Fujifilm unveiled a new "three-in-one" sensor that combines the benefits of high resolution, high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. Fujifilm claims the new Super CCD EXR sensor will enable them to create compact cameras with much better image quality but they haven't announced any products yet.
There is strong demand in the digital camera market to increase the number of pixels on a sensor, which, all too often, is used as a convenient yardstick for image quality. While introducing excellent 12-megapixel cameras such as the FinePix F50fd and the FinePix F100fd, Fujifilm has had great success in increasing pixel density while at the same time controlling noise and optimizing sensitivity. Fujifilm’s campaign to improve overall image quality, while at the same time increasing sensor resolution, has been coordinated under the program of ‘Real Photo Technology.’
‘Real Photo Technology’ is underpinned by the belief that experienced photographers, many brought up using famous reversal films like FUJICHROME Velvia or PROVIA, understand that true image quality is about a combination of many factors like tone, hue, color fidelity, dynamic range, sharpness, and resolution. It is well known that increasing the pixel count on a sensor actually makes it more difficult to achieve high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. As the photodiode gets smaller, the problems of increased noise, blooming and clipping increase. Super CCD EXR
It is widely believed that ‘high resolution’ and ‘high sensitivity’ are irreconcilable opposites, and impossible to optimize on the same sensor, particularly for compact cameras, where sensors are necessarily smaller. High quality pictures are dependent on the subject. Excellent low light pictures need high sensitivity; high contrast pictures need wide dynamic range, while fine details, like the leaves of a tree or strands of a model’s hair, depend on high resolution. Fujifilm engineers set about the task of building a Flexible sensor to match the demands of the photographer. The end-goal is to produce a sensor that works as close to that of the human eye as possible. Whatever nuance of color or sensitivity of tone that makes the scene so special to the photographer should be the continual challenge of the sensor engineer. The EXR sensor is essentially a switchable sensor; changing its complex electronic behavior to suit the subject, changing its characteristics as the photographer demands, and producing the very best picture without making compromises.
“Super CCD EXR” is the latest new generation of Super CCD to be produced by Fujifilm. Over the years, Fujifilm has excelled in high resolution sensors through ‘HR’ technology (F50fd, F100fd) and high sensitivity/wide dynamic range through ‘SR’ sensors (S3 Pro, S5 Pro). The direction in the future will be to combine HR and SR technology together to produce one universal sensor suitable for all high quality photography.