Sony Creates Groundbreaking Backlit CMOS Sensor with Global Shutter

by admin February 17, 2018 at 11:31 pm

Sony just announced a groundbreaking development in the world of camera image sensors: it has created a 1.46-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor that has global shutter. This is the first-ever CMOS sensor of over 1MP that has both back-illumination and global shutter.

Backside illumination (BSI) is an image sensor design that uses its arrangement of imaging elements to increase the amount of light that’s captured, leading to improved low-light performance. While this type of design was previously used for things like astro cameras and security cameras, it has become a prominent technology in consumer still photography cameras.

In 2015, Sony’s a7R II became the world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full frame camera. Last year, Nikon’s D850 became the first 45+ megapixel BSI sensor.

Those BSI CMOS sensors are all rolling shutters, though, which means the pixels in a photo aren’t all captured at exactly the same time but are instead captured by scanning across the scene very rapidly row-by-row. While this can produce identical results in most cases, it does cause distortions when the camera or subjects are moving rapidly during exposure.

A photo showing rolling shutter distortions in a rapidly spinning airplane propeller. Photo by Soren Ragsdale and licensed under CC BY 2.0.