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Sinar announces 20 mpix medium format back!
(Friday, September 6, 2002 - 13:45 EDT)

A press release from Sinar AG of Switzerland announces that it is to sell a 20 megapixel digital back for medium format cameras based on a near 645-frame sized CCD sensor from Kodak.

Details are in the press release below, but there's no mention as yet of pricing or availability. Its probably a case of "If you have to ask, you can't afford it", though - even with the KAF-22000CE 50 x 38.8mm sensor being a tad smaller than the 56 x 41.5mm 645 format, this is still a huge piece of silicon that will equate to lower yields and much higher prices than for example the (comparitively) tiny sensors used in digital SLRs.

Sinar says it "specified and developed" the sensor, which has a whopping single-shot resolution of 22.2 megapixels (that's 5440 x 4080 pixels), in cooperation with Kodak. The press release notes that the sensor is "suitable for applications as a digital replacement of film in modern 645 medium format camera systems, without the need for significant changes in focal lengths", although do note that with the sensor being smaller than a 645 frame the lenses will be somewhat more telephoto than when using film.

Source: Sebastian Pennings / dcviews.com

Original Source Press Release:

Sinar Breaks Through the 20 Million Pixel Limit

Digital imaging technology surpasses traditional film quality

Sinar, worldwide leading manufacturer of high-end digital and analog camera systems, had a large-format, rectangular color sensor developed exclusively for its program. With its resolution of more than 22 million pixels, it achieves an increase in quality never reached before now.

At present, modern prosumer digital cameras that work exclusively in the 1-shot mode use mostly thumb-sized sensors with 5 or even 6 megapixels (MPx) derived from video technology, which yield quite acceptable results. But now as before, demanding tasks that can only be solved with professional flexible systems require larger, qualitatively superior full-frame CCD sensors.

After 1998, 6 MPx sensors were regarded as state of the art (→ Sinarback 23).

Just over a year ago, a square sensor with approximately 36 mm sides square format became available, which featured an impressive 16 MPx (→ Sinarback 44).

But most applications, like advertising photographs, posters, books, reproductions, etc. usually involve rectangular formats, so that they can only use 11 of the 16 million pixels. Transforming this disadvantage into a benefit, certain new systems were introduced this summer, featuring a rectangular-shaped sensor with 11 MPx in a small format (→ Sinarback 43).

The new KAF-22000CE full-frame CCD image sensor, specified and developed by Kodak in cooperation with Sinar is the only one that progresses logically towards large format photography and high resolution. This sensor is built with the latest technology available, significantly improving image quality by setting a record in resolution for the photographic industry.

At the same time it offers additional benefits such as a new color pigmentation for improved color stability, and wider dynamic range, which combined with the high resolution and large optical format, results in unrivaled photographic image quality.

Sinar is the only company that has a large-format sensor with a resolution of 22,195,200 pixels.

With regard to the rectangular format, this is equivalent to double the resolution as compared to any other photo sensor currently available or announced on the market.

The KAF-22000CE CCD image sensor, which is tailored specifically to Sinar requirements, features 4080 x 5440 pixels, each with an edge length of 9 µ. This 4:3 aspect ration rectangular sensor has a total silicon surface area of 38.8 mm x 50.0 mm. This makes this sensor suitable for applications as a digital replacement of film in modern 645 medium format camera systems, without the need for significant changes in focal lengths.

The new KAF-22000CE sensor will be highly advantageous in action- as well as still life photography.

In photographs made in the 1-shot mode (portraits, people, landscapes and numerous other applications), every pixel counts in the prevention of color interpolation errors, edge artifacts and moiré effects. The impressive superiority of the new 22 million pixels sensor will have a dramatic effect on all these applications because, compared to an 11 MPx sensor, there is twice the information available to record the subject's subtleties. The finest textile structures, hair and other moving details with strong contrasts will now be reproduced perfectly, eliminating the need for subsequent manipulation.

Thanks to the large sensor surface, optimal use is made of the image circle and lens resolving power. It is also ideal for medium format cameras.

This large format makes perfect wide-angle photographs possible again with medium format lenses and now it is feasible to use the high-resolution digital sensor the same way rollfilm 120/220 is used. This sensor has also been conceived for applications with Sinar view cameras, so that professional photographers can look forward to "digital film material" that can be used universally for every photographic task. With its unequalled resolving power of more than 22 million pixels, such an image can be used for virtually any purpose.

Visit Sinar at Photokina in Hall 10.2, Stand N/10 O/11

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