By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
With higher resolution and dynamic range, more filmmakers want sensors that support global shutters. Panasonic is going all in with an 8K sensor that not only has global shutter, but supports 60fps and high dynamic range. A world’s first.
“With the technology, it is possible to capture images at 8K resolution, even in high contrast scenes, such as a field under strong sunlight and shaded spectator seats under a stadium roof,” Panasonic.
Development of the sensor began five years ago in partnership with Fujifilm with the goal of creating a global shutter for conventional CMOS sensors that can avoid distortion in camera movement, but do it without sacrificing the dynamic range that the state of the art has steadily moved toward in sensor design.
Most global sensors, including the backlit sensor recently announced by Sony, has only managed 1MP in resolution, but Pansonic claims that their new Global Imaging Sensor is capable of imaging 8k resolution exceeding 38MP and at 60 fps.
How Panasonic has pulled off the innovation of high resolution global CMOS sensor solution is by going back to the drawing board and redefining CMOS sensor design by splitting its circuitry for photoelectric conversion. Then, by adding organic photoconductive film, the global sensor can capture not only capture 8K video, but can do it at 60fps and with high dynamic range.
“In the OPF CMOS image sensor, by incorporating a large capacitor in the circuit part with a large available area, it is possible to realize both high sensitivity mode and high saturation mode with the same pixel structure merely by switching modes from the camera system,” the company said in a statement. “In the high sensitivity mode, it is possible to capture data up to a light intensity of 4.5k electrons with high sensitivity. Furthermore, by switching to the high saturation mode, it is possible to capture data up to a light intensity of 450k electrons.”
That’s all very scientific in it’s buzzwords, but it boils down to the ability to capture greater 8K detail in bright ambient light and dark shadows without losing detail in complex images that would suffer from moire and artifacting. Panasonic has split the process into two modes, including a wider range, high sensitive light mode, and then a mode that captures for color gamut. Put together, and you have wider dynamic range as the global shutter blasts onto the sensor at the same time. Imaging all the data at the same time, lowers or eliminates rolling shutter and distortion which can cause strange looking depictions like from an airplane propeller, or wiggling jelly like images when doing fast whip pans and camera movements.
Moreover, Panasonic has discovered that by manipulating the voltage going through the OPF film, they can create a digitally stepless, variable ND filter that can manage the speed of which the light is transmitted to the sensor up to ND32, without the need of physical filters being designed into the camera system or added after the fact.
All told, Panasonic has learned enough from the journey to create 135 Japanese and 83 international patents that will protect what they view to be a game changing technology. When it will make its way into cameras is anyone’s guess, but I’m betting that we’ll see it in a future Varicam model when it does. But wouldn’t it be sweet if they stuck it in the next generation GH6?
You can read more about it here.