Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

Started Jun 16, 2014 | Discussions
MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,340
Re: Sony can't afford to launch another lens system...

T3 wrote:

Ron Poelman wrote:

for some time yet.
Marketing wise, the paucity of quality, native glass for the E/FE series
has done them no favours; especially when no one at Sony
ever gave a firm commitment to A-mount for (say) another 10 years.
They need to restablise their fan base, before disenfranchising them again.
They know it too, there seems to be a "full-time" offer of a
free lens adapter for every @7 sold to cover the obvious gap.
Curved is all very well, but unless it brings something
radically better to the table (like SLT), it will just be more tech.
Give the current, affordable, hammer blow of the @77Mk2, @99,
(and the 36mp @99Mk2 ?) plus all that A-mount glass,
it will be a very big call.
Tme to grow your market, Sony, not try to buy it (again).

-- hide signature --

Ron.
Volunteer, what could possibly go wrong ?

I think the degree of curvature is specifically designed for the peripheral light loss of existing lenses. It doesn't mean that an entirely new lens system would be required. In fact, I'm sure that that's exactly what they are trying to avoid. There are certainly some business justifications for starting a new lens system (e.g. mirrorless systems that require much shorter lens register distances, or sensor formats of significantly different sizes), but I don't think a slight curvature of a sensor to compensate for light loss along the periphery of a sensor is one of them.

Plus, it could just be sensor to be used in a fixed lens camera, like future RX1 models.

I'm not sure that would work, current lenses are designed to have as flat a focal plane as possible and even the ones that don't all have different focal planes. You use them on a curved sensor and parts of the image are surley going to be out of focus?

I'm pretty sure this has been designed to save size on fixed lens cameras like the RX1, it might not even work on fixed zooms and shifting focal lengths might well shift the "easier" shape of the focal plane so again your needing to correct it with a larger design.

brownie314
OP brownie314 Senior Member • Posts: 1,911
Re: Sony can't afford to launch another lens system...

MoreorLess wrote:

T3 wrote:

Ron Poelman wrote:

for some time yet.
Marketing wise, the paucity of quality, native glass for the E/FE series
has done them no favours; especially when no one at Sony
ever gave a firm commitment to A-mount for (say) another 10 years.
They need to restablise their fan base, before disenfranchising them again.
They know it too, there seems to be a "full-time" offer of a
free lens adapter for every @7 sold to cover the obvious gap.
Curved is all very well, but unless it brings something
radically better to the table (like SLT), it will just be more tech.
Give the current, affordable, hammer blow of the @77Mk2, @99,
(and the 36mp @99Mk2 ?) plus all that A-mount glass,
it will be a very big call.
Tme to grow your market, Sony, not try to buy it (again).

-- hide signature --

Ron.
Volunteer, what could possibly go wrong ?

I think the degree of curvature is specifically designed for the peripheral light loss of existing lenses. It doesn't mean that an entirely new lens system would be required. In fact, I'm sure that that's exactly what they are trying to avoid. There are certainly some business justifications for starting a new lens system (e.g. mirrorless systems that require much shorter lens register distances, or sensor formats of significantly different sizes), but I don't think a slight curvature of a sensor to compensate for light loss along the periphery of a sensor is one of them.

Plus, it could just be sensor to be used in a fixed lens camera, like future RX1 models.

I'm not sure that would work, current lenses are designed to have as flat a focal plane as possible and even the ones that don't all have different focal planes. You use them on a curved sensor and parts of the image are surley going to be out of focus?

I'm pretty sure this has been designed to save size on fixed lens cameras like the RX1, it might not even work on fixed zooms and shifting focal lengths might well shift the "easier" shape of the focal plane so again your needing to correct it with a larger design.

Well, I am not sure how a curved sensor fits into a interchangeable lens system, or even a fixed lens zoom camera.  What i am saying is that for cameras like the Fuji  x100s, the Nikon Coolpix A, or the Sony RX1 - fixed lens cameras with wide(ish) angle prime lenses - this could be a boon.  It could be very high IQ lenses in compact bodies.

For interchangeable lens systems - just a guess - but they would probably have to pick a curvature that is a compromise between wide, normal, and long focal lengths and design lenses around this curvature.  But still, it seems in a system like this, if they picked the curvature nicely, there would be a range of lenses the would benefit - like wide to normal range - and these lenses could be made with fewer elements (i.e. smaller and lighter).

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MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,340
Re: Sony can't afford to launch another lens system...

brownie314 wrote:

Well, I am not sure how a curved sensor fits into a interchangeable lens system, or even a fixed lens zoom camera. What i am saying is that for cameras like the Fuji x100s, the Nikon Coolpix A, or the Sony RX1 - fixed lens cameras with wide(ish) angle prime lenses - this could be a boon. It could be very high IQ lenses in compact bodies.

For interchangeable lens systems - just a guess - but they would probably have to pick a curvature that is a compromise between wide, normal, and long focal lengths and design lenses around this curvature. But still, it seems in a system like this, if they picked the curvature nicely, there would be a range of lenses the would benefit - like wide to normal range - and these lenses could be made with fewer elements (i.e. smaller and lighter).

Its possible I spose although I'm guessing the benefit would be reduced.

I wouldn't say that ASPC fixed lens cameras really have a problem with lens size at the moment although I spose they could potentially be made faster/wider with a curved sensor. FF fixed focal length really seems to be whether this design could be most useful to me.

I'm not sure lens size is really that big an issue with the RX1 but cost certainly is so if it can help that then its obviously a good thing. The RX2 with a 35mm 1.8 lens and a pop up viewfinder for a similar price to the RX1 could certainly be more successful.

peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

stevo23 wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

I'd guess the big issue maybe that sensors and lenses need to be matched together to make such a system work, indeed I could potentially even see zooms causing issues. That Sony didn't look to use this sensor with there own FF mirrorless system does tend to suggest there maybe problems.

I spose if sensors really started to come down in price it also made lens design cheaper then it might make sense to create a system like the Ricoh GXR with linked sensor/lens units.

Yes, I agree that it would have little benefit for longer lenses - and may cause significant problems.

But I was thinking more along the lines of a compact non-interchangeable lens camera - like the RX1. With a curved sensor and wide angle lens - this could be a small body but spectacular performer. We will see. The rumor going around right now is that the RX2 will have curved sensor and a 35mm f/1.8 lens. Seems interesting.

Realistically though the RX1 was already a very good performer here, certainly much better than the FE 35mm 2.8.

Its not mentioned much but if you look at the RX1 len internals you can see a massive rear element...

I'm guessing that having that big chuck of glass near to the sensor allows for correcting light angles much more than can be achieved with interchangeable lenses.

A slightly faster, slightly smaller lens would be a benefit to the RX2 although I think improved AF and a built in viewfinder would be bigger improvements.

Actually, large rear element close to sensor potentially causes more problems with vignetting and color shifts than a small one would.

why?

Draw a picture. Put a line of light from every corner of the lens to every corner of the sensor. You'll see.

brownie314
OP brownie314 Senior Member • Posts: 1,911
Re: Sony can't afford to launch another lens system...

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

Well, I am not sure how a curved sensor fits into a interchangeable lens system, or even a fixed lens zoom camera. What i am saying is that for cameras like the Fuji x100s, the Nikon Coolpix A, or the Sony RX1 - fixed lens cameras with wide(ish) angle prime lenses - this could be a boon. It could be very high IQ lenses in compact bodies.

For interchangeable lens systems - just a guess - but they would probably have to pick a curvature that is a compromise between wide, normal, and long focal lengths and design lenses around this curvature. But still, it seems in a system like this, if they picked the curvature nicely, there would be a range of lenses the would benefit - like wide to normal range - and these lenses could be made with fewer elements (i.e. smaller and lighter).

Its possible I spose although I'm guessing the benefit would be reduced.

I wouldn't say that ASPC fixed lens cameras really have a problem with lens size at the moment although I spose they could potentially be made faster/wider with a curved sensor. FF fixed focal length really seems to be whether this design could be most useful to me.

I'm not sure lens size is really that big an issue with the RX1 but cost certainly is so if it can help that then its obviously a good thing. The RX2 with a 35mm 1.8 lens and a pop up viewfinder for a similar price to the RX1 could certainly be more successful.

Well, size is not a big issue on the RX1 - with one exception - the big lens sticking out the front of this rectangular body.  It is a better situation than DSLR's that if for sure, but perhaps it could be even better (as I mentioned before, maybe like the Ricoh GR).

I don't totally agree that aps-c doesn't have a problem with lens size.  Take Nikon for example.  Nikon makes a good 35mm f/1.8 prime.  What if, with a curved sensor, they could make a pancake 35mm f/1.8 prime.  To me, that would be much better.

Now I understand it isn't that simple - it would have to be a completely new line of interchangeable lens cameras.

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PVCdroid
PVCdroid Senior Member • Posts: 4,326
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

A pixel peepers dream come true with never another soft corner. Yahoo, every brick will look identical. I'm all for innovation but we haven't even seen a sample pic yet. I've seen the rumors but it would be nice to see what this will look like and do for photography. No one ever attempted to curve film for this effect, did they?

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Antioch Senior Member • Posts: 2,051
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

If it lowers prices, it will be game changer. Unfortunately prices will probably go up a lot.

Advantages are lenses wont have to change, it will prevent present soft and blurry corners on general digital images, whose sensors are not as forgiving as malleable film. You will see great image quality particularly at the wide angle.

Present avalanche of cell phone and tablet cameras can only be reversed and stopped only with lower prices and not with higher image quality of more expensive technologies.

Maybe we should ask ourselves, as to what technology is needed to get the IQ of full frame sensor at the lowest cost at the highest IQ ?

Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 5,843
Don't they bend film for Panoramic cams ? (NT)
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Ron.
Volunteer, what could possibly go wrong ?

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,358
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

MoreorLess wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

Actually, large rear element close to sensor potentially causes more problems with vignetting and color shifts than a small one would.

why?

Tradisionally I spose you would link a larger rear element to a larger aperture and the extra optical issues that would create but in this case I'd guess were looking at something very different. The rear element is likely being used to alter the angle the light is hitting the sensor and obviously having a rear element as close in size to the sensor as possible makes it easier to have the light hitting it as perpendicular as possible.

I think that could be part of it.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,358
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

peevee1 wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

I'd guess the big issue maybe that sensors and lenses need to be matched together to make such a system work, indeed I could potentially even see zooms causing issues. That Sony didn't look to use this sensor with there own FF mirrorless system does tend to suggest there maybe problems.

I spose if sensors really started to come down in price it also made lens design cheaper then it might make sense to create a system like the Ricoh GXR with linked sensor/lens units.

Yes, I agree that it would have little benefit for longer lenses - and may cause significant problems.

But I was thinking more along the lines of a compact non-interchangeable lens camera - like the RX1. With a curved sensor and wide angle lens - this could be a small body but spectacular performer. We will see. The rumor going around right now is that the RX2 will have curved sensor and a 35mm f/1.8 lens. Seems interesting.

Realistically though the RX1 was already a very good performer here, certainly much better than the FE 35mm 2.8.

Its not mentioned much but if you look at the RX1 len internals you can see a massive rear element...

I'm guessing that having that big chuck of glass near to the sensor allows for correcting light angles much more than can be achieved with interchangeable lenses.

A slightly faster, slightly smaller lens would be a benefit to the RX2 although I think improved AF and a built in viewfinder would be bigger improvements.

Actually, large rear element close to sensor potentially causes more problems with vignetting and color shifts than a small one would.

why?

Draw a picture. Put a line of light from every corner of the lens to every corner of the sensor. You'll see.

And...I see that it actually improves things.

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Stephan K Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

On the one hand a curved sensor should be compatible with existing lenses, as the curve matches most lens's convex field curvature, and should produce sharper edges as a result. On the other hand, each focal length and each field curvature would have it's own optimum sensor curvature, so amount of sensor curvature would be a compromise, but still better than flat sensor. Added edge sharpness would be for 2 reasons: better fit to field curvature, and incident light angle closer to 90 degrees at edges.

eyeswideshut Regular Member • Posts: 320
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

Bummer about all those legacy lenses - but the chinese will probably bring out a decurvature adapter

And what about a curved organic sensor...

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Cheers
eyeswideshut

Chris Malcolm Senior Member • Posts: 1,840
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

PVCdroid wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

A pixel peepers dream come true with never another soft corner. Yahoo, every brick will look identical. I'm all for innovation but we haven't even seen a sample pic yet. I've seen the rumors but it would be nice to see what this will look like and do for photography. No one ever attempted to curve film for this effect, did they?

The famous tiny Minolta spy camera curved the film. Needed a special enlarger which curved it the same way to get the same image quality. Key technology for squeezing best IQ out of a very tiny camera and lens.

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Chris Malcolm

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal
5

stevo23 wrote:

jcharding wrote:

Well, if implemented fully (by Sony and whomever Sony sells the sensor too) it could also mean that all legacy lenses become useless.

I don't think so. My understanding at this early stage is that the amount of correction is merely in line with the current curvature of today's lenses. Lenses aren't flat today and a slight curve would benefit them.

Ah, but the amount of curvature, i.e. the deviation from having a perfect flat field is certainly not consistent with today's lenses. Most camera lenses are computed to give as close as possible to a flat field at the film / sensor plane for obvious reasons, even if they don't always achieve it. A curved sensor in an interchangeable lens camera 'might' just just give better results by pure coincidence in matching the curve of the sensor with the curved field of one or two less than perfect lenses but it is highly unlikely to do so with most. And of course that is assuming that the field curvature will always be towards the lens when for some lenses it actually curves the other way.

eyeswideshut Regular Member • Posts: 320
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal
3

ray s james wrote:

I agree with stev023, the opposite should be true, especially regarding old lenses.

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Ray

Afraid not. Curvature of the sensor will allow simpler lens designs but wreak havoc with legacy lenses designed for a flat field sensor.

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Cheers
eyeswideshut

alanr0 Senior Member • Posts: 1,833
Schmidt camera

PVCdroid wrote:

. No one ever attempted to curve film for this effect, did they?

Common practice for a Schmidt camera .

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Alan Robinson

Leon Wittwer Forum Pro • Posts: 13,207
mud marketing...

Sony is just throwing different kinds of mud against the wall to see if something sticks.  It is not clear that most advantages of a curves sensor can be achieved with a flat sensor with post shot corrections.  I notice that such new stuff always promises to make smaller, better, lighter, etc. cameras.  Unfortunately, engineering reality (and physics) has its way and the promise is less than thought.  If this requires Sony to have yet another lens line, then I think that this really is a reach.

Leon Wittwer Forum Pro • Posts: 13,207
Bingo...

This might have some value for small sensor, fixed lens systems like cell phones, etc.  No lens lineup required.

peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: Sony's new curved sensor - this is a big deal

stevo23 wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

MoreorLess wrote:

brownie314 wrote:

If Sony can get it right (make it manufacturer at a "reasonable" price) this could be a game changer bigger than all of this mirrorless stuff (actually, many of will argue that mirrorless wasn't really a game changer - but that is another topic).

This has the potential to make it possible to put really small, simple lens designs on bodies and have IQ on par with the most expensive glass available.

I'd guess the big issue maybe that sensors and lenses need to be matched together to make such a system work, indeed I could potentially even see zooms causing issues. That Sony didn't look to use this sensor with there own FF mirrorless system does tend to suggest there maybe problems.

I spose if sensors really started to come down in price it also made lens design cheaper then it might make sense to create a system like the Ricoh GXR with linked sensor/lens units.

Yes, I agree that it would have little benefit for longer lenses - and may cause significant problems.

But I was thinking more along the lines of a compact non-interchangeable lens camera - like the RX1. With a curved sensor and wide angle lens - this could be a small body but spectacular performer. We will see. The rumor going around right now is that the RX2 will have curved sensor and a 35mm f/1.8 lens. Seems interesting.

Realistically though the RX1 was already a very good performer here, certainly much better than the FE 35mm 2.8.

Its not mentioned much but if you look at the RX1 len internals you can see a massive rear element...

I'm guessing that having that big chuck of glass near to the sensor allows for correcting light angles much more than can be achieved with interchangeable lenses.

A slightly faster, slightly smaller lens would be a benefit to the RX2 although I think improved AF and a built in viewfinder would be bigger improvements.

Actually, large rear element close to sensor potentially causes more problems with vignetting and color shifts than a small one would.

why?

Draw a picture. Put a line of light from every corner of the lens to every corner of the sensor. You'll see.

And...I see that it actually improves things.

You don't see sharper angles of light from the opposite size of the lens?

Franka T.L. Veteran Member • Posts: 8,143
well not quite ...

Well the truth is the sensor will still only have a fixed curvature and right now its only curved on one axis , and lens is curved on all axis. Not to mention the sensor is having a fixed curvature thus its only applicable to a fixed focus lens of said compatible focal length and only allowed that imaging to be designed for along that curved ( usually long ) axis.

So saying it will be game changing for the said field is perhaps over stating, but as a technology it can be applied to specific setup, and also applied with other technology advance. I can imagine smartphone camera module with curved sensor in ( large for smartphone ) large sensor configuration together with a complement and compatible lens. Or it can be used for our concerned photography ( and non pro need video ) in say a 1" sensor in a fixed lens camera with a fix focal length lens of shorter focal length ( say a 10mm/2.4 ) which can tthen be designed to take advantage of the sensor.

In short the curved sensor need a compatible lens and if that can be furnished it can made a combo.

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- Franka -

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