Panasonic and Fuji's New Sensor
Fujifilm and Panasonic have teamed up and developed an image sensor that leaves anything already for sale in the dust. Using Fuji's patented "organic photoelectric conversion material" to gather light rather than the conventional silicon photodiode, they have produced a sensor that pretty much doubles the dynamic range of leading sensors now in the marketplace.
Hard to believe?As mentioning by Fujifilm/Panasonic's news release, the new sensor will capture 88dB signal-to-noise ratio, which converts close to 14.6 stops of dynamic range in each direction or 29.2 stops EV. Compare this to, the most effective sensor at present, arguably found in the Nikon D800E, and gets only 46dB or approximately 7.7 stops in each direction or 15.3 stops EV. Along with the recently introduced noise-cancelling circuit also installed, the sensor has been said to;
[prevent] highlight clipping in bright scenes and captur [e] a vivid and texture-rich image in low light.
The enhancements don't stop there!
Aside from the big jump in dynamic range, the organic layer will also detect light from a bigger angle due to how thin it is (1/7th of the traditional silicon layer). Typical sensors detect light between 30 and 40-degrees of incidence, this sensor can increase it to 60-degrees.
This would mean a more exact color reproduction, no color mixing, expanded lens-design options, and the prospect of creating smaller sized cameras.
Each pixel in the new sensor supplies 1.2-times the sensitivity of standard pixels. In a conventional sensor, some of the light-detecting surface is used up by the connections around pixels, but those "metal interconnects" have been coated in the Fuji's organic material in this sensor. All the pixel's surface is able to be used:
This is an impressive innovation. The organic sensor has cleared reliability tests, paving the way for the use of the organic CMOS image sensor in a wide range of applications.
So we might be finding these sensors on the marketplace inside a few sensor generations.
To get the full technical overview, here's the full press release on Fujifilm's website.
I can't wait to to get my hands on this, very cool!
John Barrow - Cameraman