Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sony developing 35mm CMOS sensor

Along with a slew of new camera models, Sony have announced that it is developing a 24 x 36mm, 25 megapixel CMOS imaging sensor. Canon and Nikon already produce similar products (known as 'full-frame sensors' because they mimic the size of 35mm film) for their premium DSLR models.

The light sensors used in most compact digital cameras (and mobile phones) are tiny (see the bottom two sizes on the diagram) ranging from 9 to 14mm diagonally - compared to 30mm on most digital SLRs and 43mm on full frame models).

Smaller sensors have to squeeze a similar number of light-sensitive receptors into a very tiny space. And the smaller the receptor (and with up to 12 million of 'em being squeezed into a few square millimeters, they really are incredibly small) the less effective they are at gathering light. This low sensitivity means they generate a weak, noisy signal producing fuzzier images.

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