Canon has designed a new camera sensor for high dynamic range photography (HDR). The new sensor creates HDR-ready photos from multiple areas and automatically sets the best exposure for each one.
Canon’s Type-1 24.5mm backilluminated sensor has 12.6 Megapixels (4152 by 324 Pixels). It is claimed to deliver an industry-leading dynamic resolution (at least in the intended market segment) as well as solving the HDR problem in a unique manner.
Bracketing is a technique that allows for huge variations in exposure, such as highlights and shadows. The bracketing process involves multiple exposures being taken and then merging them into a single image. It can be done quickly and in-camera. This method works only with stationary objects that are easy to shoot. If the camera is dealing w/ a moving object, however, merging images may prove difficult due to the target shifting. As a result, the image will become blurry or outof focus.
Canon’s new sensor can be divided into 736 different areas. Each area can be adjusted to the best exposure time based on the brightness level. The sensor can adjust the exposure independently in each of these 736 areas. This allows it to create HDR images instantly in-camera, without needing to take multiple exposures.
Canon claims that this eliminates motion artifacts, and allows for more precise face detection even when moving subjects are being captured. This eliminates the need to convert multiple images from different sources, which dramatically reduces data processing and allows high-speed shooting at 60 frames per sec at 12.6 megapixels resolution.
The new sensor can correctly expose all parts even under difficult lighting conditions. This is called “regional exposure”. If the camera is pointed at the garage entrance, and the car drives into the sun, traditional cameras won’t be able show both the driver and the license plate simultaneously. The new sensor will handle this task with no problems.
This sensor is not intended for security and industrial use. However, it could influence future Canon consumer camcorders and cameras.