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The Science of Camera Sensors


Chris_L 3 3.8k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 1:13AM
Just watched this and found out loads of stuff, like what APS means, which I never knew. Very thoroughly explained and something you might enjoy if you've ever wondered how your camera sensor works.

The Science of Camera Sensors




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JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
11 Jan 2017 9:05AM
A very informative / interesting watch Smile

What also has been wondering is how they actually make a sensor, what size is a pixel, how do they measure it etc. etc.
bluesandtwos 7 247 1 England
11 Jan 2017 9:05AM
A little deep for over breakfast, but really interesting! Thank you Chris.

Dave
joshwa Plus
6 819 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 9:08AM
LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 10:28AM

Quote:
Quote:what size is a pixel?

Very very small:
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/complete-guide-to-image-sensor-pixel-size-29652



There are 6,000 in 1 inch length on a 24 MP DX sensor.
There is space between each pixel so maybe 0.00000833 inches in size according to my calculator.
Each pixel is in a shallow well, part to prevent contamination from light falling on the next sensor, usually with a magnifier above to maximise the amount of light reaching each pixel.
There are the same 6,000 on a 1.5 inch 24 MP FX sensor so maybe a size of 000125 inches.
The larger FX cells (same MP) allow more light to be collected in theory making FX better than DX, though current technology is so good that differences between DX and FX are marginal in bright light at medium/fast shutter speeds.
Back illuminated sensors are being developed which allow more light to reach each pixel.
It seems only a matter of time before manufacturing technology improves enough for yet better higher resolution sensors to be introduced in new camera models.
Nikonuser1 Plus
4 140 15 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 10:36AM
A very informative video, Thank You ChrisGrinGrin

Cliff
Chris_L 3 3.8k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 10:58AM

Quote:

Back illuminated sensors are being developed which allow more light to reach each pixel

They are already available in mainstream retail bodies and have been for a while. My camera has one. Blush

Len, it sounds like you were perhaps talking about Nikon specifically, with the terminology DX and FX a giveaway.
LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 12:33PM

Quote:
They are already available in mainstream retail bodies and have been for a while. My camera has one. Blush


They are still not in most models from most brands for models larger than 4:3 format.
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3681 Canada
11 Jan 2017 2:28PM
APS as a format has a different meaning, being Advanced Photo System
Chris_L 3 3.8k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 9:21PM
Saying:

Quote:They are still not in most models from most brands for models larger than 4:3 format


Is quite a bit different from:

Quote:Back illuminated sensors are being developed which allow more light to reach each pixel


Sony, who supply sensors to Nikon and others, have full-frame cameras with them. It's fair to say they are out of the development stage

Willie Baneham, you've burst my bubble about APS! Sad Blush
JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
11 Jan 2017 10:49PM

Quote:Sony, .........., have full-frame cameras with them.

Do they have any advantages over the non back illuminated sensors ?
Chris_L 3 3.8k United Kingdom
11 Jan 2017 11:05PM
Apparently you don't see any advantages unless you are trying to increase the pixel density, which is what they did, (the A7Rii is 42 Megapixels):


Quote:

Although Sony always stressed that the benefits of BSI designs are most valuable in small sensors, its application on larger scales should reduce the pixel-level disadvantages of moving to higher pixel counts (which means an improvement in quality when viewed at a standard output size).

Secondly, and perhaps, most unexpectedly: the camera's phase-detection autofocus capabilities have been increased to the point that it not only focuses quickly and effectively with its own lenses but can also do so with lenses designed for other systems.

LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
12 Jan 2017 7:23AM

Quote:
Sony, who supply sensors to Nikon and others, have full-frame cameras with them. It's fair to say they are out of the development stage


It depends what you mean by "development stage" - which is not the term I used in respect of sensors larger than 4:3.
One of the issues with CMOS compared to the previous CCD is the extra noise. The extra noise is now much better controlled and back-illuminated sensors should help further.
As of now the vast majority of 18x24 and 24x36 cameras from Pentax, Sony, Nikon and Canon do not have back-lit sensors and therefore not the even better noise performance to be expected.
At what point the larger pixels possible on 24x36 relative to 18x24 or medium format relative to 24x36 make a "worthwhile" difference is much debated in the same way as Nikon v Canon without bringing the skill of the photographer into the equation.
There seems no credible evidence that at lower ISO's with latest generation equipment there is a significant quality difference between 4x3 and 18x24, or 18-24 and 24x36 at lower ISO's and faster shutter speeds. There are differences, often around 1 stop between formats at higher ISO's and longer shutter speeds. Whether these differences are significant in isolation is for the individual photographer to decide, along with price, size, weight and system versatility.
keithh Plus
13 25.3k 33 Wallis And Futuna
12 Jan 2017 8:14AM
The real question is why Sony use 'the only FF BSI sensor in the world' as a means to stop people asking why bother going to 42MP, as the increase is neither here nor there over the previous sensor and why 11 bit raw files? 😉
mervyntattoo 8 593 Wales
12 Jan 2017 9:54AM
Wow, hasn't man become clever!

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