Sony revealed the world’s first curved photo sensor last week, and have today followed it up with a sample image showcasing a new display technology that the company hopes will result in cheaper photo sensors while delivering higher-quality images.
Curved sensors are expected to solve problems that flat sensors have with light falling in front of their focal plane in certain conditions, and can also reduce noise while reducing their manufacturing complexity.
The problem that flat sensors run into is the so-called Petzval field curvature, that occurs when light passes through the edge of the lens falls in front of the sensor’s focal plane. Lens manufacturers combat this issue by designing lenses with minimal field curvature, a costly process that results in heavier lenses as well. Sony’s new sensor is bent into what the company calls a “Petzval surface,” and reinforced with a ceramic backplate. This means that lenses no longer have to compensate for Petzval field curvature, as the sensor will already do it.
This will allow manufacturers to create shorter and lighter lenses, with larger apertures to boot. The reduction in light falloff at the edges of flat CMOS sensors also allows for less noisy photos.
Sony hasn’t yet been able to produce their curved sensors in any high-megapixel variants, which means that we won’t be seeing the technology in commercial applications anytime soon.
Source | Source (Japanese) | Via