A few weeks back, DxOMark published their sensor rating for Nikon D850. The newest Nikon DSLR won the impressive 100, and now it “meets its mirrorless match.” Sony a7R III has also scored 100 at DxO’s tests, and it’s now it’s the highest-scoring mirrorless full-frame camera on DxoMark.
You know how a tiny, toy magnifying glass can burn little pieces of paper? Well, the camera lens is a not a small, toy, magnifying glass by no means, it is a powerful well-polished tool of optics and using it in the wrong way – say to photograph the sun during an eclipse – can be devastating to the camera sensor.
The team at Everything Photography did a little experiment and showed what an unfiltered six seconds exposure would do to your sensor. TL;DR – it fries te sensor.
A recent interview with Sony managers discovered that Sony might keep most of their sensors in their own cameras. Mr. Kenji Tanaka and Mr. Yojiro Joe Asai from Sony shared some plans of the company, and among other things, they discovered the future of their sensors.
The RED Epic Dragon prototype was the first sensor to score over 100 on DxOMark sensor score scale, and it hit 101. But they has recently given RED’s 35.4MP Helium 8K sensor the highest overall score so far: 108. It means that this is not the first to exceed the 100 point bar, but it set up a new record.
The quality of long exposures is determined mostly by the amount of noise a camera produces. The lower the noise levels, the better the exposure. This is especially true if you are shooting lots of nightscapes or night skies, where most of the photo is black.
And Brendan Davey shoots a lot of night photos, in fact he shoots enough of them that it was worth a while for him to create a database which compares the amounts of noise each camera (or camera sensor) produces.
Often when we talk about camera sensors we talk about “buckets” collecting “photons of light”. But talking about buckets is looking at the sensor mechanism from a bird’s eye view.
If you want a deeper understanding of how camera sensors work, Filmmaker IQ is giving a terrific lecture that goes down all the way to the physics and chemistry of collecting light and turning it into data.
You been warned that you will need to cope with Tetrahedral Crystals, Doping, PN Junctions and a few other electrical, chemical and engeneering terms. Nonetheless this is one of the more approchable lectures on the fine details of sensor-works.
// end geek alert
[The Science of Camera Sensors | Filmmaker IQ]
Sony, is not waiting to see who will win the sensor wars, it is defining the battlefield. With rumors of new technologies being around for a while now, Sony recently released two videos showing what’s in store for their future line of sensor technology.
Specifically, Sony demoed Starvis – an ultra low light technology designed for security cameras, though with the current low light / high ISO specs battle, it would not be surprising to find traces of this technology in their consumer line as well.
According to Sony :
Sensors are not as trivial a film. At least for me the simplicity of chemistry was always simpler than the magic of electronics.
Vimeo user Raymond Siri created two quick, yet informative animations for Canon that illustrate how CCD and CMOS sensors work.
The movies show how the light is filtered accumulated and then they show the difference in how the data is sent for storage.
As we have it today many camera makers are using sensors from Sony Semiconductor. Canon is using them, so is Nikon, Olympus and many of the medium format digital cameras: phase one, Pentax and Hasselblad. So looking into Sony’s sensor plans gives a pretty good understanding of what the camera makers have in store.
So it is just super kind of Sony to make a new site with their current sensor offerings. Of course some of the sensors are ones that we are familiar of, like the 36MP full frame sensor.
Photography newcomers may not be aware, but until 2012 a fierce war took place. A war that lead to the demise of many loved cameras and the birth of many more advanced models – the megapixel war (or the ultrapixel war).
Temporarily put to rest with the release of Nikon’s record-smashing 36MP D800, it seems that the ultrapixel war will soon be making an impressive comeback.