Digital cameras use either CCD or CMOS image sensors to capture light, but soon they may be replaced by a new type of sensor called QuantumFilm.
Developed by US company InVisage and invented by University of Toronto's professor Ted Sargent, QuantumFilm promises up to four times more light sensitivity than conventional image sensors. Its application is perhaps most significant in camera phones, where image quality remains an issue due to the small sensor. Because of its high sensitivity to light, a small QuantumFilm is said to be able to capture and deliver better-looking photos.
What will be interesting is its possible application in digital cameras. Right now, certain point-and-shoots employ backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS chips for improved sensitivity, but such sensors can capture only 80 per cent of the light that strikes it. QuantumFilm, on the other hand, apparently allows 100 per cent of light to be recorded, according to InVisage. Also, the firm claims that it is cheaper to manufacture QuantumFilm compared with other image sensors.
Given that BSI sensors were announced two years ago and made its debut in digital cameras last year, we think it shouldn't be long before QuantumFilm makes its appearance in shooters soon. But we are guessing the earliest we'll see it in action will be next year.