Jon Stern

Lives in United States Mountain View, CA, United States
Works as a Electronics Engineer
Joined on Apr 21, 2003

Comments

Total: 135, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

entoman: The way things are heading, within a few years this sort of thing will be automated and built into camera software. And then the *!"%?ing camera will decide what can and what can't be included in the picture!

The sooner we all go back to manual metering, manual focusing, film cameras and actually putting some thought into taking our photographs, the better.

Cartier-Bresson knew what the word Photography really meant.

This expands the definition of photography. The old meaning does not go away (even if there is the issue of knowing if an image is authentic, or not), but this moves photography closer to painting, where the artist would do exactly the same thing: decide what elements to include and leave out in a painting.

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2017 at 18:57 UTC
In reply to:

AKH: This is for tech nerds not photograhers.

You really think so? You don't see that this is moving photographer towards traditional painting, where the artist would "make a more perfect scene", rather than just recording a literal representation of what he or she saw?

Do you think that if Claude Monte was painting that arch, he would include those people in the picture?

Photography doesn't have to be one thing. There is space for capturing the event (journalism) and for capture the feeling of an event. While it does create issues of undermining the authenticity of the former, images without an expression of the artist's interpretation is not art.

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2017 at 18:54 UTC

A surreal bit of life imitating art, with Kumail Nanjiani (an actor who plays a programmer in the show Silicon Valley) being there on stage.

It took me a minute to realize who it was. For a while I was thinking it was an actual guy from Adobe I was chatting with when we were both with our toddlers at a local park (I'm based in the Bay Area).

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2017 at 18:45 UTC as 36th comment
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (285 comments in total)
In reply to:

Cornu: Leica DMR. That was a digital back for the Leica R9 film camera.

One interesting fact that most people don't know, is that Silicon Film originally collaborated with Leica on the DMR, and proved to them that the concept was viable. After SFT went bankrupt, Leica found another partner to complete the project.

The follow up project to the DMR was always intended to be a digital M-series camera.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 05:41 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (285 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jacob the Photographer: Somewhere early 2000's I still had my Nikon F3 cameras. Silicon Film came with a very promising digital 'film' solution. I joined them as a prospect buyer. (Crowdfunding did not exist in those days) but one day the news drip from their side died... if you look at the mechanics of a 35 mm camera , the film transport , the film guides , the shutter so close to the film plane etc. then one has to realise that bringing the imaging sensor in the film plane is near impossible and as said firing the shutter(s) simultane ....
BUT:
There is a camera that has none of those limitations and I often wondered why a HighTech developer has never come up with at least an attempt to make it digital: The TLR Rollei / Yashica / Mamiya cameras. There the shutter is far from the film plane , the shutter mechanism is very accessible (Read: Easy to modify or even to replace) , the two large 120 mm film compartments allow for plenty of electronics and battery space.
C'mon HighTecHs GO for it and surprise us !!

@Jacob the Photographer, we always felt that (e)film was a limited opportunity product. I don't think the most optimistic of us expected there to be much of a market for it by 2017.

If anything, the DSLRs, and now mirrorless cameras, advanced quicker, and fell in price faster, than anyone could have predicted, making the serviceable market in 2017 even smaller.

There is still a market for it, but it's too small to support a viable business. Firstly, it would take several million dollars to re-start development and get something decent to market. Then the low volumes for the product would mean that the unit price would have to be too high for what it offers (compared to a DSLR, or MILC).

I certainly wouldn't quit my job at a well-known camera company, to join an attempt to resurrect the concept. The world has changed, and there are more-exciting frontiers in imaging today.

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 05:35 UTC
In reply to:

ozturert: This looks so cool, unlike GoPro and it's copies. If price is right, Casio may be my next buy.

What do you mean? Do mean the features or the industrial design look cool?

Link | Posted on Oct 14, 2017 at 05:18 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (285 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jacob the Photographer: Somewhere early 2000's I still had my Nikon F3 cameras. Silicon Film came with a very promising digital 'film' solution. I joined them as a prospect buyer. (Crowdfunding did not exist in those days) but one day the news drip from their side died... if you look at the mechanics of a 35 mm camera , the film transport , the film guides , the shutter so close to the film plane etc. then one has to realise that bringing the imaging sensor in the film plane is near impossible and as said firing the shutter(s) simultane ....
BUT:
There is a camera that has none of those limitations and I often wondered why a HighTech developer has never come up with at least an attempt to make it digital: The TLR Rollei / Yashica / Mamiya cameras. There the shutter is far from the film plane , the shutter mechanism is very accessible (Read: Easy to modify or even to replace) , the two large 120 mm film compartments allow for plenty of electronics and battery space.
C'mon HighTecHs GO for it and surprise us !!

@Roland, yes it did have a small sensor. That's why it was EFS-1. We already had the working samples of a larger sensor (similar size to APS-H) that would have gone in to EFS-2.

The sensor package visible in the package above was actually designed for that larger sensor. The black mask that you can see on sensor cover glass, that was eliminated for packages with the larger die (so the size was pretty much the size of that black region).

You skepticism is understandable and fine. I'm familiar with it by now.

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2017 at 01:32 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (285 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jacob the Photographer: Somewhere early 2000's I still had my Nikon F3 cameras. Silicon Film came with a very promising digital 'film' solution. I joined them as a prospect buyer. (Crowdfunding did not exist in those days) but one day the news drip from their side died... if you look at the mechanics of a 35 mm camera , the film transport , the film guides , the shutter so close to the film plane etc. then one has to realise that bringing the imaging sensor in the film plane is near impossible and as said firing the shutter(s) simultane ....
BUT:
There is a camera that has none of those limitations and I often wondered why a HighTech developer has never come up with at least an attempt to make it digital: The TLR Rollei / Yashica / Mamiya cameras. There the shutter is far from the film plane , the shutter mechanism is very accessible (Read: Easy to modify or even to replace) , the two large 120 mm film compartments allow for plenty of electronics and battery space.
C'mon HighTecHs GO for it and surprise us !!

It was possible to bring the sensor close to the film plane. This is helped because the sensor cover glass shifts the plane backwards by 1/3rd of it's thickness. At Silicon FIlm, I co-designed a custom, thin ceramic package that worked.

The film transport wasn't an issue because all SLRs would allow the camera to operate without a film loaded. Detection of a loaded film cartridge used switches in that were usually combined with the DX-coding contacts. If you look at that photo of the Silicon Film (e)film cartidge above, you can just about make out a depression (surrounding the gold download contacts) in the film can region that means the film load switches don't get depressed. The camera will therefore operate as though there is no film loaded (which is full operation intended to allow practice shooting).

Silicon Film failed because we ran out of money after the dot-com crash. Not because of any fundamental engineering issues.

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2017 at 01:39 UTC
In reply to:

TIMagic: Still no optional date and time stamp display like many of their overseas competitors offer? I have no idea why GoPro has ignored this suggestion I have mentioned in numerous communications (email, app, telephone) over the past 2 years on their cameras.

If you're wanting to overlay the date and time on the video, that is available under the Gauges in Quik for Desktop.

Look at the "INFO" gauge on this page: https://gopro.com/help/articles/Block/How-to-Use-Gauges-in-Quik-for-Desktop

Is that what you want?

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2017 at 17:55 UTC
In reply to:

Lawson Raider: I hope this isn't what the Hero 6 will look like, it is twice the size of the Hero 5 and will be a bulky monster.

It's Fusion. GoPro's new spherical capture camera.

https://www.wired.com/story/gopro-fusion-360-hands-on/

Link | Posted on Aug 8, 2017 at 15:26 UTC
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: A curved sensor would not reduce vignetting, or improve peripheral illumination from lenses. That is dictated by the lens design itself. Light fall-off towards the edges will be exactly the same whether on a flat sensor, or elevated by a few millimeters on a curved sensor. More modern lens designs mitigate the need for such sensors. Not to say they are useless, far from it. Matching a telescope to a specific curved sensor should make coma a thing of the past.

@Enginel, polarization is not easy to achieve at the pixel level. It is an area of research though.

It's difficult to do better than the standard Bayer pattern. Attempts to do so have rarely gone far.

The two green diagonal pixels with a red and blue ends up being a good approximation for the human photopic response. If you try to add more colors you have a lower spatial sampling frequency in red, green and blue. Which would result in more moire, not less.

Link | Posted on Jul 17, 2017 at 07:07 UTC
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: A curved sensor would not reduce vignetting, or improve peripheral illumination from lenses. That is dictated by the lens design itself. Light fall-off towards the edges will be exactly the same whether on a flat sensor, or elevated by a few millimeters on a curved sensor. More modern lens designs mitigate the need for such sensors. Not to say they are useless, far from it. Matching a telescope to a specific curved sensor should make coma a thing of the past.

@Airydiscus, With microlens shift, the sensor roll off with CRA is mitigated. I won't tell you specific numbers as I'm covered by a NDA by my last employer (a CMOS image sensor manufacturer), but the sensor roll off (thanks to microlens shift) is a smaller effect than the lens RI.

Having worked in the mobile phone sensor and module business for 6 years, I can tell you that I'm intimately familiar with this stuff. I've seen more mobile lens specs than I care to remember, and I've built and characterized dozens of mobile modules.

As for the max CRA, that's now significantly above 30°. Before back-side illumination technology, it was capped at about 28°, but with BSI and deep trench isolation (which helps control crosstalk) CRAs as high as 34° are relatively common.

Link | Posted on Jul 16, 2017 at 02:00 UTC
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: A curved sensor would not reduce vignetting, or improve peripheral illumination from lenses. That is dictated by the lens design itself. Light fall-off towards the edges will be exactly the same whether on a flat sensor, or elevated by a few millimeters on a curved sensor. More modern lens designs mitigate the need for such sensors. Not to say they are useless, far from it. Matching a telescope to a specific curved sensor should make coma a thing of the past.

@AiryDiscus, I'm not quite sure what you mean.

For a start vignetting isn't the same as RI. Vignetting really means something blocking light rays (whether chief, or marginal rays). Whereas, relative illumination is the characteristic intensity roll of inherent in a particular lens design and manufacturing process (for the latter, particularly the quality of the coatings).

People tend to interchange the terms, so I'm not sure if you're saying that cellphone lenses have 100% RI, or there's nothing in the module that causes vignetting.

If you're saying there's 100% RI, that's not correct. The shading is corrected in the ISP using a lens shading correction (LSC) block that applies digital gain to the image according to a per-module calibrated shading table.

You don't see the RI and sensor roll off because it's hidden. In low light it will show up as noisier corners.

Link | Posted on Jul 16, 2017 at 02:00 UTC
In reply to:

steelhead3: There must be drawbacks for mass producing curved sensors; Sony released a camera a few years ago with one and we haven't heard anything more.

@Enginel, details? I'm not sure how I can give more details on the absence of a curved sensor in the product.

If you are wondering why we tore it down, I was working for a rival image sensor manufacturer.

Link | Posted on Jul 16, 2017 at 01:44 UTC
In reply to:

Ebrahim Saadawi: There must be some huge burden/drawback to the curved sensor concept, otherwise Sony would already have at least a few cameras with curved sensors.

They even showed a fully functioning camera with a fully completed design, lens (fixed), LCD, processor, card, and even full image samples. Yet, no wors from it being on the market.

Why? That little fixed-lens P&S probably costs 5 grand or something, making selling an impossibility.

It's like say Global Shutter readout replacing mechanical shutters, we all know it's a technological breakthrough in camera making history to remove the shutter (and mirror) from cameras, but then you look at a drawback and go humm... It's better. It removes any speed limits, it disrupts the entire DSLR and Mirrorless design and speed limits, gives a near infinite photo accuation limits, BUT... let's wait until we iron the kinks out till we can mass produce without making a stepback in another area. This other area can be price and can be technical (lowlight performance in the GS case).

So I see curved sensors giving us tiny ultra sharp wide glass, small f/1.4 FF primes with edge to edge sharpness at kit lens prices, sizes and weight, high perfornance superzooms, very very sharp pocketable fixed-lens cameras, just not now. In the future. I hope I am there.

@Josh Leavitt, partner with Sony? No!

Semiconductors Components Industries is the legal name of ON Semiconductor. They bought Aptina (where I worked), a rival CMOS image sensor manufacturer to Sony.

Link | Posted on Jul 16, 2017 at 01:41 UTC
In reply to:

Ebrahim Saadawi: There must be some huge burden/drawback to the curved sensor concept, otherwise Sony would already have at least a few cameras with curved sensors.

They even showed a fully functioning camera with a fully completed design, lens (fixed), LCD, processor, card, and even full image samples. Yet, no wors from it being on the market.

Why? That little fixed-lens P&S probably costs 5 grand or something, making selling an impossibility.

It's like say Global Shutter readout replacing mechanical shutters, we all know it's a technological breakthrough in camera making history to remove the shutter (and mirror) from cameras, but then you look at a drawback and go humm... It's better. It removes any speed limits, it disrupts the entire DSLR and Mirrorless design and speed limits, gives a near infinite photo accuation limits, BUT... let's wait until we iron the kinks out till we can mass produce without making a stepback in another area. This other area can be price and can be technical (lowlight performance in the GS case).

So I see curved sensors giving us tiny ultra sharp wide glass, small f/1.4 FF primes with edge to edge sharpness at kit lens prices, sizes and weight, high perfornance superzooms, very very sharp pocketable fixed-lens cameras, just not now. In the future. I hope I am there.

@Josh Leavitt, wafer thinning is used for back-side illuminated sensors. In that case the sensor wafer is bonded to a mechanical support wafer, or in the case of new stacked die sensors, to an ASIC layer, and then thinned.

For visible light CMOS sensors the epi layer is taken down to about 2.5µm. The support wafer is then thinned to bring the whole stack down to 150µm or 200µm (in most cases). To created curved sensors, you really need to thin down to <10µm.

If you're curious about methods of forming curved sensors, take a look at my patent:

http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20160286102&OS=20160286102&RS=20160286102

Link | Posted on Jul 15, 2017 at 07:42 UTC
In reply to:

Alberto Tanikawa: A curved sensor would not reduce vignetting, or improve peripheral illumination from lenses. That is dictated by the lens design itself. Light fall-off towards the edges will be exactly the same whether on a flat sensor, or elevated by a few millimeters on a curved sensor. More modern lens designs mitigate the need for such sensors. Not to say they are useless, far from it. Matching a telescope to a specific curved sensor should make coma a thing of the past.

Alberto, you seem to be assuming that lenses always achieve the best case relative illumination (RI) set by the cos^4 law. This is not the case.

Maybe high-end SLR lenses get close, but for many applications, we fall far short. Mobile phone lenses are a prime example. Many of the modern mobile lenses (where the manufacturers have been driven hard to reduce TTL) have RI around 35%.

That's not the whole story, because even with microlens shift (I guess that's what you mean by "microcells") the sensor still has some fall off in sensitivity for the high CRAs used in mobile.

Link | Posted on Jul 15, 2017 at 07:33 UTC
In reply to:

steelhead3: There must be drawbacks for mass producing curved sensors; Sony released a camera a few years ago with one and we haven't heard anything more.

Sony did not release a camera with a curved sensor. There were reports that the DSC-KW1/KW11 "perfume bottle" camera used one, but when we tore one down at my last company, the sensor was flat.

Link | Posted on Jul 13, 2017 at 04:23 UTC
In reply to:

Ebrahim Saadawi: There must be some huge burden/drawback to the curved sensor concept, otherwise Sony would already have at least a few cameras with curved sensors.

They even showed a fully functioning camera with a fully completed design, lens (fixed), LCD, processor, card, and even full image samples. Yet, no wors from it being on the market.

Why? That little fixed-lens P&S probably costs 5 grand or something, making selling an impossibility.

It's like say Global Shutter readout replacing mechanical shutters, we all know it's a technological breakthrough in camera making history to remove the shutter (and mirror) from cameras, but then you look at a drawback and go humm... It's better. It removes any speed limits, it disrupts the entire DSLR and Mirrorless design and speed limits, gives a near infinite photo accuation limits, BUT... let's wait until we iron the kinks out till we can mass produce without making a stepback in another area. This other area can be price and can be technical (lowlight performance in the GS case).

So I see curved sensors giving us tiny ultra sharp wide glass, small f/1.4 FF primes with edge to edge sharpness at kit lens prices, sizes and weight, high perfornance superzooms, very very sharp pocketable fixed-lens cameras, just not now. In the future. I hope I am there.

Josh Leavitt, silicon becomes quite flexible when thinned down to below a few tens of microns thick. That kind of thinness is used today for stacked memories (like in micro SD cards)

HowaboutRAW, no curved lithography is required. The sensor is formed using normal planar processes and then thinned and curved.

Link | Posted on Jul 13, 2017 at 04:20 UTC
In reply to:

Josh SZ: It will definitely make sensors much more expensive. But if, say, $100 cost increase on the sensor can reduce lens cost by $200 and can reduce the weight and size by 30%, then it will be worth the development.

Not necessarily. Having worked on curved image sensors and being a co-author of a patent (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20160286102&OS=20160286102&RS=20160286102) for methods for forming them, I can tell you that this could be scaled to quite low cost in high volume.

Link | Posted on Jul 13, 2017 at 04:17 UTC
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