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Panasonic Innovates with Industry-First 8k High-Resolution Global Shutter Using Organic CMOS Sensor

Panasonic has developed a new technology that enables camera operators to shoot 8K high-resolution, 60fps with global shutter. According to their release, this new technology allows for “high picture quality imaging without motion distortion, even in extremely bright scenes”.

Panasonic CMOS Sensor Global Shutter

Organic sensors and global shutters allow for less distortion, but this is the first time both elements are combined. Global shutters reduce distortion by exposing the entire sensor at once, which eliminates skew on fast moving objects. Panasonic’s CMOS sensor uses an organic two-stacked layer of organic photoconductive film (OPF), one layer for the visible spectrum, and the second one for NIR light. All this allows an instant readout of all pixels on each frame.

Panasonic CMOS Sensor Global Shutter

As per Panasonic’s website:

The new technology has the following advantages.

  1. 8K resolution, 60fps framerate, 450k saturation electrons and global shutter function are realized simultaneously.

  2. Switching between high sensitivity mode and high saturation mode is possible using gain switching function.

  3. The ND filter function can be realized steplessly by controlling the voltage applied to the OPF.

This Development is based on the following technologies.

  1. "OPF CMOS image sensor design technology", in that, the photoelectric-conversion part and the circuit part can be designed independently.

  2. "In-pixel capacitive coupled noise cancellation technique" which can suppress pixel reset noise at high speed even at high resolution

  3. "In-pixel gain switching technology" that can achieve high saturation characteristics

  4. "Voltage controlled sensitivity modulation technology" that can adjust the sensitivity by changing the voltage applied to the OPF.

Panasonic holds 135 Japanese patents and 83 overseas patents (including pending) related to this technology.

Panasonic CMOS Sensor Global Shutter

According to Panasonic, the sensor has two different modes: One for high sensitivity shooting, and another for filming saturated images that enables video shooters to capture footage at a higher dynamic range. The 8k sensor seems to be highly aimed at broadcast video shooters and camera operators since there is a built-in internal neutral density filter of up to 5 stops of control, reducing the need for videographers to carry around physical ND filters.

You can read Panasonic’s full (very technical) article regarding their new sensor on their website. I wouldn’t count on the sensor being used on their digital cameras anytime soon (like the GH models) since they claim the technology will be available for implementation in 2020. They plan on utilizing "this OPF CMOS image sensor technology in various applications such as broadcasting cameras, surveillance cameras, industrial inspection cameras, automotive cameras, etc.”


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