Kodaks new sensor...hummm D3?

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Perhaps the heart of the new D3?!!!!

New KODAK Image Sensor Technology Redefines Digital Image Capture
Thursday June 14, 8:01 am ET
Next Generation Color Filter Patterns Deliver Higher Quality Photos Under Low-Light Conditions

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK - News) today introduced a groundbreaking advancement in image sensor technology that will help to make dark, blurry digital photos a thing of the past.

Kodak's new sensor technology provides a 2x to 4x increase in sensitivity to light (from one to two photographic stops) compared to current sensor designs. Image sensors act as the "eye" of a digital camera by converting light into electric charge to begin the capture process.

This breakthrough advances an existing Kodak technology that has become the standard in digital imaging. Today, the design of almost all color image sensors is based on the "Bayer Pattern," an arrangement of red, green, and blue pixels that was first developed by Kodak scientist Dr. Bryce Bayer in 1976. In this design, half of the pixels on the sensor are used to collect green light, with the remaining pixels split evenly between sensitivity to red and blue light. After exposure, software reconstructs a full color signal for each pixel in the final image.

Kodak's new proprietary technology adds panchromatic, or "clear" pixels to the red, green, and blue elements that form the image sensor array. Since these pixels are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light, they collect a significantly higher proportion of the light striking the sensor. By matching these pixel arrangements with advanced software algorithms from Kodak that are optimized for these new patterns, users can realize an increase in photographic speed, directly improving performance when taking pictures under low light. Kodak's new technology also enables faster shutter speeds (to reduce motion blur when imaging moving subjects), as well as the design of smaller pixels (leading to higher resolutions in a given optical format) while retaining performance.

"This represents a new generation of image sensor technology and addresses one of the great challenges facing our industry - how to capture crisp, clear digital images in a poorly lit environment," said Chris McNiffe, General Manager of Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions group. "This is a truly innovative approach to improving digital photography in all forms, and it highlights Kodak's unique ability to differentiate its products by delivering advanced digital technologies that really make a difference to the consumer."

Kodak is beginning to work with a number of leading companies to implement this new technology in system-wide solutions and to streamline the design-in process.

Kodak is developing CMOS sensors using this technology for consumer markets such as digital still cameras and camera phones. As the technology is appropriate for use with both CCD and CMOS image sensors, its use can be expanded across Kodak's full portfolio of image sensors, including products targeted to applied imaging markets such as industrial and scientific imaging. The first Kodak sensor to use this technology is expected to be available for sampling in the first quarter of 2008.

For additional information regarding this technology, please contact Image Sensor Solutions, Eastman Kodak Company at (585) 722-4385 or by email at imagers@kodak.com. For more information on Kodak's entire image sensor product line, please visit www.kodak.com/go/imagers.
 
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This is good news indeed!

I wonder how this will affect ISO ranges on future DSLRs. Could we be seeing ISOs as low as 25?

This is the HUGE break that Nikon needed. High ISO noise has always been their achilles heal. They've been solid on just about everything else.

Me thinks the days of Canon being the leader in low ISO noise is coming to a close. Don't go switching camps just yet folks....things have just gotten alot more interesting!


John
 
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I dunno...I read that article and could not help start to tie some pieces together. Perhaps...just perhaps.... the reason Nikon has been so mum on the next generation is a development effort with Kodak on something as radical and drastic as a new sensor....which I see as the achilys (sp) heel of Nikon's product strategy.

Showing up in 2008 with a D3X that incorporates a new technology sensor that has two stops of low light improvement for clean ISO 6400 images would be a pretty good swat at Canon for sure.... couple that with the perceived lens superiority and THAT would be interesting at the professional level...

I am probably way out in left field...but maybe not.... :)

Am I a rumor monger or what? !
 
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Randy,

That would be a great improvement, but the problem is that the prototype sensors won't be available until the first quarter of 2008 and regular production chips won't arrive for an additional 3-6 months. That projects out until late 2008 or early 2009 at the earliest. I don't think Nikon can wait that long to introduce a D3.

Mike
 
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I saw that story and hope the same things. Depends on how hooked together Nikon is with Sony.
 
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this is on the news line over at DPR as well. they said the sensitivity would be at the expense of color resolution which would be 1/4 of what it currently is. I would rather have better colors than usable iso 3200. I rarely use over 400 now as it is.
 
R

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If this turns out to be true Canon will buy Kodak just to keep that sensor out of the hands of the competition.
Your idea is probably the worse business move one could think of.
Much simpler to just buy Nikon and leave it as an independent entity/competitor rather then to buy Kodak and kill the sensor.
 
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Is this an improvement over what Fuji has already done?

Fuji's sensor in the S5 has a set of luminance only sensors between the color ones.

And I don't believe we see enough of a difference there to challenge the 5D, for example.

Gives me hope, but I'll believe it when I can order one up.

I seen enough blabber at this point to think Sony has a near FF sensor and Nikon and others will be delivering that in cameras any time now. I think that's our best hope for better high ISO for the time being.

Long term, I think Foveon's concept will win. I've seen enough SD14 images that look just as good detail wise as a D2X or 5D image, but without the Bayer artifacts to believe in it.
 
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Buy Nikon, what's the point?

The sensor is the prize. Anyone puts that sensor in a pro body is going to blow out Canon's strongest suit... Hi ISO. If this thing works out we are looking at a leap in technology equivalent to the what the LCD is to the CRT.
Double the light sensitivity equals 1 f-stop - hardly a quantum leap!
 
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I hope the D3 will make Bayer interpolation history: filtering away 2/3 of the light and interpolating seems dated compared to a foveon for example.
But the kodak chip is even worse: a little more light but very, very coarse color resolution: a step backwards, and kodak seems to admit: 12 MP are marketed for mobile phones... we won't see it in a nikon.


Carlsson
 
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