Micron to Unveil 8-Megapixel Image Chip

Started May 18, 2006 | Discussions thread
Ron Parr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,785
Re: Thanks also and Q

I'd like to hear what Eric has to say about this too. Some thoughts of my own while we wait:

DJL1 wrote:

From my relatively uninformed position, I thought Canon was the
leader in photogrphic CMOS sensors (especially low noise). Dr.
Fossum do you think Sony or Samsung could overstake Canon in the
high performance DSLR category?

I believe the crux of Eric's comments were that Canon's pixel architecture is not as sophisticated as what is used in the newest generation of small CMOS sensors. Two thoughts on this:

  • Canon does appear to have reduced the transistor count per pixel with the 20D architecture, so they are moving towards more advanced designs.

  • For large pixels, it's less critical to use an advanced pixel architecture because they have more space to work with.

Some industry observers have said that wide-spread adoption of
"full frame" sensors are inevitable due to better imaging
performance. Given that I would prefer using cropped sensors due
to the lower weight of the camera body and lenses, I hope they are
wrong and that the noise and other image issues of cropped sensors
can be overcome with better technology. What do you think?

Unless fabrication techniques change, there will continue to be a price premium for 24x36mm sensors over APS-C sensors beyond the normal effects of increased area on yield because 24x36mm is larger than stanard reticle sizes. Such large chips require mask stitching, which will add cost.

With a larger sensor you can capture more photons per pixel or capture more pixels per image, so there will always be image quality advantages to larger sensors. The market and engineering issues will determine how these are balanced against the additional cost.

Note that even if 24x36mm sensors ultimately become very inexpensive, there could continue to be a market for smaller cameras based on smaller sensors - just on size reasons.

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