Monday, April 19, 2010

The Power of Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS Sensor (Fuji HS10/11)

A few months ago, I talked about new sensor technologies and the Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS imagers.

Recently, we have a new full review report of the Fuji HS11 (aka HS10) at a popular Chinese photo blog:-
(in Simplified Chinese, Google English Translated Page Here)

Besides, 1001 Noisy Cameras have made a good summary on the recent sample picture tests here.

With the sample photos shown, I am really astonished on the potential for the new BSI technology. If with such a 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor in 10.0 MPs can deliver such acceptable to good ISO performance (and do bear in mind the sensor has super high speed as well), I will be much eager to wait if this new sensor technology could be adopted in an APS-C sensor, or, even a larger one, say, 135 FF! What a new world it will open if it succeeds!

So, maybe some days later, we will have 20MP+ APS-C DSLRs which will have the same performance of the today's 12MP DSLRs, whilst 135 FF will go beyond 40 MP+ with yet the same performance of today's again. By that time, the need of MF DSLRs would really be in doubt but still those might become 100 MP+ cameras and systems but will there be such a real practical need for that super high pixel count by that time??

I think BSI CMOS is an innovation for sensor technologies, whilst some other evolutions may help but the steps in improvement could be minimal (although still existent). Just see the recent Canon 550D, which has the "gapless micro lenses" for its new sensor, when compared against the old 500D. The DPR test pictures and measurbations show us that the results in noise and image data retained are comparable for both DSLRs, although the pixel counts of them are different. This may be the benefit of the gapless microlenses and the evolution. But, the new processing hardware and software may also contribute, nonetheless.

Last but not least, I am not very impressed with the colour response of those sample pics produced by the HS10/11. But anyway it is just a P&S, or a super prosumer if you like (to call it this way).

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