It’s safe to assume that Dual Pixel AF (DPAF) has now become Canon’s standard on-sensor auto-focusing technology. Since it made it into a Rebel, it will be featured on almost any future Canon DSLR and MILC (and who knows…maybe also in some high-end PowerShots).
Dual Pixel AF debuted in July 2013 (press release), on the still noteworthy Canon EOS 70D. It took Canon a long time to feature it on other cameras, and even longer to put it into a mirrorless camera. The EOS M5 and EOS M6 are the first Canon MILCs to feature it. And hell if it makes a difference on a mirrorless system. If only Canon had used it before on their mirrorless offering.
Interesting Canon research paper spotted by Image Sensors World. Canon is working on a 2/3″ sensor with a global shutter.
The paper is named
A 1.8e-rms Temporal Noise Over 110dB Dynamic Range 3.4μm Pixel Pitch Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor with Dual-Gain Amplifiers, SS-ADC and Multiple-Accumulation Shutter,by Masahiro Kobayashi, Yusuke Onuki, Kazunari Kawabata, Hiroshi Sekine,Toshiki Tsuboi, Yasushi Matsuno, Hidekazu Takahashi, Toru Koizumi, Katsuhito Sakurai, Hiroshi Yuzurihara, Shunsuke Inoue, Takeshi Ichikawa at ISSCC 2017 on Feb. 6, 2017.
A more in-depth analysis of the technology discussed in the paper can be read at Harvest Imaging:
[…] the presented sensor has a funnel-shaped light guide structure above the pixels, an optimized light shield to keep the PLS low. To enhance the dynamic range of the sensor, the columns are provided with a gain stage that automatically choses between a gain of 1x or 4x. With some clever timing of the transfer of the PPD and with an increased readout speed of the sensor, extra new option can be added, such as wider dynamic range and in-pixel coded exposure.
Below are some slides from the paper presentation.
These are the hacks I love most. Alexey Kljatov took a Canon A650 (2007) and did his own thing mounting a Helios 44M-5 58mm f/2 lens on the camera. To make this hack really fit for macro photography, the lens was attached backwards.
The hack appears to be made quickly and doesn’t look neat. However, it produces amazing images like the snowflake photo below. That’s the real hacker spirit: take gear, modify it following an idea, realise something awesome.
Kudos Alexey Kljatov for the cool hack! Be sure to have a look at his website for more amazing macro shots done with the hacked Canon A650, and to learn the how to of his macro setup plus a ton of information about macro photography.
First things first. What is the Dragonfly Telephoto Array?
Dragonfly is an innovative, multi-lens array designed for ultra-low surface brightness astronomy at visible wavelengths. Commissioned in 2013 with only three lenses, the array is growing in size and proving capable of detecting extremely faint, complex structure around galaxies. The most recent upgrade—completed in 2016—saw Dragonfly grow to 48 lenses in two clusters.
Last time I reported about Dragonfly it had 10 lenses mounted, now the lenses are 48. To build the Dragonfly, scientists used Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lenses, because of “unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses“. I guess the lenses were modified according to the scientists’ needs.
Next, what is the Dragonfly Telephoto Array good for?
Dragonfly is designed to reveal the faint structure [of the universe] by greatly reducing scattered light and internal reflections within its optics. It achieves this using commercially available Canon 400mm lenses with unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses.
Also, Dragonfly images a galaxy through multiple lenses simultaneously—akin to a dragonfly’s compound eye—enabling further removal of unwanted light. The result is an image in which extremely faint galaxy structure is visible.
Well, scientists discovered a previously unknown Dark Galaxyby using the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. The galaxy was named after the array. As The Atlantic reports:
Dragonfly 44 is a dim galaxy, with one star for every hundred in our Milky Way. But it spans roughly as much space as the Milky Way. In addition, it’s heavy enough to rival our own galaxy in mass, according to results published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters at the end of August. That odd combination is crucial: Dragonfly 44 is so dark, so fluffy, and so heavy that some astronomers believe it will either force a revision of our theories of galaxy formation or help us understand the properties of dark matter, the mysterious stuff that interacts with normal matter via gravity and not much else.
The discovery was made by astronomersPieter van Dokkum of Yale University and Roberto Abraham of the University of Toronto. They did not use Canon sensors, tough. The lenses are mounted on SBIG STF-8300M CCD cameras. The array began imaging targets in 2013 from its home at the New Mexico Skies hosting facility.
If you are interested and want to know more, go for the videos below.
Cool hack by Ilya Titov: a keychain sized gadget that allows you to set a timelapse triggering scheme for your Canon DSLR.
All you need is a small game kit called Attiny Arcade, a small IR LED which will be used to send commands to the camera, and the necessay code to operate the remote. The software is open source and can be downloaded here.