A new Canon patent has surfaced on the web, showing that the Japan-based company is still working on a Foveon-like image sensor, in order to add it into its cameras.
The Foveon sensor has received a lot of praises from photographers worldwide. It employs a three-layer construction, which gathers more light and should produce higher-quality images. As a result, Foveon has been purchased by Sigma several years ago and the company has implemented the technology into the Merrill series and other recent cameras.
Canon patent for Foveon-style image sensor technology gets approval in Japan
Since Sigma is not sharing the technology with anybody, Canon has decided to develop a similar one on its own. Source have previously mentioned that the Japan-based corporation is developing such a sensor, but no recent device has used this technology.
Things may change in the future as a Canon patent has just been published in Japan. It has been filed in October 2011 and it describes a three-layer structure, which makes the image sensor more sensitive. The technique allows it to absorb light in a more efficient manner.
The details are scarce, but it seems like the new Canon technology allows more light to go through, but of all spectrum and the sensor will be more sensitive to red light. This means that the red layer will be more sensitive than the others, thanks to a physics effect called resonance.
Lack of evidence suggests that Canon will not implement the technology anytime soon
Unfortunately, these are all the details coming from the patent application. Inside sources have not revealed any information regarding the patent, which means that a Canon camera powered by the Foveon sensor is not as close as we would like it to be.
Additionally, it remains to be seen whether Canon will add the new image sensor to its compact camera lineup or into the DSLR series. It would be quite amazing to see another digital imaging company launching a shooter with a layered image sensor in the future for the sake of the competition and technology advancement.
Either way, do not hold your breath over it, as companies file for patents on a regular basis and it does not mean that the technologies described there will make their way on the market soon after their pattern approval.