A couple of weeks ago a trusted source told me how Sony is working to bring some major evolution in the sensor technology. We are talking about a completely new generation of sensors which could hit the market as soon as late 2013- early 2014. One of these technologies is the “organic sensor”. The last few months I saw some patents from Fuji and now finally Egami (Click here) found one from Sony. Basically we are talking about a sort of Foveon technology made with organic material instead of current non organic materials. The major flaws to overcome are the slow speed and durability of the material. But Sony seems to have found some sort of hybrid material solution that could overcome the issues. While google translation doesn’t really help a lot to understand how it works I will try to give you a short summary:
1) The sensor is made by a organic and non organic material. That is necessary because organic material has less “speed” than the non organic silicon material.
2) Three layers of organic material are positioned one under the other. This means every single pixel contains all the color data!
3) The advantages are higher color fidelity, higher resolution because of the lack of the Anti Aliasing filter which usually needs to be used on RGB sensors. Currently Medium format cameras or cameras like the Fuji X PRO 1, Nikon D800 and Leica M9 do not have AA filters. Another advantage is that organic material has a higher absorption coefficient than non organic material.
As usual keep in mind that most of the patents will never be applied in a real mass production camera. Or it may will take longer than we hope. Anyway, Sony is already on a very high quality level with their current sensors and I am pretty confident that we will see great new stuff in future!
P.S.: The current Sony 36 Megapixel sensor used by the Nikon D800 is almost as good as medium format cameras according to DSRLmagazine testing.
Links to all mentioned cameras:
Medium format cameras on eBay (Click here). Nikon D800 at Amazon (Click here). Fuji X PRO 1 at Amazon (Click here). Leica M9 at Amazon (Click here).