Sony Creates Curved CMOS Sensor

Sony Creates Curved CMOS Sensor

It appears that Sony is getting ready to start implementing a new CMOS curved sensor into their cameras that will be taking the quality of images to an entirely new level. We have seen news of curved televisions, phones, and more, but this is something relatively new to the photography scene and it is sounding like it will be a great upgrade.

With 2014 almost halfway over, we have seen quite a few of these new "curved" ideas coming out and a few specifically from Sony. New ads running have shown a curved TV which is said to offer a more clear and less reflective view, as well as newer curved phones. Is this the next generation of technology we can expect to start seeing?

Information regarding Sony's CMOS curved sensor were put out by Spectrum yesterday and are causing quite the buzz in the community. Spectrum says the curved sensor will offer a simpler lens system with a higher sensitivity. Compared to a planar sensor, the curved one will actually offer less noise based on a "dark current."

The system is said to be 1.4 times MORE sensitive in the center and even twice as sensitive near the edges. When using a curved sensor, light rays won't hit the corners obliquely but instead directly which will make it so the lens does not need extra additions to correct itself and prevent aberration, distortion, and other issues that we see come out when shooting. Better quality is always a plus and especially when you can allow for lens producers to free up more space inside the body to create even nicer products.

There are reports of two different chip sizes being released which include a 43mm wide full size chip and an 11mm wide one, which is going to have smaller pixels. The assumption is that the 11mm sized sensor is going to be used for mobile phone or smaller devices. We can get our hopes of now of at least two new uses of this sensor. According to Sony Rumors, the 43mm sensor is said to be used on the rumored Sony RX2 paired with a 35mm f/1.8 Zeiuss lens. Woah!

What are your thoughts on this curved CMOS sensor Sony is coming out with?

[via Spectrum and SonyRumors]

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12 Comments

Who the hell took that shot of the sensor? LOL! This is going to be hot. Sony is on such a roll. They need to make a 35mm full frame version though.

Sony tries many things.
Sony often fails.
But Sony takes chances and Sony sometimes succeeds, and pulls everybody else forward.
I respect Sony for that.

Me too.

Great idea and agree, all the kudos to Sony over the last few decades for thinking outside the box.
Given this seems so obvious (once one masters the technical challenges of making a curved yet perfectly smooth plane), I wonder why this wasn't done during film years (about 100 years or so)?
Would have been much easier running a film over curved guides, no?

I suspect the Sony chip's curvature is spherical, whereas film on rails would be cylindrical. There are some cameras used in astrophotography that use suction to hold a sheet of film in a spherical configuration. In theory, Sony has a good idea. In practice, fabricating it will require consistently holding very tight tolerances.

I don't think it will be a big deal manufacturing-wise.

IIRC, this was done with film (and possibly with pre-curved glass negatives) a few times, going back over a century. There were benefits, but not enough to compensate for the drawbacks. Things would likely be simpler and easier with digital, since you only have to do it once, at the factory, instead of for every frame, in the camera.

As light does hit the sensor from the lens as a wave and not perpendicular, this makes sense. It does not necessarily mean that all distortion is removed. It may however mean that RAW converters that addresses such distortion may need to rewrite their algorithms.

Zeiuss lens? So the Roman gods have joined the premium lens manufacturing industry, I see...

love it :D

I can't find a link to a patent. If any one finds one...post it up!

So, how do you clean a curved sensor??