Sunday, August 22, 2010

The G12, again...

There has been a leak on the new G12, surprisingly from Cnet Asia this time. Numerous sites have posted the leak, so I will not repeat it here. In summary,

- There will not be a new sensor, it is likely to use the same sensor as the S95, i.e. pretty much the same as the current G11
- A couple of new features here and there include HDR and HD movie (720p) and multi aspect shooting
- The most significant cosmetic change is a new dial, similar to Canon dSLR in front of the shutter button

Now, here is something I learnt from all this. Canon do not make their own PnS sensors and from the looks of it, they do not plan to do so. Therefore, any sensor they use in their cameras are off-the-shelf parts from the likes of Sony.

Sony hasn't announced any new sensors since the BSI-CMOS one which is used in the Ixus series, including the recent Ixus 1000. It does make sense for Canon to reuse the sensor in G11 or the BSI-CMOS one. Like I said in the previous post, it would be really funny if Canon decide to use a smaller sensor in the G series than the one used in the Nokia N8 smart phone :)

For the upcoming G12, I only hope for the following:

- New Digic and circuitry to improve noise processing
- More NR options
- Improve on details by tweaking lens and perhaps AA filter. The G11 lost out to the LX3 on details.
- Faster shot to shot speed
- Faster AF speed and accuracy
- Reduce clipping
- Support longer exposure (30sec) in Av mode
- Support remote trigger
- Graduated ND on top of built in ND

So there you go, there is still hope that the G12 can be a significant improvement to the G11...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Speculating the Canon G12 CMOS Sensor

It turns out, my hunch was rather accurate. Canonrumors reported the rumor a few days ago, giving the G12 the following specs:

- CMOS Sensor (10mpx BSI?)
- HD Video (1080p?)

... and ofcourse the S95 will follow suit with a similar spec.

Looking at the specs, I cannot help but speculate at what could be Canon's strategy in the new G12...

Traditionally, Canon do not create custom sensors for their PnS range like they do for their dSLRs, though I really hope this will change. If it is indeed a 10mpx CMOS sensor, then this should be the same one from Sony used in the IXUS 300HS/SD4000. This IMX050CQK is a 1/2.3" sensor which seems to have roughly the same high ISO performance as the 1/1.7" CCD from S90/G11.

The only added advantage is that it supports HD Video and faster fps in still mode, due to the faster CMOS readout speed, while consuming less power at that. Since this is a smaller sensor, Canon could create a faster lens at the same size or reduce the overall size of the G series camera. Strangely, despite being used by numerous manufacturers, the performance of this sensor varies across all the different models. It could be that the true potential of this sensor has not been released and it has more to offer.

Let us now explore two possible scenarios.

Scenario A - Canon uses the same Sony sensor as the IXUS 300HS , the benefits of using the IMX050CQK 10mpx 1/2.3" sensor are:

- True HD Video (1080p)
- Faster FPS
- Longer Battery Life
- Faster Lens (maybe f2.0)
- Longer zoom is possible
- Wider angle is possible
- Reduce overall size

However, being a smaller sensor, lens sharpness, bokeh, and other qualities may suffer.

Scenario B - Should Canon use a brand new CMOS sensor at 1/1.7" or bigger, things could get even more exciting. Here are the benefits:

- True HD Video
- Faster FPS
- Longer Battery Life
- Better Bokeh, than 1/2.3"
- Even Better High ISO Performance (potentially)

Decisions decisions decisions... Someone once said 'Engineering is all about making the right compromise'

One interesting thing to note is that if the G12 does indeed have a 1/2.3" sensor, it would have a smaller sensor than the Nokia N8 smart Phone!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

No Rumors, Just a Hunch...

In the past two years, Canon has been announcing the new G series right about this time. The G10 was announced in Aug 2008 while the G11 was announced in Aug 2009. Will we see an announcement in Aug 2010? There is after all, already news of some new Powershots to be announced on 26th Aug... Could it be?

Canonrumors reported that the S90, which was announced together with the G11 on Aug 2009 was already retired...

Will my dream G12 be announced in a couple of week's time?