Panasonic’s revolutionary organic sensor promised the impossible. Even after 10 years, it is not in production –

Panasonic’s revolutionary organic sensor promised the impossible. Even after 10 years, it is not in production –
Panasonic’s revolutionary organic sensor promised the impossible. Even after 10 years, it is not in production –

In 2013, Panasonic announced that it was developing a revolutionary organic sensor that would significantly outperform conventional CMOS sensors. It promised almost impossible parameters at the time: twice the dynamic range (about 30 EV) and 20% more light sensitivity, which is also a solid advance. Even last year, Panasonic boasted great sensor properties, very accurate colors even under specific scene lighting.

Due to the fact that the sensor has not entered the production phase, deeper details about its operation are not known. It should still be based on a silicon semiconductor that Panasonic describes as organic. In addition, the light should pass through the organic photoelectric layer. The surface of the pixel should also be different, which can absorb more light.

But the previously revolutionary technology now has to be measured against the current competition. Above all, light sensitivity has increased and other revolutionary technologies such as global shutter are on the market. So, a year ago, Panasonic tried to focus attention on color accuracy thanks to the fact that individual pixels capture specific colors better. So there is less crosstalk between the individual color channels when the scene is illuminated with colored light.

But Panasonic has been silent for a year. We should take last year’s promise that the sensor will be in cameras within a few years with a grain of salt. Sensor technologies have been in development for a long time, and groundbreaking discoveries do not happen overnight. This can also be illustrated by the global closure, which has only been talked about for many years.

And a similar example is the revolutionary Foveon sensor from Sigma. The company revealed its development in 2016, and its specificity is that each pixel records information about green, blue and red colors. So he doesn’t use Bayer’s mask, he avoids many problems, but obviously new ones arise. Sigma has worked with several semiconductor manufacturers and changed the design several times over the years, but still hasn’t found the recipe for a reliably working sensor that could go into mass production. Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki has at least openly stated that he cannot guarantee the production of the sensor, although engineers are still working on its development.

A simple pattern can be found in the development of sensor technologies – it takes a very long time and does not always come to a successful end. SLRs and mirrorless cameras have not made significant progress in the field of imaging itself lately. Image quality, noise, dynamic range improve only very slightly, advances are mainly on the side of focus, computing power and the only exception is the global shutter. An alternative way is shown by phones that can still make significant progress forward in image quality with the help of artificial intelligence and combining multiple images into one. Is this the right way for mirrorless cameras as well?

Source: Petapixel

The article is in Czech

Tags: Panasonics revolutionary organic sensor promised impossible years production DIGIarena .cz


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