Canon has announced a global shutter CMOS sensor which uses a re-designed pixel structure aimed at boosting the chips dynamic range. Using a global shutter presents a clear benefit especially for videography applications, as it doesn’t suffer from the distortion effects that a standard ‘progressive scan’ sensor does when capturing fast-moving subjects.
Its been widely reported that Olympus and Panasonic have also been working on a global shutter for some time and there were hopes one would appear in the soon to be announced EM1 II.
This announcement by Canon is potentially exciting but its still early days.
Global shutter designs have tended to offer less dynamic range than their conventional counterparts. Canon says that the sensor’s drive system (ie the way it’s read out) increases the amount of light the sensor can capture before overexposing. This is combined with a more efficient pixel structure and ‘optimized internal configuration’ aims to reduce noise and increase sensitivity. The result in pratical terms should be improved dynamic range, something many photographers seek and want.