Thanks to Bill Geary for noting this article on EE Times about Canon's CMOS Sensor, it's got a few more technical details than we covered in our preview. "Canon uses CMOS sensor to gain digicam edge"... Time will tell.
Canon uses CMOS sensor to gain digicam edge
By Yoshiko Hara
TOKYO Canon Corp. has developed a 3-million-pixel CMOS sensor that challenges the widely held idea that CMOS modules can't beat the resolution of charge-coupled-device (CCD) sensors in digital cameras.
Canon will use the sensor first in the digital version of its EOS single-lens reflex camera, dubbed EOS-D30, to be marketed in September.
"Canon introduced a digital still camera in the early '80s, but it was too early and was not successful," said Fujio Mitarai, president of Canon. "Since then, we have been concentrating on analog cameras and have let our competitors get ahead in the digital still camera market. But while we were behind, we used the time to develop key components, and now our [digital still camera] strategy is in good shape," he said.
"We will never sell the CMOS sensor alone to other companies," Mitarai said. "We'll use the sensor for our strategic products. I expect that the sensor will pull up our share in digital still cameras to around 20 percent."
The CMOS sensor has a total of 3.25 million pixels. Its effective sensor size is 22.7 x 15.1 mm, or APS-Classic size, with 3.11 million effective pixels.
CMOS sensors in general have speed and power consumption advantages over CCD sensors because CMOS parts run on about 5 volts, while CCDs need about 20 V. But CMOS sensors fall behind when it comes to picture quality, especially in a dim light, because of the noise in each pixel.
Canon engineers developed three new technologies for their CMOS sensor: on-chip noise reduction; electronic charge transfer; and on-chip programmable gain amplification. All were key breakthroughs, said Shigeyuki Matsumoto, senior general manager at Canon's device development center.
The new sensor has an amplifier in each pixel to convert optical signals to electronic signals. The unevenness of those amplifiers causes noise that has a fixed pattern. To eliminate the noise, Canon engineers developed on-chip noise-reduction circuitry that reads out the mixture of noise and optical signals in 10 milliseconds and then pure noise in another 10 ms. When the pure noise is subtracted from the mixture, a pure optical signal remains.
Random noise is another problem. The noise is due to the unevenness of the initial level of optical signals at each pixel. Canon engineers improved the pixel structure by transferring electronic charges completely to reset the initial levels of optical signals and noise in each pixel.
The programmable gain amplifier is the first block integrated on the sensor chip to take advantage of the CMOS process. The amplifier eliminates noise and reads out signals at a speed of 12 MHz.
Moving forward, Canon engineers have two major goals in mind for the next step in CMOS sensor development. One is to develop a larger sensor with a higher resolution. Another goal is to develop system-on-chip ICs that integrate the sensor with various blocks on a single chip.
The sensor is fabricated on a 0.35-micron process. Compared with CCD sensors with the same resolution, the CMOS sensor requires about 15 percent fewer masks, which, ultimately, will give them a cost advantage, said Matsumoto.
TIME Magazine has named the Sony a7R III one of its top 10 gadgets of 2017. It was the only camera that made the illustrious list this year, receiving high praise from TIME, who dubbed it "one of the best mirrorless cameras ever made."
Thanks to Google Assistant integration, the Pixel 2's AI-powered 'Google Lens' camera feature will soon be easier and quicker to use.
Photographer Jenna Martin and her model friend Rachelle Kathleen set themselves a challenge: could they create beautiful portraits in an 'ugly' location? So they went to a local Lowe's hardware store and gave it a go!
The LG V30 differentiates itself from the competition with an expansive video feature set and a secondary wide angle camera, making it something of a Swiss Army knife for content creators.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Holding down the top position is none other than the Nikon D850 – by a landslide.
It's been twenty years since Jeff Keller founded the Digital Camera Resource Page, one of the first websites dedicated to digital photography. Jeff, who has been at DPReview for nearly five years, looks back at the rise and fall of consumer digital cameras and his website.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At #2 we have another staff favorite – the Sony Alpha a9.
Rotolight has released the Anova Pro 2 circular LED for stills and video, boasting a 70% increase in brightness and what the company describes as "unrivaled battery performance."
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!