High megapixel sensors are great; however, a curved sensor would really spice up the camera market.
We love finding out about new sensors just as much as you do. However, new types of sensors have been hard to come by. Sure, Sony is killing it with their stacked sensors, but there needs to be a big leap technologically. There has been plenty of speculation about global shutters. These would be very cool. Still, recently there has been a lot of noise about curved sensors. Curved sensors would drastically reduce the size of lenses as they would allow for much simpler lens designs. Speaking of lens designs, Canon just filed a patent for a new lens. That’s doesn’t sound too exciting. However, this lens is designed for a curved sensor. Let’s talk about it after the break.
The patent for a new lens, which has been filed with a patent service, was first reported on by An Image On A Sensor. As mentioned above, curved sensors have been talked about a lot recently. In fact, we posted this article that talked about a curved sensor from Curve-One. However, this is the first time we have seen a patent for a curved sensor lens from one of the big dogs. So, what type of lens from Canon are we looking at here?
The Canon 70mm Prime For a Curved Sensor
According to the patent, this new lens from Canon will be a 70mm prime lens with an aperture around f1. That would make this one super-fast prime lens. Just think of the bokeh! Now, just to be clear, there are actually 12 designs for this lens in the patent. So, it’s pretty clear that Canon has not nailed down a perfect design for it yet. Still, this is incredibly exciting news. Looking at the twelve possibilities, it’s clear that this lens will be fast. The maximum aperture ranges from f1.03 up to f1.45. Where things get a little muddy is with the length of the lens. Depending on which design they go with, the lens could be anywhere from 74.56mm (1.87-inches) to 177.93mm (7-inches) long. Clearly, there’s still a long way to go in the design process.
What’s the Benefit Of A Curved Sensor?
Curved sensors will bring with them some benefits compared to regular flat sensors. Curved sensors will virtually eliminate distortion and vignetting when shooting at wide angles. Edge sharpness in images can be up to 5x greater when compared to regular sensors. Aberrations and chromatism are also supposedly improved. On top of this, the lenses that are designed for them are much simpler to construct. This means that lenses could be smaller due to the decrease in the number of elements needed to correct the image. Curved sensors can also collect much more light.
This all sounds incredible. Technology like this will open up so many new doors. However, the sensors will generally only work with one lens that has been designed for it specifically. So, what types of cameras will use these sensors? Fixed-lens cameras. We don’t expect to see fixed-lens cameras any time soon with these sensors. Still, it’s exciting to know that this technology is being worked on. What do you think about the lens design? Are you excited about curved sensors in general? Lets us know in the comment section below.