Global shutter sensor released for consumer A/V market

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A CMOS sensor destined for consumer A/V has been released – featuring a global shutter.

The sensor is destined to be used in high end consumer video cameras, sports cameras (the company supplies on-board cameras for F1 cars) and industrial cameras where a perfect image with no distortion, and high frame rates are necessities.

The manufacturer is based in Germany, ViiMagic – they’re a team which split from A/V giant Thompson. Now someone in the digital cinema community should build an interchangeable lens camera around this sensor…

It’s capable of 1080p, 240fps, 120 DB dynamic range and excellent low light performance. It is only a 2/3″ sized chip – which is better than compact camera sensors but smaller than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds.

The next step in CMOS sensors, a global shutter eliminates the need for a mechanical shutter in high resolution stills mode and allows the sensor’s full output to be read all at once.

Current CMOS sensor are scanned line-by-line, which causes the rolling shutter skew effect.

A global shutter eliminates this issue.

The main obstacle so far to global shutter sensors in DSLRs is that, as Panasonic found in their research to make a shutterless 100% electronic body, the trade off in image quality – dynamic range and noise levels suffer – made it less viable as a consumer product.

But this is being solved by higher speed outputs and faster processing.

Since it’s a high speed chip like that found in Red’s Epic, the HDR mode works by combining frames. A simple technology that also decreases noise – it has been used by Sony in their Handheld Twilight feature on compact cameras.

As US patent office filings prove, global shutter is still an advancement the main camera manufacturers intend to make, to allow faster continuous burst rates, the elimination of the shutter, 4K and solid motion with no rolling shutter.

It’s only a matter of time.

The announcement comes after an Israeli company (Israel is the country where Red’s sensors are made) produced an APS-C global shutter 12MP CMOS sensor featuring 300fps and 60-90DB of dynamic range. See this link for details.

Source: ViiMagicImage Sensors World

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British filmmaker and editor of EOSHD, Andrew works in Berlin on his own self funded filmmaking and video projects.

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