that Fuji-Panasonic technology for digital cameras with big sensors?

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (10 months ago)

Given that models for two different photosites were presented, absolutely. The smaller is for phones, the larger for cameras.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (10 months ago)

It could be sensors for smartphones.
Small sensors with high dynamic range - from 87 till 140 dB are well-known 10 years ago.

Kodak 40 MP sensor has 70 dB dynamic range. 645D with such sensor has 12.6 EV dynamic range. D800E's sensor has close to 80 dB.

The main question - how big will this new sensor be? If it will be small, it's not interesting at all

Important remark: 1.2 times higher sensitivity than Panasonic sensors have now.

0 upvotes
tornwald
By tornwald (10 months ago)

It still seems to have a Bayer matrix and therefore Foveon remains superior for me. Interesting development although, let's see how this works in practice.

1 upvote
limlh
By limlh (10 months ago)

It could well be organic sensor with X-trans array.

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (10 months ago)

Dont know anything about this, but as it is an internet forum, here goes,
the Foveon sensor is more to do with geometry than the sensitised material in it, I would not envisage why the same approach could not be used by applying a chromophore to three layers of the photosensitive polymer.

0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (10 months ago)

Sony's patent (in early 2012) on organic layer points at a Foveon-like stacked structure. I won't be surprised if the same applied to Fuji's.

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (10 months ago)

Just as a comment to many of the commentators who don't seem to know: "Organic" in this sense doesn't mean biological, bio-degradable, grown without pesticides, free-range, sustainably produced, low carbon footprint, or any other such thing. It just means the molecules involved in the sensor technology are carbon-based.

3 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (10 months ago)

Yeah, that's all well and good; thanks for the explanation.
But ............
is it OK to eat the carbon?!

:o)

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (10 months ago)

Yes, you can eat carbon when you have bacteria in the intestine. It cleanse all your digestive system, so best is to buy it at the pharmacy in tabs or use charcoal dust. Hahaha.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (10 months ago)

Burnt toast is the primary form of elemental carbon in my diet.

2 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (10 months ago)

Girls do prefer diamonds as a source of carbon.

1 upvote
E_Nielsen
By E_Nielsen (10 months ago)

Does this mean that they've finally found a use for the common cold virus?

0 upvotes
JamieTux
By JamieTux (10 months ago)

88db?

Assuming that a 3db gain is a doubling then they are talking 30 stops? Really?

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (10 months ago)

It's 6db and 15 stops. But such things aren't normalized and DxO numbers would differ significantly.

More significantly: the speak about a 4x increase of the full well capacity which would lower the native ISO from e.g., 100 to 25. It is at that 25 ISO you would see up to 2 stops more DR.

Obviously, they use part of the beforehand light sensitive silicon area for an increased well. Which is good.

Still, I would have preferred to read a number (like 60000) for the 3 µm sensel's FWC. As otherwise, it just remains dumb marketing speech.

1 upvote
JamieTux
By JamieTux (10 months ago)

I felt it was marketing hyperbole when thye switched measures from stops to db

0 upvotes
Scott McMorrow
By Scott McMorrow (10 months ago)

Not hyperbole. They used dB because they are measuring signal voltage dynamic range, not power. If you read the paper abstract and the releases carefully, the sensor has about a 1/4 stop high ISO low noise advantage, and possibly a 4 stop low ISO dynamic range advantage, if their numbers and comparisons are correct.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (10 months ago)

After stories on panasonic leaving the sensor business this all sounds like very good news in itself. What the final outcome of this particular sensor will be remains to be seen as we do not know exactly with what they compare with.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (10 months ago)

when they write "better then current cmos sensors" the (any) PR department usually means the worst current cmos sensor they can find.

they normaly don´t compare their own products to top of the line cmos sensors.
just to make the numbers look better.

so as long as i don´t know to which sensor they compare this new sensor... im far from being excited.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (10 months ago)

The proof of the pudding is in the eating so let us wait until this technology makes it into an actual product.

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (10 months ago)

Wow, never imagined Fuji and Panasonic working together on this :-)

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (10 months ago)

I am glad to see Panasonic and Fuji knowledge together.

The result has to be very good.

6 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (10 months ago)

I do not know why FujiFilm ditched its highly acclaimed SuperCCD technology.
Since they did that, I haven't bought a single camera from them. Meanwhile their camera design really lets me down. The glory of S5 pro has gone and gone.

0 upvotes
HetFotoAtelier
By HetFotoAtelier (10 months ago)

You never worked with the X-Pro1, I think?
That's an amazing camera after 2 years I work with it :-)

5 upvotes
Mark Carr
By Mark Carr (10 months ago)

Their new "X" cams are wonderful, just read the reviews. While we'd all love to see a new "S" cam, Fuji is clearly on the right path at the moment.

3 upvotes
vratnik
By vratnik (10 months ago)

X-trans offers insane image quality. Just try it and you'll be glad to be born.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (10 months ago)

Hmm, the Fuji X trans has great POTENTIAL; very great.

But that potential has not been FULLY realised because ......
Fuji themselves don't seem to be able to decode the fancy sensor colour array accurately (witness the, albeit minor compared to other companies attempts, flaws in their JPEGs as shown here on DPReview) and other companies, because they haven't had co-operation from Fuji have a hell of a time making sense of raw conversion from the X Trans sensor (and Adobe had to revisit the raw conversion of the Fuji sensor to make it half way decent).

So I wouldn't go gloating about X Trans ............yet.

1 upvote
love_them_all
By love_them_all (10 months ago)

The X Trans is superior to the sensor used on the S5pro in every way. I have used both.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

"You never worked with the X-Pro1, I think?
That's an amazing camera after 2 years I work with it :-)"

One problem - it is not 2 y/o yet, barely 1.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (10 months ago)

With organic sensors and organic camera users, all we need now are crank-, solar- and wind-powered cameras, and we can claim we're almost 100% sustainable.

3 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (10 months ago)

Well, that organic is using the term correctly. Companies that use "green" to describe products that aren't are engaging in what is called, "green washing" because it sells to the credulous.

3 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (10 months ago)

Great news! the sensors we have at the moment are rubbish, I cant seem to find a decent picture anywhere since film went out of fashion.

1 upvote
Kuv
By Kuv (10 months ago)

I think the camera may not be your problem, then...

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
ariliquin
By ariliquin (10 months ago)

I see the difference, even if others don't. Would love to have full colour sensing image sensor without quality degrading filters, i.e. like film, but digital. Sigma make a brave effort, most other vendors don't care as much about image quality, just sales. This means millions of mediocre image capture devices + millions of mediocre photographers. Not a good combination.

Full frame, full colour image sensor with good low light sensitivity, quality lens range and in form factor...... dreaming on.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (10 months ago)

Actually some film has filters.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

... film and digital imagery is not comparable, but the major change has happened to the ways the pictures are displayed. The only thing that really has changed is the camera availability. As to why so large a percentage of people with digital cameras automatically feel that this is all it takes to be photographers, that's another story entirely.
In this World of today's where reading (as well as learning) "takes too much time", blame it on the irresponsible advertising, where all sorts of outright lies are regarded as tools of trade. Etcetera...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (10 months ago)

I was being sarcastic by the way, I am blown away by what modern digital cameras even the tiny one in my phone can do.

@Kuv that really was my point. Sorry for it, lowest for of wit and all that, just some of the hellelujahing in the comments I found irritating like we were living in the dark ages.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
farcanal
By farcanal (10 months ago)

I'm waiting 4 the cmos/orgsamic version.... apparently it only last 3 seconds

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HetFotoAtelier
By HetFotoAtelier (10 months ago)

I'm waiting for the Cmos/Origami version :-)

1 upvote
SidePod
By SidePod (10 months ago)

I wonder if that organic stuff degrades ...

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (10 months ago)

Apparently it does; it think it says so indirectly in the press release. However, the engineers use some technique to eliminate it (i am guessing they simply seal it making the compound sit within an air-tight frame/skin)

0 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (10 months ago)

You do know that 'organic' just means 'made with carbon' don't you.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

the real technology of the future, is one with micro-prisms to split the light into different colors, and direct each one to a photosite.
this does away with the color filter, and doubles the sensitivity.
the micro prisms could be paired with any sensor technology underneath it.
ie: doing away with the pattern altogether (whether bayer or xtrans) and using all of the light - not throwing most of it away.
ps: foveon takes a step in the right direction, but it loses too much light in order to be a relevant technology that can last into the future.

5 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (10 months ago)

+1

Moreover, the 1.2x sensitivity increase seems to relate to the fill factor alone. Which is debatable. OTOH, a 0.5µm absorption layer may be too thin for a high quantum efficiency (it is a single lambda layer only). Overall, I don't consider this technology to be a progress.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

It has been done with Polaroid Instant Slide film way back. There was only one silver layer, with prism lines along the film base, but the technology, though revolutionary, was still too crude then to create finer arrays. As opposed to analog approach, the same prism array could work well with full-frame sized chips...

0 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

@falconeyes

I have admitadly only skim read it but I don't see any information as to the makeup of the organic layer. I doubt they'd go into that much detail for something like this.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (10 months ago)

#3 of this news item explains that the organic layer is a 0.5µm thin film. Which is a bit less than one wavelength for green and blue. They mention a "high absorption coefficient". But an organic layer this thin will be difficult to make pitch black. Therefore, I have little hope for state-of-the-art quantum efficiency if the thin film is THIS thin.

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

I know size is an issue, but does anyone know what using a prism would do for sensitivity - using 3 ccd's as with the old video cameras? How about 3 2/3"" BSI ccd's?

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (10 months ago)

More DR: good.
More pixels: irrelevant, as digital cameras have plenty, and more on a smartphone isn't going to make smartphone pictures any better.

3 upvotes
km25
By km25 (10 months ago)

Nice new sensor for X-Pros. I hope so!

0 upvotes
Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (10 months ago)

I for one am taking a deep breath and holding ...

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

This news makes sense. Oly and Sony partner up, Panasonic left alone partners with Fuji, the two halfs become stronger. Interesting to watch the camera companies evolve over time. First Pentax Ricoh, Sony Oly, now Pana Fuji, maybe one day they will all merge with Leica ;).

Carl

3 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (10 months ago)

Oly and Sony didn't partner up. Sony invested in Oly, mainly to get into medical electronic business. Sony is selling sensors to Oly, but they were selling them to Nikon and Pentax before that anyway.

Oly still makes M3/3 cameras that compete directly against Sony's Nex.

Fuji and Panasonic are also competitors. Fuji doesn't sell M4/3 cameras.

As for Ricoh Pentax, that's different. There is no such thing as "Pentax" as an independent entity. "Pentax" is a brand name used by Ricoh.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

I'm completely aware of all that, but I'm glad you feel good about taking the time to try and correct my essay like a teacher that uses a happy ruler :). As usual, you never disappoint!

2 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (10 months ago)

ET2 - you forgot to mention that now Oly is helping Sony with development of new lenses. Aslo, if rumors are correct, and Sony releases mirrorless A-mount cameras, I'm pretty sure Oly will help with some CDAF know-how/technology as well.

So, yeah, they kind "partnered up".

Meanwhile, Canon sits all alone. Poor thing :(

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (10 months ago)

Waiting for Canon-Nikon partnership.. hahahaha

6 upvotes
budi0251
By budi0251 (10 months ago)

Canon has "indirectly" partnered with ML/CHDK for their firmware hack (abuse)
Of course they both will deny any "official" partnership. :)

Nikon so far has been "alone" (eventhough after some Sony & Toshiba image sensor fiasco).

Nonetheless, about Olymp helping Sony with lens development, it makes sense.
Lens is quite a specialized thing, you can't simply bought a "know how" about it & mastering in a shortcut; took a lot of resources to get where nikon is.

1 upvote
dbateman
By dbateman (10 months ago)

Well Sony did buy Minolta and those lenses(ie the A mount). Minolta used to make lenses for leica.
Nikon and Canon are kind of alone. Although you might group nikon with toshiba and Aptina now.
So Canon is really alone, and not much ground breaking as a result?

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

I like the "over time" - as "slow" as development can seem at times the pace of technology - hardware and software is truly amazing. We should be praising all the hard work and development - even if it's not perfect.... There are so many unsung heroes out there and it's amazing to me they make enough money off the designs with so many designs and such short design cycles.

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (10 months ago)

Do I have to feed it?

10 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (10 months ago)

no, but you will only find it at the health food stores

2 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (10 months ago)

It's great to see new technologies under development, breaking limits. I hope that it's technically successful and can be manufactured reliably and at a fair cost!

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

Slightly disingenuous in the diagram they released.

It shows an organic layer, a bottom electrode, and a "protective layer" on top. For this to work, the protective layer actually has to be conductive, so it can function as a counterelectrode. Which means you are having to make transparent electrodes which has its own set of difficulties.

Photoconversion (light energy creates separated, mobile electric charge) is pretty hard to do in a single organic layer. I wonder if the photoconversion layer is actually composed of an organic solar-cell like multilayer structure or whether instead it works on the principle of photoconductivity.

(Sorry, its close to my day job. I actually wondered a while back whether anyone was thinking of making an organic image sensor. The idea has been kicking around for 60 years, but of course the process tools and materials available are vastly different now...)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

Assistant Professor with one of your fields of expertise being organic electronics... Very swish =)

As for the top electrode transparent electrodes aren't too much of a problem, especially with the hope of something useful coming out of all the money being thrown at graphene. There are also clearly going to be gaps between the pixels. I won't claim to know much about the layout of an imaging sensor but can't the top electrodes just run as a grid in these gaps?

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

@Dheorl

You can put the electrode around the edge, but it wouldn't be very efficient for a photoelectric device as the relatively long distance the charges have to travel to reach the electrode mean the charges are more likely to recombine (disappear) before they can be extracted as signal. For a simple photoresistive element, on the other hand, this wouldn't be a problem.

Hmm. It bugs the heck out of me that I can't immediately figure out how this works. I'll have to do some digging tomorrow and see what I can find in the literature.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

note to self: link to earlier report in article above shows a different diagram with the top transparent electrode clearly indicated.

0 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

So it does. I wonder what they're planning on using for the transparent electrode.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

http://www.google.co.jp/patents/US20110139969

Patent appears to cover both "Foveon style" and conventional pixel geometries, in each case the organic active "layer" is on closer examination comprised of a multi-layer sandwich of n-type and p-type materials, with a transparent electrode on top and a regular metal electode on the bottom to collect the individual currents. It's a miniature organic solar cell, in other words.

0 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

Having just spent a year making them I'm bored of reading about them by this point tbh. Interesting to see where else the technology is finding uses though.

Would be cool to see it as a foveon type sensor.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (10 months ago)

Are the transparent electrodes used on LEDs applicable here? It's very much the same problem in reverse.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (10 months ago)

Wow! can't wait for a real camera with this sensor in it.
Finally something exciting.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (10 months ago)

What does this design mean for sensor longevity? Would this stand up to heat cycling for video use?

2 upvotes
rabbitzilla
By rabbitzilla (10 months ago)

The sensor performance may fade over years because of the organic element.

1 upvote
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

Why do you say this?

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

@Dheorl

Organic, molecular semiconductors are fundamentally less stable than their inorganic counterparts. Especially, sadly, when you expose them to light in the presence of e.g. water or oxygen.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dheorl
By Dheorl (10 months ago)

@Richard Murray

Trust me, after my last project being on organic photovoltaics I know all about the problems of keeping them going. It isn't however beyond the wit of man to seal them pretty effectively and the article does mention a protective layer.

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (10 months ago)

Then have them make it easily replaceable... $30 every year would not be a problem for me - just give me the sensitivity and dynamic range!

0 upvotes
trungthu
By trungthu (10 months ago)

It's a good news.
But I don't know if they can have a relation between the pixel dimension with the lens resolution? Or only making this to present the technologie more than the real usage.
The pixel see, the lens see, and after all, we see...
Thanks.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 185
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