Canon Continues To Patent Curved Sensors– Will You Ever Have One In Your DSLR?

by Bret Hoy1 Comment

While a lot of us are focused on sensor technology, usually we look at the back end of the whole process; the parts where the sensor itself processes the information and sends it down the line to write.

In fact, this is where many camera companies have made their name. Arri’s data pipeline has given their cameras a sizable advantage over others. And yes, since the digital sensor was created, we’ve been having a similar conversation about ways to improve the average sensor.

Well, now we have a whole new path and line of thinking on how to improve the power of your sensor. Maybe add a curve to it?

According to image-sensors-world, there’s a noteworthy advantage to using a curved sensor—and it could result in a 1-stop increase for you.

How does it do this? Well it has to do with the size of the image plane and how that relates to the width of your aperture. Long story short, if you curve a sensor, you can create a larger plane in the same amount of space as before, “allowing optics with a larger aperture.”

This isn’t too likely to affect your DSLR anytime soon, but don’t be surprised if you’re seeing a curved sensor in your phone before too long. That being said, according to, Canon continues to patent curved sensor designs. This bodes well for those invested in the Canon line. And for those not… I can’t imagine it’ll be too much longer before other brands follow.

As we push up against the limits of our data transfers, curving sensors will be the next logical step—one that might take your photos and video to the next level.

Patent: More Curved Sensor Information

Via Canon Rumors:

Canon continues to roll out the curved sensor patents. This one gives more information on how to control the adjustable curvature in previous patents.

Patent publication number 2016-213571 (Google Translated)

  • Release date 2016.12.15
  • Application date 2015.4.30
  • Curved state based on the measurement result of the bending state to control the
  • Measurement method is pressure sensor, laser light
  • We do not know of any cameras coming in the near future that will use curved sensor technology.

Read this article at Canon Rumors “Patent: More Curved Sensor Information”

Curved Sensor Advantages

Via Image Sensors World:

SPIE publishes an article on curved sensor optics benefits “Current trends in miniature camera lens technology” by Dmitry Reshidko and José Sasian. The curved sensor are said to give a 1-stop advantage due to allowing optics with a larger aperture:

Read this article at Image Sensors World “Curved Sensor Advantages”

(cover photo credit: snap from Canon Rumors)


  1. I’m a bit confused. A curved sensor obviously reduces the need for the lens to minimize curvature of field (which, other than having to buy new lenses, is a good thing).

    I suppose significant field curvature would be a reverse trade-off, allowing the lens to be faster.

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