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Gear Rumors

Could This Patent Be The Basis For Canon’s Rumored New Sensors In 2015?

By Anthony Thurston on November 29th 2014

We have already shared the rumors regarding Canon releasing some all new bodies in early 2015, which would feature all new sensors unlike anything Canon has used before. Some have thought that may be a multi-layer Foveon-esqe sensor, or maybe just a better standard bayer sensor. Could the patent discovered below be the basis for Canon’s next-gen sensors?


Patent Publication No. 2014-175553

The patent drawing that you can see above depicts a sensor that changes the sensitivity of individual pixels by moving the photon detection zone deeper into the sensor. Basically, for higher sensitivity, the photon detection zone moves closer to the lens; and for less sensitivity, the photon detection zone moves deeper into the sensor (or away from the lens).

This would, in theory, allow for a much greater dynamic range from these sensors over Canon’s current sensors. It could also help with low light and high ISO performance; another area where Canon’s sensor lags behind (although not quite as much as in dynamic range) their competitors.


It is interesting that this patent comes to light so soon after the rumors started flowing about Canon bringing a new sensor out in early 2015. As with all patents, it could mean nothing, but this could also be the sensor tech that Canon will release in 2015. We will see in a little over a month.

What do you think about this sensor patent? Do you think that this could be the sensor technology that Canon will be bringing to market in early 2015? Would this be enough to get the Dynamic Range and ISO monkeys off their back? Leave a comment below!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing the ISO comparison with the D810. Clean pictures at night are every wedding photographers dream.

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  2. Matthew Saville

    This is something that I’ve been hoping was possible for years now. Per-pixel ISO control! This could lead to significantly improved dynamic range, considering that Canon’s ISO 400-800 images are practically noise-less.

    It just depends on how many new stops they can squeeze out of this, which I’m sure (at least in this patent) depends on the movement range of each pixel.

    If, for example, they can only re-position the pixels enough to squeeze out an extra ~2 stops of DR, they’ll still be barely catching up to other sensors DR capabilities, let alone the D810 etc.

    So, here’s to hoping this is bigger than a meager 1-2 stop boost!


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