Canon Believes The Future Is HEIF Image File Format And Not JPEG – Here Is Why

HEIF Image File

Canon seems to be committed to the HEIF image file format over the traditional JPEG format.

Let’s start with what the HEIF file format is. According to Wikipedia:

High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), also known as High Efficiency Image Coding (HEIC), is a file format for individual images and image sequences. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is defined by MPEG-H Part 12 (ISO/IEC 23008-12). The MPEG group claims that twice as much information can be stored in a HEIF image as in a JPEG image of the same size, resulting in a better quality image. HEIF also supports animation, and is capable of storing more information than an animated GIF at a small fraction of the size.

So far so good. But why would Canon embrace HEIF over JPEG? In the video below, Gordon Laing from Camera Labs discusses what sets HEIF apart and what the differences are compared to JPEG.

What do you think, do you prefer JPEG or HEIF?

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Teardown (complex beast with organized complexity)

Canon Firmware Update RF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS Review

Roger Cicala over at Lens Rentals tore down the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens for the EOS R full frame mirrorless system. This is the stuff nerd dreams are made off.

It seems Canon was (again) able to impress people with their completely new lens design. There have been discussions and speculations about Canon RF lenses compared to Canon EF lenses (have a look here). Once more the people at Lens Rentals prove that RF mount lenses have an entirely new design, and are in every meaning impressive.

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L is a complex beast, but you get a quick feel for it being organized complexity, and it’s actually a much simpler layout than those other lenses. Some of that is from the improved optical design; there’s less glass floating around. Some of it is the use of linear focusing motors.

[…] This lens was a new design from the ground up. There’s no ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ holdovers. That’s a lot more work for the designers, but the result is a beautifully engineered, fully modern lens. It’s clean, functional, and straightforward.

[…] It’s obviously very robustly engineered from a mechanical standpoint. The internal composites are strong as hell. There are double cams, rods, and posts everywhere. There’s no play in any moving parts. We can’t imagine there will ever be play in the moving parts unless you run over it with a truck. 

See the whole teardown at Lens Rentals.

More RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS coverage is listed here

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy

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Canon vs Sony vs Fuji vs Nikon: Continuous 4K Video Shooting With Eye AF

Eye Af

Geek alert! A Canon vs Sony vs Fuji vs Nikon shootout on Eye AF performance.

Here is a 22 minutes video where Hidema Nakajima compares the Eye AF of various mirrorless cameras. To be more precise, he compares the Eye AF performance while shooting 4K video. The compared cameras are the Canon EOS R, Nikon Z 6, Sony a9, and Fujifilm X-T3.

Canon released firmware updates for the Canon EOS R and EOS RP that dramatically improved AF performance. More Canon EOS R Eye AF comparison reviews are here and here.

Here Is How Canon’s Defocus Smoothing Technology Works (featured on new RF 85mm f/1.2L)

Canon RF 85mm F/1.2L DS Defocus Smoothing

Today Canon announced the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L DS lenses for the EOS R system.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L DS features Defocus Smoothing technology (the “DS” in the moniker). What Defocus Smoothing is about and how it works is explained in the videos below.

Canon Has Five New Super Specialised Image Sensors On Offer

Image Sensors

Canon added five new specialised image sensors to their lineup.

Canon’s superspecialised image sensors are used in industry applications, science, space imagery, and surveillance. To see our coverage of Canon specialised image sensors click here.

Canon 1 Inch 12MP CMOS 4K Sensor

Color CMOS solid-state image sensor, 12 million effective pixels in a square pixel array. Supports read speeds of 24 fps when reading all pixels.

  • Filter Type – RGB
  • Sensitivity – 22,000 e/lx/sec @Analog gain x1 (TBD)
  • Sensor Size – 1 inch
  • Number of Effective Pixels – 4000x 3000 (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Pixel Size – 3.2 um x 3.2 um
  • Shutter – Rolling shutter 12 bit, 24 fps (All Pixels)
  • Maximum Frame Rate – 10 bit, 60 fps (4K2K)
  • Saturation 22,000 e (TBD) @ Analog gain x 1
  • Dark Random Noise – 2.8 e rms @Analog gain x16 (TBD)
  • Dark Current – 17 e/sec (TBD) @package reverse side 60℃
  • Drive Frequency – 27 MHz (recommended)
  • Output Channels – Data: 12 lanes, Clock: 2 lanes
  • Output Format – LVDS output maximum 648 Mbps @12 bit
  • Power Consumption – 540 mW(Typ.) @All pixels readout 24fps (12bit)
  • Power Supply Voltages 3.3V, 1.8 V
  • Package Type – 150 pin ceramic LGA
  • Package Size – 25.10 mm x 22.20 mm x 2.99 mm

Canon 1/1.7 Inch 12MP CMOS Sensor

Color CMOS solid-state image sensor, 9.3mm measured diagonally, 12 million effective pixels in a square pixel array. Supports 4K/2K video at 30 fps and 12MP still images.

  • Filter Type – RGB
  • Sensitivity – 8,900 e/lx/sec @Analog gain x1 (TBD)
  • Sensor Size – 1 / 1.7 inch
  • Number of Effective Pixels 4000x 3000 (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Pixel Size – 1.86 um x 1.86 um
  • Shutter – Rolling shutter 12 bit, 15 fps (All Pixels)
  • Maximum Frame Rate – 11 bit, 30 fps (4K2K)
  • Saturation – 12,000 e (TBD) @Analog gain x1
  • Dark Random Noise – 1.3 e rms @Analog gain x16 (TBD)
  • Dark Current – 7 e/sec (TBD) @package reverse side 60℃
  • Drive Frequency – 27 MHz (recommended)
  • Output Channels – Data: 12 lanes, Clock: 4 lanes
  • Output Format – LVDS output maximum 648 Mbps @12bit
  • Power Consumption – 0.52 W (Typ.) @All pixels readout 15 fps (12bit)
  • Power Supply Voltages 3.5V, 3.4V, 3.3 V, 1.8 V
  • Package Type – 129 pin ceramic LGA
  • Package Size – 15.80 mm x 14.90 mm x 2.10 mm

Canon 1/2.32 Inch 2.8MP High Dynamic Range CMOS Sensor

CMOS type of solid-state image sensor (3U3MRXSAA), 1/2.32″ pixel array of 2.81M. Rolling electronic shutter for video to control the charge storage period. Can output effective 1936 x 1456 pixels video at 60 fps and 12bit via 4 channels of digital signal output. Includes HDR ( High Dynamic Range)  drive features. 3U3MRXSAAC has an RGB on-chip color filter.

  • Filter Type – RGB
  • Sensitivity (e/lx/sec) 25,000 (Green) @Analog  gain x1 (TBD)
  • Sensor Size – 1 / 2.32 inch equivalent
  • Number of Effective Pixels 1936 x 1456 (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Pixel Size – 3.2 um x 3.2 um
  • Scan Type – Progressive scan
  • Shutter – Rolling shutter 120 dB, HDR
  • Dynamic Range – 75dB, Normal
  • Maximum Frame Rate (All Pixels) – 60 fps, Normal, 30 fps, HDR
  • Operating Temperature – -40℃ ~ 105℃(-40°F ~ 221°F)
  • Saturation – 23,000 e @Analog gain x1 (TBD)
  • Dark Random Noise – 2.7 e rms @Analog gain x4 (TBD)
  • Dark Current – 13 e/sec @Analog gain x 1, 60℃ (TBD), TBD @room temperature
  • Drive Frequency – 24MHz (recommended)
  • Output Channels – Data: 4 lanes, Clock: 1 lane MIPI-CSI2 output maximum 576 Mbps
  • Output Format – @in all-pixel operating mode 12bit, 60fps
  • Power Consumption – 300mW (Typ.) @using all pixels 60 fps (TBD)
  • Power Supply Voltages 3.3 V, 1.8 V, 1.2V
  • Package Type – 94 pin ceramic LGA
  • Package Size – 15.07 mm x 13.37 mm x 2.74 mm 

Canon Super 35mm 9.34MP 4K CMOS Sensor

Color CMOS solid-state image sensor, Super 35mm (30mm diagonally), 9.24 million effective pixels in a square pixel array. Supports speeds of 60 fps when reading all pixels, high-sensitivity 4K.

  • Filter Type – RGB
  • Sensitivity – 72,000 e/lx/sec @Analog gain x1 (TBD)
  • Sensor Size – super 35mm (Diagonal30 mm)
  • Number of Effective Pixels 4112x 2248 (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Pixel Size – 6.4 um x 6.4 um
  • Shutter – Rolling shutter
  • Maximum Frame Rate 12bit, 60 fps (All Pixels)
  • Saturation – 39,000 e(TBD) @Analog gain x1
  • Dark Random Noise –  2.7 e rms @Analog gain x 8 (TBD)
  • Dark Current – 54 e/sec(TBD) @package reverse side 60℃
  • Drive Frequency – 72 MHz (recommended)
  • Output Channels – Data: 24 lanes, Clock: 2 lanes
  • Output Format – LVDS output maximum 576 Mbps @12 bit
  • Power Consumption – 2 W (Typ.) @All pixels readout 60 fps
  • Power Supply Voltages 3.3V, 2.1 V, 1.8 V, 1.0V, 0.85V, -1.2V
  • Package Type – 154 pin ceramic LCC
  • Package Size – 46.00 mm x 38.00 mm x 3.59 mm

Canon Full Frame 50MP CMOS Sensor

Full frame CMOS solid-state color image sensor (43.2mm diagonally), 50.6 million effective pixels in asquare pixel array. High definition, low noise, and reduced dark current.

  • Filter Type – RGB
  • Sensitivity – 32,000 e/lx/sec @Analog gain x16 (TBD)
  • Sensor Size – 35mm Full size (36 mm x 24 mm)
  • Number of Effective Pixels 8688x 5792 (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Pixel Size – 4.14 um x 4.14 um
  • Shutter – Rolling shutter
  • Maximum Frame Rate – 6.8 fps (All Pixels)
  • Saturation – 38,000 e (TBD)
  • Dark Random Noise – 2.5 e rms @Analog gain x16 (TBD)
  • Dark Current – 9.6 e/sec (TBD) @package reverse side 60℃
  • Drive Frequency – 24 MHz (recommended)
  • Output Channels – Data: 16 ch
  • Output Format – 16 ch analog outputs
  • Power Consumption – 1.5 W (Typ.) @All pixels readout 6.8 fps
  • Power Supply Voltages 5.5V, 4.8V, 3.3V, 2.0V, 1.8 V, 1.5 V, 1.3V, 1.2V, -1.4V
  • Package Type – 104 pin ceramic QFP
  • Package Size – 55.2 mm x 44.35 mm x 2.74 mm

Below you see the full list of Canon’s specialised image sensors, and their area of application. The first five image sensors in the list are the new ones (in bold)

ChromaIFMax Frame Rate
2.8M HDR colorRolling-shutter1 / 2.32 “2.8M3.2RGBMIPI CSI260Surveillance
Full size 50M
Rolling-shutter35mm Full Size50M4.14RGBAnalog
/ Surveillance
1 / 1.7 inch
12M color
Rolling-shutter1 / 1.7 “12M1.86RGBLVDS30
1 inch 12M
Rolling-shutter1 “12M3.2RGBLVDS60
4K color
5MGS monochromeGlobal-shutter2/3 “5M3.4B / WLVDS120Industly
5MGS colorGlobal-shutter2/3 “5M3.4RGBLVDS120Industly
/ Surveillance
5MGS RGBIRGlobal-shutter2/3 “5M3.4RGB / IRLVDS120Industly
/ Life science
120M monochromeRolling-shutterAPS-H120M2.2B / WLVDS9.4Industly
120M RGBRolling-shutterAPS-H120M2.2RGBLVDS9.4Surveillance
/ Industly
120M RGBIRRolling-shutterAPS-H120M2.2RGB / IRLVDS9.4Life science
/ Surveillance
35mm FHD
Rolling-shutter35mm Full Size2M19B / WAnalog
Space science
/ Surveillance
Rolling-shutter35mm Full Size2M19RGBAnalog
Space science
/ Surveillance

Source: Canon News

This Image Sensor Makes It Virtually Impossible To Blow Highlights

Image Sensor

Researchers at the German Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart have developed an image sensor that makes it almost impossible to blow highlights with.

What this image sensor does, is using “self resetting pixels“, i.e. pixels that don’t clip when they get saturated but instead starts over and counts the times it has started over. From the research paper’s abstract:

Conventional CMOS image sensors with a linear transfer characteristic only have a limited dynamic range (DR) of about 60–70 dB. To extend the dynamic range considerably, the already successfully demonstrated concept of a linear self-reset pixel was employed in this work. With the self-reset concept the limit of the maximum analyzable photo generated charge (Qmax) during the exposure time is extended to a multiple of the saturation charge of the photo diode (Qsat) by asynchronous self-resets of the photo diode. Additionally, the remaining charge at the end of the exposure time is evaluated to increase the resolution of the opto-electronic conversion. Thus we achieved pixels with a DR of more than 120 dB combined with an improved low light sensitivity using a pinned photodiode.

In other words: you don’t have to worry about your exposure in order to save highlights in your image. Instead, you can set the best exposure for your subject and safely snap knowing that no highlights will be blown out.

This image sensor is a prototype and likely far from going into production. Never the less, it’s a technological innovation that sooner or later will be featured on image sensors.

The full paper “Realization and opto-electronic Characterization of linear Self-Reset Pixel Cells for a high dynamic CMOS Image Sensor” by Stefan Hirsch, Markus Strobel, Wolfram Klingler, Jan Dirk Schulze Spüntrup, Zili Yu, and Joachim N. Burghartz, is available here.

Let’s hope it’s something Canon will research too.

[via Image Sensors World]