New 29MP full frame CCD sensor from Kodak

Kodak 29MP CCD sensor (KAI-29050)

Kodak 29MP CCD sensor (KAI-29050)

Kodak announced a new 29MP full frame (35mm) CCD sensor. The KAI-29050 sensor is "the highest resolution CCD image sensor based on Interline Transfer technology".

Highlights of the new sensor:

  • features a true electronic (or global) shutter
  • has a "plug-and-play" design for easy implementation
  • 5.5-micron pixel
  • supports up to 4 images per second
  • 2x to 4x increase in light sensitivity compared to a standard Bayer color sensor

Full press release after the break:

New 29-megapixel device joins full family of high-performance CCD image sensors on display at Vision 2010

ROCHESTER, N.Y., November 2, 2010 - Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) has set a new benchmark for high-resolution image capture with announcement of the KODAK KAI-29050 Image Sensor, the highest resolution CCD image sensor based on Interline Transfer technology.

With 29 million pixels, the KODAK KAI-29050 Image Sensor provides the critical level of detail required in demanding applied imaging applications such as industrial inspection, aerial photography, and security. Based on Interline Transfer CCD technology, the device combines exceptional image quality with a true electronic (or “global“) shutter - allowing high-quality image capture without the need for a mechanical shutter.

The KAI-29050 is the latest product to be based on the KODAK TRUESENSE 5.5-Micron Interline Transfer CCD Platform, an advanced technology that provides significant advances in pixel size, frame rate, and image quality. The entire family of products - ranging in resolution from 1 to 29 megapixels, and in 17 different resolution and color combinations - can be supported from a single set of electronics, simplifying camera design for manufacturers and shortening time-to-market for new camera products. The KAI-29050, as well as Kodak's entire portfolio of Image Sensor products, will be on display at the Vision 2010 Trade Show, which opens Nov. 9 in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Camera manufacturers have responded very favorably to the 'plug-and-play' design of our 5.5-micron pixel product family, and have encouraged us to continue extending this platform to additional formats to allow them to serve an even broader set of customers,“ said Chris McNiffe, general manager of Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions group. “Our new 29-megapixel image sensor nearly quadruples the resolution available in this product family, and brings the wide-ranging features of this platform to applications that require the highest level of image detail. With a portfolio that spans from 1 to 29 million pixels, customers now have great flexibility in selecting the best image sensor for their application without the need to sacrifice image quality or performance.“

The 29-megapixel KODAK KAI-29050 Image Sensor sets a new benchmark for high-resolution, low noise image capture for applied imaging markets. Designed in a 35mm optical format and supporting frame rates of up to four images per second, the new device shares the progressive-scan readout, broad dynamic range and excellent smear rejection available from other members of the KODAK TRUESENSE 5.5-Micron Interline Transfer CCD product family. Like other members of the 5.5-micron pixel portfolio, the image sensor is housed in a Pin Grid Array (PGA) package that shares pin-out and electrical definitions with the entire family of products, including the use of one package pin that can be used to identify the specific sensor being used. Lower resolution members of the portfolio, including the 1-megapixel KODAK KAI-01050 and 2-megapixel KODAK KAI-02050 Image Sensors, are also now available in a common Ceramic Leadless Chip Carrier (CLCC) package that enables development of more compact camera designs without sacrificing imaging performance.

This high degree of portfolio integration - based on the use of a common, high-performance pixel as well a shared package design - allows manufacturers to develop a single set of “plug-and-play“ camera electronics that can be used with all members of the image sensor family, simplifying camera development and shortening time to market for a full suite of cameras.

The KAI-29050 joins two other products - the 720p format KODAK KAI-01150 Image Sensor and the 1080p format KODAK KAI-02150 Image Sensor - as the first devices to use the KODAK TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern. This advanced technology provides a 2x to 4x increase in light sensitivity compared to a standard Bayer color sensor by adding panchromatic (or “clear“) pixels to the standard red, green, and blue elements that form the image sensor array. By offering full color image capture with the light sensitivity normally associated with a monochrome camera, this technology provides a critical performance advantage for light starved applications that require access to color detail. All three devices are also available in standard Bayer color and monochrome configurations.

The KODAK KAI-29050 Image Sensor is sampling today in limited quantities, with production scheduled for mid-2011. The KODAK KAI-01050 and KAI-02050 Image Sensors are available today in PGA packages, with CLCC packages scheduled to be available Q1, 2011. Engineering Grade devices of the KODAK KAI-01150 Image Sensor are available today in both PGA and CLCC packages, with Standard Grade devices scheduled to be available Q1, 2011. The KODAK KAI-02150 Image Sensor is available today in both PGA and CLCC packages.

Via Image-sensors-world

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  • DolphLundgren

    Leica M10 …

    • This is what I was thinking, but we are probably at least 2 years away from a new M10. I think they will do a M9.2 first.

    • Huggs



    “plug & play” !!! this is great news !!! I am also hoping for deeper color rendition 🙂

  • Erik

    Nikon D4?

    • Just A Thought

      It would make sense to use a CCD on a top end D4. This way those who can afford high speed glass can actual benefit from it. An f1.2 or F1.4 lens on a Cmos camera is not the same as when used on a CCD camera. That is huge benefit for Leica M series digital rangefinder and for medium format cameras.

      With Kodak’s non-Bayer filter layout (has many clear pixels) the noise levels might approach Cmos territory.

      Keeping the Top End FX line as CCD and the DX models Cmos makes a lot of sense. Wonder how Kodak’s pricing is compared to Sony’s.

      • WoutK89

        But it will not make it in D4 because of the low fps (only 4fps). It might end up in something like a D4x if it delivers the quality of a D3x.

      • Sloaah

        It won’t make much difference on something like a D4. The distance between the rear element of the lens and the sensor is sufficiently large (due to the mirror) that the sensor design will not significantly affect vignetting. The case is different with M series cameras, which lie incredibly close the sensor plane. A 1/3 of a stop vignetting (in the case of the D3) is barely anything, and will never be noticeable in real-world photography.

  • Eugene

    Leica R10? Or R solution?

  • Inge-M.

    Olympus modular camera by FF sensor modul !!!

  • Just A Thought

    Wish Kodak would go a step further and provide the same chip without any colour filter. That would raise light sensitivity even more. Then they could also get rid of the AA filter. Pop that in a camera body and you have a B&W camera with high resolution and super High ISO performance. The camera would start at ISO 6400 (instead of ISO 100 or 200) and go up from there. Kodak used to produce a B&W DSLR. I rather buy a camera like that rather than a Rangefinder or EVIL camera.

    • blueget

      Quote from the Press Release above: “All three devices are also available in standard Bayer color and monochrome configurations”

  • Nikky

    Hey, cool stuff. So who’s Kodak usually doing business with?

    At 4/s the global shutter will certainly not solve any rolling shutter problems in vids. Also there are few cam manufacturers who skip video nowadays…. The CMOSIS ( has 300/s with global shutter! I’m no specialist here, can anyone tell me about the technical differences between the two, and why the one CMOS sensor allows the global shutter, and why the other, a CCD, from which global shutter natively comes from as I understand it, is so slow?

    From what I understand, the big advantage of global shutter for us is a real high flash-synch time, right?! But as I said, without video capability it won’t really hit the mass market of photography.

  • Camaman

    Global shutter? Wow wasn’t this meant to be “in developent” for a while longer
    This is surprising! To me atleast…:-)

    I am curious to see what camera will use this…
    Other than Leica, whou would be a contender?
    Or will kodak just use this to showcase its technology to others?

    • WoutK89

      Global Shutter on a CCD was pretty common in my knowledge.

  • Sam

    New 29MP full frame CCD sensor from Kodak
    …will cut a bitch.

  • spam

    Looks excellent, but it’s difficult to see who would buy it without video output, except for Leica. And even Leica might want Live View in the next M-model.

    • DolphLundgren

      A Leica cam with LV? Yup, somewhere around 2020 maybe …

  • Ken Elliott

    I think the really interesting thing is the plug-and-play aspect. What Kodak is saying to the camera manufacturer is “this mount lets you design the support systems once, then plug in new sensors as they come out. Someone like Leica could offer you a update option, where they simply pop out your old sensor and pop in the new sensor. This might be something a medium format type design could allow a user to do himself.

    I’d love to have the option of swapping sensors between low ISO/high density and high ISO/low density.

  • Albert

    Not for a nikon d4, ok.
    But excellent for a reasonable priced new FF Nikon (d700 style, eos 5d price).
    Without video, I buy it NOW !!!!!

  • jeorcal

    we need 16 bits , no AA filter , no bayer, and live view

    • Kim Bentsen

      … and x-sync at all shutter speeds. An electronic shutter will be perfect.

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