Sony announces 35mm 4K RGB sensor

Interesting to pick up on some of Sony’s Broadcast CTO Hugo Gaggion’s presentation at NYC 2010 HD World, via Image Sensors World.

Sony’s 4K Super35 CinaAlta will move beyond the traditional Bayer sensor and introduce a 4K RGB Q67.

Bayer sensors are responsible for artefacts like coloured rainbow moire on fine details, they need an optical low pass filter and electronic removal of moire.

According to Graeme Nattress of RED even the CineAlta F35 has coloured moire if you look closely enough, which the optical filter and image processor did not quite get on top of. The F35 features a Bayer 2K CCD sensor.

Sony’s roadmap states that by switching over to CMOS, they will move away from the problems Bayer can present whilst maintaining the same dynamic range and sensitivity of the Sony F35.

For a long time Sony were pioneers of the Bayer CCD so this makes quite a historic change for the company. Sony’s F35 successor will feature a CMOS.

It is not known if the CMOS will also have a global shutter to eradicate strobing and rolling shutter. Currently a global shutter reduces sensitivity and dynamic range, but if Sony are confident of matching the F35, I expect their global shutter development is ahead of the curve.

Panasonic are also working on a global shutter CMOS.

Sony’s next step after the Q67 4K CineAlta sensor will be a 4K full RGB sensor with 26.4 megapixels. Sounds a bit like Sigma’s Foveon sensor to me!

Why 26.4 megapixels? It has a pixel for each colour component R, G, B. So 4K’s 8.8 megapixels x 3 = 26.4.

View Hugo’s presentation video here