Canon file new patents for one curved and one bendy sensor

Dec 13, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon file new patents for one curved and one bendy sensor

Dec 13, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Technically, I suppose, it’s two curved sensors. But, one of them can actually be bent and have the curve adjusted at will. At least, that’s how it seems if I’m reading this right. The reasons for these curved sensors seem to cite primarily technical and practical benefits of a curved sensor. One that can be bent at the user’s behest, though, opens up a whole host of potentially cool and interesting creative options for the future of photography.

The first patent, filed in April 2015 was published a couple of weeks ago. It shows a fixed curved sensor. If Google’s translation is any good, Egami seem to suggest that this is designed to help reduce vignetting issues. But, each lens presents vignetting in a slightly different way, so I think it’s likely that this design is with a specific lens in mind. Perhaps some type of compact camera, or even a cellphone.

The second design, was filed at the same time and approved on December 1st. This one shows a sensor which can actually change its shape based on electrical signals sent to it.

This would allow it to adapt to the correct for the characteristics of many different lenses. Included with the patent is this handy charge showing just how much the sensor can bend at different sizes. The fact that it shows all the way up to full frame 35mm sensors may suggest that this is something they’re actually thinking about in future cameras.

It can’t bend a whole lot, and is generally designed for the practical reason of helping with vignetting and edge-to-edge sharpness. I do wonder, though, if it can be used creatively (or if they’ll give us the option). It could let us add more vignetting and throw the edges more out of focus to help drive attention towards the main parts of the image.

At the moment, I’ve been unable to find the original patents. The only sources I’ve found are two Egami posts; One for the first sensor, and one for the second. If I come across them, I’ll be sure to update this post.

What do you think? Are curved sensors the way forward? Have we come as far as we can to eliminate these issues in the lenses themselves? Will this even come to reality? Or is it just another patents to prevent the competition from beating them to the punch while they figure out if it works? Let us know in the comments.

[via Canon Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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