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Canon camera rumours and information

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Canon Rumours
+ General camera rumours (any make!)

Our general camera rumours and news page:


Camera related rumours/patents/info.

Specific camera model info can be found on the rumours index page (along with lenses and printers and other makes).

We’re sent all kinds of suggestions – some more believable than others. Rumour accuracy plummets once you are more than a few months from any ‘announcement’. Please do use your common sense when reading these pages, and remember that they are here for entertainment as much as anything else.

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canon camera prism

Latest Information

Do you print photos? See my top ten reasons prints come out wrong.
Based on all my printer reviews over the years and emails about print problems

2018 May

22nd An interesting set of presentations from Sony at an Investor Relations event show their  (public) image sensor business strategy.

CMOS image sensors are key component devices in growth industries such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and more. Sony’s competitive strength in this area is based on its wealth of technological expertise in analog semiconductors, cultivated over many years from the charge-coupled device (CCD) era. Sony aims to maintain its global number one position in imaging and in the longer term become the number one in sensing applications. To this end, Sony will extend its development of sensing applications beyond the area of smartphones, into new domains such as automotive use.

This slide is from a Sony [PDF]  – seems they want to be serious in the camera biz…  ;-)

via [ISW]

sony as top camera company

19th Can’t wait for more megapixels?  Canon will sell you their 120MP APS-H sensor if you feel like making your own camera [P1]. You can even go for the monochrome version of the chip.

17th Two Canon patents look at getting larger amounts of data out of a sensor in parallel [USPTO] and faster processing of multiple RAW images [USPTO]

In-camera time lapse control is discussed in a Canon patent application [USPTO], that looks at minimising power usage.

More about making stacked sensors in a Canon  US patent application [USPTO]

stacked sensor design

There’s a noticeable increase in such patents (from many companies), suggesting we may well be seeing more complex sensors over the next few years.  This increase in complexity is also being applied to other image processing elements, such as this multi stacked device [USPTO]

multi layer device

BTW, after years of ‘not quite getting round to it’ we’re setting up a newsletter for the articles/news/reviews on the site. It should be no more than 2-3 times a month, and for rumour fans will have a brief note about any significant stuff we hear. That said it’s mainly about my more serious (useful!) stuff on the site. It will not be ‘yet another list of deals’ – Newsletter signup

13th Canon discuss some of their change in marketing direction in a Marketing Week article [via CN]

10th A Canon patent application [USPTO] looks at the use of light tubes in pixel design, along with optically opaque shielding elements that reduce noise from extraneous light.

The example also shows offset pixel optics (microlenses), allowing for better light collection towards the edge of the sensor.

Note that like with many patent applications, a lot is left out, so these could be split pixels or more. The patent also expands on previous global shutter related ones. 

pixels offset

A much more practical sensor design patent application [USPTO] discusses stacked sensor construction and details of making connections to such devices.

stacked sensor construction

Once again, just a few specific areas of design. If you’re browsing this stuff, then do look at the prior work mentioned and the preamble to the description.

Stacked sensor design considerations for the different layers are discussed in a Canon patent application [USPTO]

More sensor packaging info can be found in an application [USPTO] looking at WLCSP technology (Wafer Level Chip Size Package)

5th More suggestions (without detail of course) that we’re getting ‘something big’ from Canon for Photokina.

With all these Nikon and Canon ‘mirrorless’ rumours doing the rounds, look for that distinct step up in detail and closer specifications that occur some six weeks or so before a product launch, as more people have to be involved in the process. Of course Canon and/or Nikon could tighten up information security, but expect a few placed ‘leaks’ to stoke up interest ;-)

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to answer some of the questions I get from people wanting to ‘turn pro’ in photography. Can you start your photography business?

Is Ice Cream and Photography a good business plan?

photography and ice cream van

3rd A Canon sensor patent application [USPTO] looks at aspects of stable black levels, opaque layers, light pipes and a global shutter function in a sensor.

sensor design aspects

Included for the sensor design aficionados. Remember that all kinds of features get patented – even if not used in a production sensor. 

April

29th Canon has updated their DPP and EOS utility software. Details on our Canon software install page.

Of real interest is Canon’s new support for old DSLRS in DPP V4

  • Newly supported EOS D2000 *, EOS D6000 *, EOS D30, EOS D60, EOS 10D, EOS Kiss Digital / EOS Digital REBEL / EOS 300D Digital.
    *: Can now handle CR2 files converted with the CR2 Converter.
  • Added Partial adjustments functions.

The EOS D30 featured a 3MP CMOS sensor (at $3k) – see the review at DPR for what we thought of cameras like this at the time.  If you want to go back even further the ($15k) Kodak/Canon DCS520 is now supported.

The DPR DCS520 review is well worth a read:

“The Kodak Professional DCS 520 (referred to as the DCS 520 from now onwards) lives up there in the dream world of professional digital cameras.”

and

“There are just so many features in this camera I’m sure I’ve not done it complete justice in this review, I could write a book on what you can do with this camera, anyone who knows what you can do with a quality SLR will realise what you get when you combine one of the best SLR’s (Canon EOS-1n) with the CCD, electronics and photography experience of Kodak. True pedigree.

Kodak go on, producing the highest quality digital camera in the world, trying to ignore the price this camera not only produces but is a work of art.

Most, Hugely, Very, Highly recommended.”

Whilst looking up some old DSLR info I noticed the 2001 PMA show report  and this about Kodak’s presence:

“As we’d expect the Kodak stand was HUGE, dominating the center of the show and immediately in front of you as you walk in.”

This is two years before I decided to take up photography professionally and switch to digital

26th Probably far more about the intricacies of hybrid phase/contrast AF in a US Canon patent application than you really wanted to know [USPTO]

Hybrid phase/contrast AF

A US Canon patent application looks at control and operation of rear tilting screens, such as when to invert the image shown. Covers the use of magnets and detectors to know where you’ve positioned the screen [USPTO]

flip-out screen

A Canon motorised camera flash, includes storing previous flash positions. From a US patent application [USPTO]

motorised headflash-unit

The shakeout in the camera market continues with Casio leaving the room. [DPR]

24th An interesting note from Thom Hogan about the somewhat skewed PED (Price Elasticity of Demand) curve in Nikon’s range of cameras (and others) [TH]

Ricoh have released several Pentax related software updates

20th It’s time of the year for that masterpiece of marketing hokum, the TIPA Awards (aka ‘who’s turn is it this year’)

Anyway, here they are… ;-)

DSLR Cameras

  • Best DSLR Enthusiast – Canon EOS 200D / SL2
  • Best APS-C DSLR Expert – Nikon D7500
  • Best Fullframe Expert DSLR – Canon 6D Mark II
  • Best Professional DSLR – Nikon D850

Cameras Lens

  • Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens – Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART
  • Best DSLR Standard Zoom – Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art
  • Best DSLR Telephoto – Tamron 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD
  • Best DSLR Super Zoom Lens – Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
  • Best DSLR Prime Lens – Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM
  • Best Professional Lens – Nikon AF-S 180-400mm F4E TC1.4L ED VR

Mirrorless Camera

  • Best Mirrorless Enthusiast – Canon EOS M50
  • Best Mirrorless Expert – Panasonic G9
  • Best Mirrorless Fullframe – Sony A7 III
  • Best Mirrorless Professional High Res – Sony A7R III

Mirrorless Lens

  • Best Mirrorless Standard Zoom Lens – Sony FE 24-105mm F4G OSS
  • Best Mirrorless Telephoto Zoom Lens – Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS
  • Best Mirrorless Prime Lens – Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE

Compact Cameras [yes this one is still going]

  • Best Expert Compact Camera – Panasonic ZS200 / TZ200
  • Best Super Zoom Camera – Sony RX10 IV
  • Best Professional Compact – Canon G1X Mark III
  • Best Rugged Camera – Nikon W300
  • Best Professional Photo / Video Camera – Panasonic GH5s

19th A Canon patent application looks at multilayer sensor with organic photosensitive layers [USPTO]

There’s a Canon mirrorless lens adapter patent application – see the mirrorless page for info.

Canon is still looking at lightfield imaging, with a new patent application [USPTO]

lightfield sensor

18th Reports of Canon not being at Photokina this autumn would seem to be premature, since they appear on the list of exhibitors [PK]

16th A paper about the benefits and pitfalls of putting three cameras into your smartphone design [Core Photonics – PDF]

Interesting read, even for me, with my old iPhone 3Gs ;-)

14th A panning assist mode for IS is described in a Canon patent application [USPTO]

The idea is to use the IS system to compensate for panning errors as well as camera shake. This needs movement vectors calculating for the whole image area.

panning IS movement detection

Compensating for lighting flicker is probably a lot more complex than you thought…

A new Canon patent application [USPTO] expands on flicker detection and ways of compensating for it.

As part of my testing the new ‘Jupiter release’ of Luminar yesterday, I picked out some of my old Canon 1Ds Raw files to try.

Some of my shots of a sunset at Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast have long been one of my critical rests for how RAW converters handle noise and blown highlights. The good news for Luminar users is that the new version is much faster and does a really good job with basic conversions.

pacific sunset

However I also tested the images with DxO PhotoLab and ACR (I still use CS6 so that’s the newest I have).  DxO is now the slowest to open – an effect only really noticeable with my 50MP 5Ds files. However, in terms of image quality it still gets my vote as the image processor of choice when making large single prints (where workflow efficiency is pretty irrelevant).

You might wonder why I test 2004 Canon 1Ds images? Well I still get asked for prints every so often and wanted to see how much RAW processing had come on (a lot)

12th A stacked sensor design in a Canon US patent application includes a frame buffer. Info looks at resizing pixel output for different video resolutions [USPTO]

stacked sensor

10th Suggestions that Canon won’t be at Photokina in September [CR]. Given that PK switches from September every other year to every May for 2019, it does make you wonder how PK will weather the change. I know that Canon’s business units (and everyone else in the industry I’ve talked to) are facing much greater ‘value for money’ pressures on attending trade events.  They just are not so important as they once were.

“photokina 2019 will take place from May 8th to 11th. Hereby, the change to a yearly cycle and the new date in May comes into effect. For the last time in 2018, the world’s leading trade fair for photo, video and imaging will take place in September, gathering foto, video and imaging enthusiasts in Cologne from September 26th to 29th.” [PK from last July]

It’s interesting to see new patents showing Canon sensor technologies, but don’t forget that a lot of money and effort is going into sensors for phone cameras (a huge market). Three layer stacked designs are shown [ISW] from people who slice chips up to see what makes them tick. Another area to keep an eye on for sensor developments is the automotive sector, where low light sensitivity and dynamic range really matters [ISW]

9th Whilst noting the rather thin flow of rumours of late, I recalled a post I’d made back in the heyday of rumours, about ‘Rumour Post Bingo‘ or how new camera rumours used to be received on the forums.

6th It seems Fuji share some of my views (further below) about film ;-)

An announcement [Fuji] confirms that Neopan Acros and a load of B&W papers are on their way out.

neopan acros film

Translated info from Fuji

film and paper end dates

The 5×4 and 8×10 versions of Neopan 100 Acros were already listed as discontinued from May 2018.

Canon Japan have a patent application [CN] showing that we’re likely to see stacked chip sensor designs much more widely in future high performance sensors.

sensor chip stacking

I was on a job recently and someone in the office started talking about photography and asked if I did film based photography for my personal work, since it was becoming a ‘big thing’. Well it isn’t, but I was able to point them to what I’d written last year when I found a big pile of film kit in a drawer in the office – Moving back to film photography

Here’s a shot from when I moved from film to digital in 2003

OM-2 and Canon 1Ds

5th USB charging in Canon cameras? A US patent application [USPTO] looks at aspects of USB charging

3rd A quick look [DPR] at Canon’s new .CR3 raw format (in the M50) shows that until you start pushing things, it’s very difficult to spot differences between the lossless compressed (as you get with current .CR2 files)and lossy compressed full resolution files.

Camera shipment numbers make their regular appearance – some thoughts at [CN and DPR]

As ever, take such figures for interest only. They are very prone to distortions from inventory dumping and new model releases, but I did note the continuing fall in compact cameras.

1st Canon white paper and specs for the APS-H 120MP sensor

“The 120MXS is an ultra-high resolution CMOS sensor with 13280 x 9184 effective pixels (approx. 60x the resolution of Full HD). It has a size equivalent to APS-H (29.22mm x 20.20mm), and a square pixel arrangement of 2.2μm x 2.2μm with 122 million effective pixels. All pixel progressive reading of 9.4 fps is made possible by 28 digital signal output channels.”

I note that the paper about the sensor dates from 2016

For similar info about the 5MP global shutter CMOS sensor and HD video 19um pixel sensor, see the Canon showcase page.

March

31st Another film stock bites the dust? – Fujifilm Acros 100 is to go in October [CP]

“Canon celebrates 15th consecutive year of No. 1 share of global interchangeable-lens digital camera market”

[CanonPR]

29th Video samples with Canon’s 120MP APS-H sensor.

Yes – I would like to see 100+MP in a 5Ds – files too big for you? Buy a different camera ;-)

27th Good to see the lack of solid camera rumours is firing up people’s creativity, but if you’re going to convince us, you need to dial it back a bit from a Canon smartphone with APS-C image sensor and EF-S mount or Canon mirrorless with MF sensors…

As ever we appreciate tips, but try and keep the imagination in check ;-)

A number of Canon wireless regulatory submissions suggest two new mirrorless cameras and two DSLRs [Nok]

  • K424 | Interchangeable lens camera | Full size
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
    It is described as mirrorless image size (6720 × 4480) in the test data (since the detail column is filled with almost the same data as 5D Mark IV [K349], the image size may be a dummy possibility)
  • K433 | Interchangeable lens camera | Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
    It is described as mirrorless full size in the test data (it is the same as the data of K424, so it is possible that the initial setting data was diverted for testing)
  • K436 | Lens interchangeable camera (probably single lens reflex)
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
  • K437 | Lens interchangeable camera (probably single lens reflex)
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
  • EC801 | Compact digital camera
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
  • EC804 | Compact digital camera
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed | More functions than EC 801 and EC 805 (probably G series)
  • EC 805 | Compact digital camera
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed
  • EC 811 | Mirror-less camera
    Wi-Fi · Bluetooth installed

22nd A few US Canon patent applications of interest (mainly for visitors at work, looking for something better to do…)

  • Details of pixel design for AF purposes [USPTO]
  • Automating focus stacking and the problem of camera shake  [USPTO]
  • Using DP pixels in image re-focusing [USPTO]
  • Aspects of global shutter performance for sensors [USPTO]

For more, see some Japanese Canon patent applications at [CN]

21st Technologies that were too soon? Suggestions that Lytro is being sold on the cheap to Google (or others, take your pick) [ISW]

CERN have published a rather interesting overview (58 page PDF) covering recent progress in image sensor design.

wafer bonding

via ISW

20th At the Photography Show (Birmingham, UK) yesterday I got to try out an awful lot of kit, much of it just to get a few new ‘first impressions’ and ideas for things to write about and review…

One camera I was interested to look at was the Sony A7R III. partly to get a ‘feel’ for it and partly to see how much EVFs have come on. Unfortunately someone had set this one to a sepia look with focus peaking turned on. Rather than mess with a camera I don’t know, I asked one of Sony’s experts to revert the VF to ‘normal’ mode.

After several minutes of looking through menus and pressing buttons, he handed me the camera – with it asking for the date on its display. Seems he’d given up on finding out VF display modes and had completely reset the camera…

My first impression (in the large exhibition hall) was that I can clearly see flicker from the room lighting – was this due to a need to configure the display? I was reminded of a comment in the DPR Canon interview

“But if you look at the enthusiast and high-end product class, in terms of both autofocus and viewfinder [experience], we still believe there’s some work to be done before we can achieve the level of satisfaction that our users are looking for before they could confidently move from DSLR to mirrorless.”

No more than a very quick personal observation (and my eyesight is distinctly prone to seeing flicker) but enough to make me wonder.

I’ve always looked for the best tools for my work, no matter who makes them and I’d love a chance to give a serious look at the Sony kit, but requests have as yet gone unanswered ;-)

I’ve used MPB.com  for 2nd hand camera equipment (and some new stuff too) since they were formed in 2011, so it’s good to see them thriving with UK and US offices, with new investments expanding what they do in the US and Germany. [Press info]

18th A CP+ show interview with Canon is published at [DPR].

What to make of these notoriously opaque publications? I note that Canon may not be averse to the idea of another big lens shake-up like the FD->EF change in the 1980s but pointedly mention the legacy of the EF mount. I also note their mention of the Olympics in 2020 and having something ‘top-end’ available. This could suggest a mirrorless ‘pro’ camera won’t be here until late 2019 or early 2020 – I’m still, on balance, thinking it will use the EF mount. Canon’s big pro customers will not like the idea of two different mounts for their stock of cameras (although the impact of a flood of top quality EF lenses hitting the 2nd hand market would be interesting).

“In 1987, the shift was from a mechanical interface to an electronic interface. That [precluded cross-compatibility]. Despite that shift, the change provided significantly more value for our customers, which is why we went ahead. If it turns out that [the introduction of mirrorless] will create a similar situation, this might be a decision that we would take [again]. But we’re not sure yet.
Because we’re already using an electronic interface, the shift will be more gradual [than it was in 1987] so [we would better able to] maintain compatibility.”

Interesting times…

16th Theres are four Canon Japanese patent applications at [CN] – an eclectic mix including linking your camera to a wearable display device if you thought that didn’t look ridiculous enough on its own…

14th A firmware fix is on its way for a problem discovered when using remote control and ‘High frame rate movie’ mode [CR]

13th It’s ‘Canon Corporate Strategy Conference’ time and Canon have published some of their plans [Canon-PDF]

Once I’d got over memories of my own days in corporate world, and wariness of anything from management that discusses ‘exciting opportunities’, it’s worth a quick look just to see how wide Canon’s business is. Of course, the bit that will get picked up in camera world is this about Canon’s plan for market share in cameras…

Canon market share

There are of course a lot of upward trending arrows, except when they mention cost, so need to go downwards.

For more entertainment, try the slides annotated with the CEO’s remarks [PDF]

Automation gets a mention for camera making, with Canon making its own manufacturing kit and expanding its own software development. The amount devoted to R&D looks static (so effectively a cut) with increasing sales reducing the R&D expense ratio. This is driven by an ominous phrase (to anyone who’s worked in R&D) “Improve development efficiency through selection and focus”.

…Meanwhile, it’s my birthday and Canon have just sent me a TS-E 50mm F2.8L Macro to test (but only a loan). I’ll have a review in a few weeks.

8th Sigma’s CEO was interviewed for a French website Mizuwari [Google xlt] In a fairly open piece for a Japanese camera company CEO he covers quite a few topics such as the use of plastic for lens elements (poor thermal performance), curved sensors (good for phones), Foveon chips for others (it depends) and possible MF from Sigma (too expensive).

More attention to the design of split AF pixels in a new Canon US patent application [USPTO]

pdaf pixel

4th Hardly surprising given market conditions, but comments via Canon in Japan [NAR] confirms Canon’s intention to push harder in the mirrorless market – just usual non-committal stuff on higher end cameras though.

Ever since the first EF-M lenses, there has been the question as to whether the mount would work with the larger 36x24mm ‘full frame’ sensor? It was obviously designed for APS-C, a point reinforced (~5 yrs ago) in this interview (translated) [DCW] about half way through.

I’ve had it suggested several times that Canon’s full frame mirrorless would be EF mount, given their desire to make for a clear transition for their higher end market with a large investment in Canon glass. One driver for this was the avoidance of adapters.

When it comes down to it though, there have been no significant leaks of anything full-frame related…

1st If you wanted to know more about lens aberration correction, a new Canon patent application [USPTO] goes into it in the sort of detail you appreciate if stuck at work watching the clock.

spatial frequency gain

February

26th A number of interesting Canon products launched today: M50 / 2000D/4000D / 470EX-AI flash

The M50 looks like Canon has been doing quite a bit of work on what Canon users want, but I expect longer standing mirrorless fans to whinge as usual ;-)
It makes me a bit more interested in what Canon will do for full frame – Nikon? any mirrorless plans??
The flash looks a very neat bit of kit, but I’ll wait and see how it works on real jobs…

The 4000D looks to be a great example of  ‘what can we remove for this market’ – I suspect that once it’s been out for a bit, the price will drop very low

– no eyepiece adjustment
– plastic (?) lens mount
– text on body not buttons

4000D

 

22nd A Canon US patent application looks at variable density ND filters (in-lens and in-body)

variable ND

The filters are a sandwich structure with transparent electrodes.

One of the issues is that the spectral transmission is rarely even – this is covered in the patent looking at the chemical involved in the lectrochromic element.

A Nikon patent application looks at multiple sequential reads from pixels as needed to allow for higher dynamic range.

A Nikon patent application stacks pixels with differing colour sensitivities. Whilst concentrating on using pixels for AF, adding CMY and RGB sensitivities allow for improvements in efficiency and raises colour resolution.

nikon multi-layer sensor

Encoding moving images from a Bayer style sensor is covered in a Canon US patent application

Canon shutter design is covered in a US patent application, looking at how a motorised mechanism opens and closes the shutter blades.

shutter design

The patent goes into considerable mechanical detail – enough to suggest this is likely close to what we’ll see in actual cameras.

The Pentax K-1 MkII is announced ($2000) and in what is an interesting development, they are offering a $550 upgrade path for K-1 owners

21st Some EOS 4000D pictures appear, and some specs [Nok]

Canon EOS4000D DSLR

  • 18 million APS-C
  • DIGIC 4+
  • Full HD video
  • 2.7 type liquid crystal
  • ISO: 100-6400
  • Wi-Fi installed
  • Size: 129.0 × 101.6 × 77.1 mm
  • Weight: 436 g
  • DS 126701

Canon-EOS-4000D rear

Canon-EOS-4000D top

20th A picture and specs for the M50 appear [mirrorless page] 24MP, EVF, 4k video and Digic 8

I note in particular, the first appearance of Digic 8. This what I’d expect to see in the 7D mk3 and 5Ds mk2, but maybe not a 90D

A quick look at the timeline makes me wonder where the M50 fits – I’m inclined to think another row between M5 and M6?

  Crop  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
            1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Best Full       1Ds 1Ds Mk II 1Ds Mk III 1D X 1DX II
1.3     1D 1D Mk II 1D MkIIn 1D Mk III 1D Mk IV                
video                             1D C      
High Full                               5Ds/5Dsr    
            5D 5D Mk II 5D Mk III 5D Mk IV
1.6                   7D 7D Mk II        
'Better'  Full                                               6D 6D 2
1.6 D30 D60 10D 20D 30D 40D 50D 60D 70D 80D        
Mid 1.6         300D
Rebel
Kiss
350D
XT
Kiss N
400D
XTi
Kiss X
450
XSi
X2
500
T1i
X3
550
T2i
X4
600
T3i
X5
650
T4i
X6i
700D
T5i
X7i
760D
T6s
77D    
        750D
T6i
800D
T7i
   
Micro 1.6                                 100D SL1 X7 200D SL2
Entry 1.6                   1000D / XS / F 1100D / T3 / X50 1200D T5 X70 1300D T6 2000D T7
                                    4000D
Mirror
-less
1.6                               M5
                              M50
                            M M2 M3 M6    
                              M10 M100

Note: dates start in announcement quarter, not shipping dates. Video capable 4k

Digic | Digic 2 | Digic 3 dual | Digic 4 dual | Digic 5 dual | Digic 6 dual | Digic 7 dual | Digic 8

Also at [Nok] a Speedlight 470 EX-AI is shown

18th Full specs for the Pentax K1 Mk2 appear  [PxR]

36MP and ISO to 819k amongst the goodies…

15th Dual/split pixel sensor design is covered in a US patent application [USPTO], looking at the manufacturing aspects of the sensor.

dual pixel design

There are a number of interesting elements to this, such as differing sizes of the sub pixels to allow for sensor light fall off towards the edge of sensors.  One to read if you didn’t realise just how many steps are involved in making a sensor (or any modern semiconductor component for that matter).

Improving the amount of light reaching the photosensitive part of a sensor pixel is addressed in a US patent app looking at manufacturing processes [USPTO]. Not as complex as the previous example.

pixel light well

The advent of dual pixel AF using phase detection offers ways of introducing new improved AF options. A Canon US patent application discusses aspects of this. [USPTO]

af system

14th Another interesting sensor development, this time from Panasonic:
‘8K High-Resolution, High-Performance Global Shutter Technology using Organic-Photoconductive-Film CMOS Image Sensor’

panasonic 8k sensor

From Panasonic

The new technology has the following advantages.

  • 8K resolution, 60fps frame rate, 450k saturation electrons and global shutter function are realised simultaneously.
  • Switching between high sensitivity mode and high saturation mode is possible using gain switching function.
  • The ND filter function can be realised steplessly by controlling the voltage applied to the OPF.

This Development is based on the following technologies.

  • “OPF CMOS image sensor design technology”, in that, the photoelectric-conversion part and the circuit part can be designed independently.
  • “In-pixel capacitive coupled noise cancellation technique” which can suppress pixel reset noise at high speed even at high resolution
  • “In-pixel gain switching technology” that can achieve high saturation characteristics
  • “Voltage controlled sensitivity modulation technology” that can adjust the sensitivity by changing the voltage applied to the OPF.

13th An interesting Sony press release [Sony] shows an actual sample sensor with two chips bonded together, where the bottom chip does the Analogue->Digital conversion all at once, giving a true global shutter.

dual chip

Key technologies mentioned:

  • Low-current, compact pixel-parallel A/D converter
    In order to curtail power consumption, the new converter uses comparators that operate with sub-threshold currents, resulting in the industry’s best-performing, low current, compact 14-bit A/D converter. This overcomes the issue of the increased demand for current due to the inclusion of nearly 1,000 times as many A/D converters in comparison with the traditional column A/D conversion method.
  • Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connection
    To achieve the parallel A/D conversion for all pixels, Sony has developed a technology which makes it possible to include approximately three million Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connections in one sensor. The Cu-Cu connection provides electrical continuity between the pixel and logic substrate, while securing space for implementing as many as 1.46 million A/D converters, the same number as the effective megapixels, as well as the digital memory.
  • High-speed data transfer construction
    Sony has developed a new readout circuit to support the massively parallel digital signal transfer required in the A/D conversion process using 1.46 million A/D converters, making it possible to read and write all the pixel signals at high speed.

I’ve seen Canon patents looking at this too, so it’s pretty certain we’ll eventually see products featuring this.

11th 5D4 RAW files can contain dual pixel info that can be used to extend DR by a stop [FastRawViewer]

10th A lens based IS patent application [USPTO] includes stabilisation for macro. Note the movement sensors inside the camera.

Canon IS patent app

Creating rough surfaces with a random element to the roughness is covered in Canon patent application [USPTO]

So…?

Such surfaces can be used for focusing screens, and in the example below. a diffuser with very specific properties for a type of anti-aliasing (AA or OLPF) filter. Despite many criticisms (rarely informed ones IMHO) OLP filters do have a place in sensor design, but conventional ones work best at high incidence angles and fixed apertures. One potential use for the ‘random roughness’ style of diffuser could be mirrorless systems which can have a much wider range of light incidence angles.

random roughness

NB Maths warning if you decide to check the patent application ;-)

9th Multi-axis sensor stabilisation is covered in a Canon patent application [USPTO]

sensor stabilisation

5th Some patents… (remember that granted patents are older stuff than the patent applications – maybe several years)

US patent for a stacked sensor [USPTO] – covers bonding and interconnecting layers.

A split pixel sensor design that is shown taking two shots at the same time [USPTO] at different settings in a camera curiously shown with flight attachment (#162)

flying

Covers synchronising the shots and an ongoing sequence (video)

Canon drones anyone… ;-)

Stacked sensor heat control/management – Japanese patent appl. [CN]

More about curved sensors [CN]

2nd Long live the mirror box…

For those of a mechanical bent, a new Canon patent application [USPTO] for a mirror drive device for a DSLR. Faster and less bounce.

Canon mirror box

These things have to be assembled. All those parts and assembly time are the main reason companies want to go mirrorless and get rid of the shutter.  …but not just yet.

January

28th Today’s top patent application [USPTO]  Fingerprint ID for your camera body and lenses.

Lets you assign custom functions (AF/IS/lighting etc.) to different fingers and even offers multiple users and security lockout functionality.

fingerprint activation

Remember – real photographer don’t need gloves!  ;-)

26th Time for an updated Pentax K1 Mark II DSLR? [PR]

Several rumours are going round about a new shape of camera from Canon [CR] – this could be their mirrorless design or just a new camcorder.

Given the recent fake G7X III, I can see a distinct rise in plausible rumours/leaks on the way (bring it on – too many people treat this stuff too seriously! ;-)

And in our ‘serious’ stuff… I just had a look at a nice LED ringlight from Kaiser.

25th Three Canon US patent applications expand on the data transfer capabilities for Camera<->Lens communications.  This is the sort of thing we might see in a new range of cameras, and used to lock out third party manufacturers – or not ;-)

The Canon EF lens communication protocols date back quite a way, to a time a lot less went on in lenses and camera bodies. Note that these are definitely not written to be easy to read. I’ve more information about the EF mount (inc. electrical aspects) at EFLens.com

#1 | #2 | #3

A very detailed patent application (i.e. closer to being realised) in Japan [CN] shows many more details of producing a stacked sensor (see last years archived posts for many more patents).

stacked sensor

22nd Japanese patent application info for using organic photo detecting elements in sensors [CN]

Note, in the US application below there is an option for organic compounds. Canon (and others) are putting a lot of work into this aspect of sensor design – as to when we see it in a product, that’s a different matter.
In news to some photographers whinging about sensor DR, it won’t be their concerns that drive technology here, but more the need for automotive imaging to work under the same lighting conditions that our visual system does.

20th You may have seen a number of ‘leaked’ Canon G7 X III images  – I’m inclined to think they are very good fakes (see comments at CR)

More HDR pixel design info [ISW]

19th A very interesting US patent application [USPTO] for a multi level sensor pixel design the includes a photo-luminescent component.

I had to read this a few times – part of a photo sensor that emits light?

Lets look at this first example (annotations are mine – remember too that patent drawings are simplified, so no microlenses)

multi-sensor-1

Light comes in through a conventional colour filter and reaches the first conversion layer, where some of it is converted to electrons. Some light goes clean through and reaches a PL (photo-luminescent) layer where some is absorbed and re-emitted (at a different colour). This re-emitted light is detected by a second conversion layer.

OK, so I’ve got two output signals for each pixel – what advantage does this give? By careful choice of the compounds used (organic and inorganic) for photon detection and photon emission layers it is possible to significantly increase the dynamic range of the pixel as a whole.

dr improvement

In the example above, the PL layer is separate, however the PL compound can be included in the photo-conversion layer itself.

This gives this design for a high DR  multi-layer RGB sensor – six outputs per pixel

multi-sensor-2

As ever, patent applications are not products, but I like the smart design of this one.

18th It seems a long while ago now, but I reviewed a couple of Ricoh cameras (GX100, GX200) and they were rather nice.  Move forward and there are persistent rumours about Ricoh getting out of cameras and selling Pentax. [PR]

14th In yesterday’s list, I forgot about the mentions [Nok] in the wireless approvals a while ago…

  • 2000D – Possibly a CP+ follow on from the 1300D. The 1300D still uses Digic 4, a chip that first appeared in the 2008 50D. Perhaps Canon’s stocks are running low ;-)
  • M50 – also in the wireless listings

13th As  an antidote to some of the more breathless fan/rumour sites, have a good read of Thom Hogan’s views [TH] of what the camera business needs.
It’s not more of the same

Several people suggested I was a bit out in pushing the 7D3 and 5Ds mk2 back to 2019, so lets look at a model by model list

  • 1DX3 – definitely before the 2020 Olympics, so not 2018, with maybe an announcement late 2019, but early 2020 more likely.
  • 5Ds mk2 – possibly 2018 if the Nikon/Sony are seen as a big enough threat, and Canon has the technology to produce a 5Ds2 that is ‘noticeably better’. Personally the 5Ds works an absolute treat, but I guess some people use it in more diverse situations than I do (in which case get a 5D4) I’m still more inclined to expect it early 2019. An update this year is far more likely to be one I skip.
  • 7D mk3 – This reminds me of the continuous, ‘surely they must update it soon’ talk about the long lived 7D. The 7D2 price is holding steady.
  • 90D – Ok, the 80D is two years old, and prices are starting to drift down. In many ways it needs some more differentiation from the 77D. The 60D lasted three years, the 70D two. An update to Digic7 would be in order. How does this fit in with a 7D3?
  • Mirrorless – the mutterings seem to suggest that Canon’s big thing for Photokina (the last of the September biennial ones) will be mirrorless full frame. If so I’m expecting a few ‘leaks’ to appear by July, to build up interest/speculation. That said, a lot of the full frame mirrorless talk for Canon and Nikon has little to back it up, other than it seems like what they ‘ought to be doing’…

On balance, a 90D would be a relatively simple update to bring along early this year, leaving more ‘innovative’ models for later. Of course what people wish to take as ‘innovative’ in this area is another question all together ;-)

12th Time for a New Year’s look at the Canon Timeline.

Both 7D2 and 5Ds could last into 2019 before updates?

  Crop  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
            1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Best Full       1Ds 1Ds Mk II 1Ds Mk III 1D X 1DX II
1.3     1D 1D Mk II 1D MkIIn 1D Mk III 1D Mk IV                
video                             1D C      
High Full                               5Ds/5Dsr    
            5D 5D Mk II 5D Mk III 5D Mk IV
1.6                   7D 7D Mk II        
'Better'  Full                                               6D 6D 2
1.6 D30 D60 10D 20D 30D 40D 50D 60D 70D 80D        
Mid 1.6         300D
Rebel
Kiss
350D
XT
Kiss N
400D
XTi
Kiss X
450
XSi
X2
500
T1i
X3
550
T2i
X4
600
T3i
X5
650
T4i
X6i
700D
T5i
X7i
760D
T6s
77D    
        750D
T6i
800D
T7i
   
Micro 1.6                                 100D SL1 X7 200D SL2
Entry 1.6                   1000D / XS / F 1100D / T3 / X50 1200D T5 X70 1300D T6 2000D T7
                                    4000D
Mirror
-less
1.6                               M5
                              M50
                            M M2 M3 M6    
                              M10 M100

Note: dates start in announcement quarter, not shipping dates. Video capable 4k

Digic | Digic 2 | Digic 3 dual | Digic 4 dual | Digic 5 dual | Digic 6 dual | Digic 7 dual | Digic 8

The only reason the 1Dx2/6D2 /200D are extended through the year ar that I’m pretty certain they are not for update – that and it makes the table layout work better.

A Canon US patent [USPTO] shows a design for a three layer back illuminated sensor. There have been quite a few related patents in the past. Note though that patent does not equal product…

three-layer sensor

11th Something to improve the light quality of white LEDs. A new red phosphor [Nik] means we could see much better CRI LED lighting.

9th If I’m going somewhere wet/dirty (think mines or a foundry), I’m still inclined to take my Canon 1Ds mk3 rather than my 5Ds. That said, any camera I’ve got with me is protected by my own aversion to getting wet…

What about newer cameras – well at IR they got to hose some down, and the only ‘pro’ level one to show any problems was the Sony A7RIII

DxOMark and DxO now different companies? [ISW]

I’ve always found the DxOMark figures interesting, but widely mis-interpreted. This is one of the reasons my own reviews are rarely quantitative. Lots of figures and measurements make for glib inaccurate conclusions without lengthy background explanations of what the numbers signify. Given many readers just want the quick numbers, you can see the potential conflicts. See why I never recommend the best for more on this.

6th Ah, the vagueness of the corporate interview  [Nikk via CR] – Canon announce they want to do better and be innovative. Be suitably wary if you see anything much being read into this stuff on some sites… ;-)

“…
Q: What is the biggest issue currently facing Canon?
A: Our primary management goal this year is to raise our antennas high toward cutting-edge technology. It is on this point where we lag behind other companies. We will open up a research and development center in the U.S.’s Silicon Valley, where we will actively adopt new technology.

Q: What do you believe is imperative for today’s corporation?
A: To read the trends of an era. Innovation is steadily advancing, and it has become difficult to put out products that are ahead of the competition, even if by just a little. This is now an era when latecomer manufacturers stand to gain. Compared with the past, even I feel mounting tensions.

To stay on top of and not lose against generational innovations, it is important to strengthen the financial structure. I believe that, as a manufacturer, it is essential to always maintain a strong financial house, creating conditions where you can invest in new things.

2nd Making a sensor with millions of pixels – how do they fail? [Aph] A quick guide to many of the forms of dead (or just very poorly) pixels.
[Expanded version at ISW which currently also has a lot of links to LiDAR papers, if you’re interested in that sort of stuff]

1st Happy New Year to anyone visiting!

In the spirit of New Year Resolutions, I’ve just written up a book review of “The photography exercise book” It’s something I’d happily suggest for photographers who cling a bit too tightly to the technical side of photography and find the ‘creative’ side a bit too artsy and vague ;-)

Whilst we have the consumer CES show coming up soon (CES Jan 9-12), the Japanese CP+ show isn’t until the start of March this year.

2018 February

21st Some EOS 4000D pictures appear, and some specs [PR]

Canon EOS4000D DSLR

  • 18 million APS-C
  • DIGIC 4+
  • Full HD video
  • 2.7 type liquid crystal
  • ISO: 100-6400
  • Wi-Fi installed
  • Size: 129.0 × 101.6 × 77.1 mm
  • Weight: 436 g
  • DS 126701

20th A picture and specs for the M50 appear [mirrorless page] 24MP, EVF, 4k video and Digic 8

I note in particular, the first appearance of Digic 8. This what I’d expect to see in the 7D mk3 and 5Ds mk2, but maybe not a 90D

A quick look at the timeline makes me wonder where the M50 fits – I’m inclined to think another row between M5 and M6?

  Crop  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
            1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Best Full       1Ds 1Ds Mk II 1Ds Mk III 1D X 1DX II
1.3     1D 1D Mk II 1D MkIIn 1D Mk III 1D Mk IV                
video                             1D C      
High Full                               5Ds/5Dsr    
            5D 5D Mk II 5D Mk III 5D Mk IV
1.6                   7D 7D Mk II        
'Better'  Full                                               6D 6D 2
1.6 D30 D60 10D 20D 30D 40D 50D 60D 70D 80D        
Mid 1.6         300D
Rebel
Kiss
350D
XT
Kiss N
400D
XTi
Kiss X
450
XSi
X2
500
T1i
X3
550
T2i
X4
600
T3i
X5
650
T4i
X6i
700D
T5i
X7i
760D
T6s
77D    
        750D
T6i
800D
T7i
   
Micro 1.6                                 100D SL1 X7 200D SL2
Entry 1.6                   1000D / XS / F 1100D / T3 / X50 1200D T5 X70 1300D T6 2000D T7
                                    4000D
Mirror
-less
1.6                               M5
                              M50
                            M M2 M3 M6    
                              M10 M100

Note: dates start in announcement quarter, not shipping dates. Video capable 4k

Digic | Digic 2 | Digic 3 dual | Digic 4 dual | Digic 5 dual | Digic 6 dual | Digic 7 dual | Digic 8

Also at [Nok] a Speedlight 470 EX-AI is shown

18th Full specs for the Pentax K1 Mk2 appear  [PxR]

36MP and ISO to 819k amongst the goodies…

15th Dual/split pixel sensor design is covered in a US patent application [USPTO], looking at the manufacturing aspects of the sensor.

dual pixel design

There are a number of interesting elements to this, such as differing sizes of the sub pixels to allow for sensor light fall off towards the edge of sensors.  One to read if you didn’t realise just how many steps are involved in making a sensor (or any modern semiconductor component for that matter).

Improving the amount of light reaching the photosensitive part of a sensor pixel is addressed in a US patent app looking at manufacturing processes [USPTO]. Not as complex as the previous example.

pixel light well

The advent of dual pixel AF using phase detection offers ways of introducing new improved AF options. A Canon US patent application discusses aspects of this. [USPTO]

af system

14th Another interesting sensor development, this time from Panasonic:
‘8K High-Resolution, High-Performance Global Shutter Technology using Organic-Photoconductive-Film CMOS Image Sensor’

panasonic 8k sensor

From Panasonic

The new technology has the following advantages.

  • 8K resolution, 60fps frame rate, 450k saturation electrons and global shutter function are realised simultaneously.
  • Switching between high sensitivity mode and high saturation mode is possible using gain switching function.
  • The ND filter function can be realised steplessly by controlling the voltage applied to the OPF.

This Development is based on the following technologies.

  • “OPF CMOS image sensor design technology”, in that, the photoelectric-conversion part and the circuit part can be designed independently.
  • “In-pixel capacitive coupled noise cancellation technique” which can suppress pixel reset noise at high speed even at high resolution
  • “In-pixel gain switching technology” that can achieve high saturation characteristics
  • “Voltage controlled sensitivity modulation technology” that can adjust the sensitivity by changing the voltage applied to the OPF.

13th An interesting Sony press release [Sony] shows an actual sample sensor with two chips bonded together, where the bottom chip does the Analogue->Digital conversion all at once, giving a true global shutter.

dual chip

Key technologies mentioned:

  • Low-current, compact pixel-parallel A/D converter
    In order to curtail power consumption, the new converter uses comparators that operate with sub-threshold currents, resulting in the industry’s best-performing, low current, compact 14-bit A/D converter. This overcomes the issue of the increased demand for current due to the inclusion of nearly 1,000 times as many A/D converters in comparison with the traditional column A/D conversion method.
  • Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connection
    To achieve the parallel A/D conversion for all pixels, Sony has developed a technology which makes it possible to include approximately three million Cu-Cu (copper-copper) connections in one sensor. The Cu-Cu connection provides electrical continuity between the pixel and logic substrate, while securing space for implementing as many as 1.46 million A/D converters, the same number as the effective megapixels, as well as the digital memory.
  • High-speed data transfer construction
    Sony has developed a new readout circuit to support the massively parallel digital signal transfer required in the A/D conversion process using 1.46 million A/D converters, making it possible to read and write all the pixel signals at high speed.

I’ve seen Canon patents looking at this too, so it’s pretty certain we’ll eventually see products featuring this.

11th 5D4 RAW files can contain dual pixel info that can be used to extend DR by a stop [FastRawViewer]

10th A lens based IS patent application [USPTO] includes stabilisation for macro. Note the movement sensors inside the camera.

Canon IS patent app

Creating rough surfaces with a random element to the roughness is covered in Canon patent application [USPTO]

So…?

Such surfaces can be used for focusing screens, and in the example below. a diffuser with very specific properties for a type of anti-aliasing (AA or OLPF) filter. Despite many criticisms (rarely informed ones IMHO) OLP filters do have a place in sensor design, but conventional ones work best at high incidence angles and fixed apertures. One potential use for the ‘random roughness’ style of diffuser could be mirrorless systems which can have a much wider range of light incidence angles.

random roughness

NB Maths warning if you decide to check the patent application ;-)

9th Multi-axis sensor stabilisation is covered in a Canon patent application [USPTO]

sensor stabilisation

5th Some patents… (remember that granted patents are older stuff than the patent applications – maybe several years)

US patent for a stacked sensor [USPTO] – covers bonding and interconnecting layers.

A split pixel sensor design that is shown taking two shots at the same time [USPTO] at different settings in a camera curiously shown with flight attachment (#162)

flying

Covers synchronising the shots and an ongoing sequence (video)

Canon drones anyone… ;-)

Stacked sensor heat control/management – Japanese patent appl. [CN]

More about curved sensors [CN]

2nd Long live the mirror box…

For those of a mechanical bent, a new Canon patent application [USPTO] for a mirror drive device for a DSLR. Faster and less bounce.

Canon mirror box

These things have to be assembled. All those parts and assembly time are the main reason companies want to go mirrorless and get rid of the shutter.  …but not just yet.

January

28th Today’s top patent application [USPTO]  Fingerprint ID for your camera body and lenses.

Lets you assign custom functions (AF/IS/lighting etc.) to different fingers and even offers multiple users and security lockout functionality.

fingerprint activation

Remember – real photographer don’t need gloves!  ;-)

26th Time for an updated Pentax K1 Mark II DSLR? [PR]

Several rumours are going round about a new shape of camera from Canon [CR] – this could be their mirrorless design or just a new camcorder.

Given the recent fake G7X III, I can see a distinct rise in plausible rumours/leaks on the way (bring it on – too many people treat this stuff too seriously! ;-)

And in our ‘serious’ stuff… I just had a look at a nice LED ringlight from Kaiser.

25th Three Canon US patent applications expand on the data transfer capabilities for Camera<->Lens communications.  This is the sort of thing we might see in a new range of cameras, and used to lock out third party manufacturers – or not ;-)

The Canon EF lens communication protocols date back quite a way, to a time a lot less went on in lenses and camera bodies. Note that these are definitely not written to be easy to read. I’ve more information about the EF mount (inc. electrical aspects) at EFLens.com

#1 | #2 | #3

A very detailed patent application (i.e. closer to being realised) in Japan [CN] shows many more details of producing a stacked sensor (see last years archived posts for many more patents).

stacked sensor

22nd Japanese patent application info for using organic photo detecting elements in sensors [CN]

Note, in the US application below there is an option for organic compounds. Canon (and others) are putting a lot of work into this aspect of sensor design – as to when we see it in a product, that’s a different matter.
In news to some photographers whinging about sensor DR, it won’t be their concerns that drive technology here, but more the need for automotive imaging to work under the same lighting conditions that our visual system does.

20th You may have seen a number of ‘leaked’ Canon G7 X III images  – I’m inclined to think they are very good fakes (see comments at CR)

More HDR pixel design info [ISW]

19th A very interesting US patent application [USPTO] for a multi level sensor pixel design the includes a photo-luminescent component.

I had to read this a few times – part of a photo sensor that emits light?

Lets look at this first example (annotations are mine – remember too that patent drawings are simplified, so no microlenses)

multi-sensor-1

Light comes in through a conventional colour filter and reaches the first conversion layer, where some of it is converted to electrons. Some light goes clean through and reaches a PL (photo-luminescent) layer where some is absorbed and re-emitted (at a different colour). This re-emitted light is detected by a second conversion layer.

OK, so I’ve got two output signals for each pixel – what advantage does this give? By careful choice of the compounds used (organic and inorganic) for photon detection and photon emission layers it is possible to significantly increase the dynamic range of the pixel as a whole.

dr improvement

In the example above, the PL layer is separate, however the PL compound can be included in the photo-conversion layer itself.

This gives this design for a high DR  multi-layer RGB sensor – six outputs per pixel

multi-sensor-2

As ever, patent applications are not products, but I like the smart design of this one.

18th It seems a long while ago now, but I reviewed a couple of Ricoh cameras (GX100, GX200) and they were rather nice.  Move forward and there are persistent rumours about Ricoh getting out of cameras and selling Pentax. [PR]

14th In yesterday’s list, I forgot about the mentions [Nok] in the wireless approvals a while ago…

  • 2000D – Possibly a CP+ follow on from the 1300D. The 1300D still uses Digic 4, a chip that first appeared in the 2008 50D. Perhaps Canon’s stocks are running low ;-)
  • M50 – also in the wireless listings

13th As  an antidote to some of the more breathless fan/rumour sites, have a good read of Thom Hogan’s views [TH] of what the camera business needs.
It’s not more of the same

Several people suggested I was a bit out in pushing the 7D3 and 5Ds mk2 back to 2019, so lets look at a model by model list

  • 1DX3 – definitely before the 2020 Olympics, so not 2018, with maybe an announcement late 2019, but early 2020 more likely.
  • 5Ds mk2 – possibly 2018 if the Nikon/Sony are seen as a big enough threat, and Canon has the technology to produce a 5Ds2 that is ‘noticeably better’. Personally the 5Ds works an absolute treat, but I guess some people use it in more diverse situations than I do (in which case get a 5D4) I’m still more inclined to expect it early 2019. An update this year is far more likely to be one I skip.
  • 7D mk3 – This reminds me of the continuous, ‘surely they must update it soon’ talk about the long lived 7D. The 7D2 price is holding steady.
  • 90D – Ok, the 80D is two years old, and prices are starting to drift down. In many ways it needs some more differentiation from the 77D. The 60D lasted three years, the 70D two. An update to Digic7 would be in order. How does this fit in with a 7D3?
  • Mirrorless – the mutterings seem to suggest that Canon’s big thing for Photokina (the last of the September biennial ones) will be mirrorless full frame. If so I’m expecting a few ‘leaks’ to appear by July, to build up interest/speculation. That said, a lot of the full frame mirrorless talk for Canon and Nikon has little to back it up, other than it seems like what they ‘ought to be doing’…

On balance, a 90D would be a relatively simple update to bring along early this year, leaving more ‘innovative’ models for later. Of course what people wish to take as ‘innovative’ in this area is another question all together ;-)

12th Time for a New Year’s look at the Canon Timeline.

Both 7D2 and 5Ds could last into 2019 before updates?

  Crop  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
            1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Best Full       1Ds 1Ds Mk II 1Ds Mk III 1D X 1DX II
1.3     1D 1D Mk II 1D MkIIn 1D Mk III 1D Mk IV                
video                             1D C      
High Full                               5Ds/5Dsr    
            5D 5D Mk II 5D Mk III 5D Mk IV
1.6                   7D 7D Mk II        
'Better'  Full                                               6D 6D 2
1.6 D30 D60 10D 20D 30D 40D 50D 60D 70D 80D        
Mid 1.6         300D
Rebel
Kiss
350D
XT
Kiss N
400D
XTi
Kiss X
450
XSi
X2
500
T1i
X3
550
T2i
X4
600
T3i
X5
650
T4i
X6i
700D
T5i
X7i
760D
T6s
77D    
        750D
T6i
800D
T7i
   
Micro 1.6                                 100D SL1 X7 200D SL2
Entry 1.6                   1000D / XS / F 1100D / T3 / X50 1200D T5 X70 1300D T6 2000D T7
                                    4000D
Mirror
-less
1.6                               M5
                              M50
                            M M2 M3 M6    
                              M10 M100

Note: dates start in announcement quarter, not shipping dates. Video capable 4k

Digic | Digic 2 | Digic 3 dual | Digic 4 dual | Digic 5 dual | Digic 6 dual | Digic 7 dual | Digic 8

The only reason the 1Dx2/6D2 /200D are extended through the year ar that I’m pretty certain they are not for update – that and it makes the table layout work better.

A Canon US patent [USPTO] shows a design for a three layer back illuminated sensor. There have been quite a few related patents in the past. Note though that patent does not equal product…

three-layer sensor

11th Something to improve the light quality of white LEDs. A new red phosphor [Nik] means we could see much better CRI LED lighting.

9th If I’m going somewhere wet/dirty (think mines or a foundry), I’m still inclined to take my Canon 1Ds mk3 rather than my 5Ds. That said, any camera I’ve got with me is protected by my own aversion to getting wet…

What about newer cameras – well at IR they got to hose some down, and the only ‘pro’ level one to show any problems was the Sony A7RIII

DxOMark and DxO now different companies? [ISW]

I’ve always found the DxOMark figures interesting, but widely mis-interpreted. This is one of the reasons my own reviews are rarely quantitative. Lots of figures and measurements make for glib inaccurate conclusions without lengthy background explanations of what the numbers signify. Given many readers just want the quick numbers, you can see the potential conflicts. See why I never recommend the best for more on this.

6th Ah, the vagueness of the corporate interview  [Nikk via CR] – Canon announce they want to do better and be innovative. Be suitably wary if you see anything much being read into this stuff on some sites… ;-)

“…
Q: What is the biggest issue currently facing Canon?
A: Our primary management goal this year is to raise our antennas high toward cutting-edge technology. It is on this point where we lag behind other companies. We will open up a research and development center in the U.S.’s Silicon Valley, where we will actively adopt new technology.

Q: What do you believe is imperative for today’s corporation?
A: To read the trends of an era. Innovation is steadily advancing, and it has become difficult to put out products that are ahead of the competition, even if by just a little. This is now an era when latecomer manufacturers stand to gain. Compared with the past, even I feel mounting tensions.

To stay on top of and not lose against generational innovations, it is important to strengthen the financial structure. I believe that, as a manufacturer, it is essential to always maintain a strong financial house, creating conditions where you can invest in new things.

2nd Making a sensor with millions of pixels – how do they fail? [Aph] A quick guide to many of the forms of dead (or just very poorly) pixels.
[Expanded version at ISW which currently also has a lot of links to LiDAR papers, if you’re interested in that sort of stuff]

1st Happy New Year to anyone visiting!

In the spirit of New Year Resolutions, I’ve just written up a book review of “The photography exercise book” It’s something I’d happily suggest for photographers who cling a bit too tightly to the technical side of photography and find the ‘creative’ side a bit too artsy and vague ;-)

Whilst we have the consumer CES show coming up soon (CES Jan 9-12), the Japanese CP+ show isn’t until the start of March this year.

Older information, rumours and patents are on the 2017 Archive page – our archives go back to 2004.

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