Today Canon has revealed that they developed a new global shutter equipped CMOS sensor. This means moving objects will no longer be distorted as they were on the old rolling shutter style sensors. The new sensor also addresses the dynamic range issue that has affected previous sensors.
If you're unfamiliar with the difference between global and rolling shutter, it's fairly simple. Your camera's sensor is comprised of millions of microdots of sensitive particles that are arranged in rows. For rolling shutter, the rows of pixels are activated sequentially, one after the other in secession, to capture the image. It's lighting fast and with slow moving or static objects, generally there won't be an issue. However, with objects that are moving at a much higher rate of speed, this sequential firing of rows of pixels causes distortion in the final image due to the simple fact that no matter how fast the shutter fires, the object will have moved from the time the sensor was activated to when the last line of pixels captured their data. This causes the rolling shutter problem which affects photos and videos alike.
A global shutter, however, is the solution to those distortions. The sensor behaves much more closely to that of a strip of film, where the entire sensor is exposed and activated to the image being projected onto its surface. This has been something that many Canon users have been hoping for for years now and I for one am extremely happy to hear that this is now becoming a reality, but not as excited as I am about the second bit of news that Canon dropped on the public today.
That's right: increased dynamic range. This is something that Canon has been ridiculed for for years, especially after the launch of its 5DS with 50 megapixels of detail, however they failed to address the dynamic range issue. With this new sensor, Canon says that they have restructured the pixel cell in a manner that allows the pixel to have an enlarged full well capacity, or the amount of energy a pixel can store before it becomes fully saturated and bleeds energy into the surrounding pixels. With this change in structure, the new pixels will be able to absorb data more efficiently, more accurately, and very importantly, with less noise.
The press release also states "Canon will explore various industrial and measurement applications for the newly developed CMOS sensor and consider deploying it in the field of video production for cinema production applications, TV dramas, commercials and more." This is awfully vague, and I certainly hope that their consumer-level cameras will benefit from this new sensor under the "and more" part of that statement.