Product: Camera: Digital: Image Format
Circular CCD chip for digital cameras   (+7)  [vote for, against]
Free digital cameras from the historic constraints of film formats.

Lenses for digital cameras, being circular, produce a circular image. Therefore, why not have this image captured by a circular chip? This would allow you to snap away and make the choice of whether you wanted a landscape or portrait shot when you come to edit your pictures.
-- hippo, Sep 07 2004

Single pixel digital camera
This camera does not use a matrix of pixels [jmvw, Nov 01 2006]

Sony Unveils Curved Sensor Technology
[hippo, Jun 16 2014]

Or indeed, circular pictures. Anyway, brilliant idea. bun.
-- goff, Sep 07 2004

What an interesting and thought-provoking idea! Makes you wonder why traditional (chemical-exposure) photos are rectangular in the first place given that pretty much all lenses are circular. I guess its the simplicity of producing the paper on wihch they are printed, and of handling it in mechanical development machines which is eased by the rectangular shape. But that doesn't apply for digital cameras viewed on a monitor. Except that most monitors are rectangular. Now then... round monitors! [+]
-- dobtabulous, Sep 07 2004

CCD's are matrices of photosensitive elements. Matrices are naturally square, to make a circular matrix you would have to make a square matrix with each side as long as the diameter of the circle you wish to end up with, then disable all elements outside the radius of the circle. I would think it is now harder to move to a circular format, not easier.

Circular photos would be fun though.
-- wagster, Sep 07 2004

What pixel shape were the circular matrices? And how do you address a hexagonal matrix?
-- wagster, Sep 07 2004

//Now then... round monitors//

But round objects don't stack. You'll be wasting a lot of space in between pictures and windows.

How about hexagonal pictures and monitors?
-- kinemojo, Jul 18 2006

Hexagonal could be good, and it would work out well with a triangular arrangement of RGB pixels.
-- supercat, Jul 18 2006

I'm not sure if you actually meant spherical (i.e., not flat). This would greatly simplify lens design since you would not have to bother with distortion around the edge of the image. After all, our retina is on the inside of a sphere!!
-- cowtamer, Nov 01 2006

The single pixel camera (link) does not use a matrix of pixels and it could be programmed to produce images in any shape, although I don't really see why. The golden rectangle is very pleasant.
-- jmvw, Nov 01 2006

[cowtamer] - I meant a circular matrix of pixels, to capture as much as possible of the circular image projected by the lens. However, your idea of making the matrix both circular and a section of a sphere (to reduce edge distortion) is brilliant. Probably quite hard, as silicon wafers tend to be flattish, but we don't worry about such trivialities here. In theory, a sensor chip which was shaped like a section of a sphere would allow you to build cheaper, simpler lenses too, as they wouldn't have to have an built-in corrections for edge distortion.
-- hippo, Nov 01 2006

"Lenses for digital cameras, being circular, produce a circular image." Make the lenses square then.
-- BJS, Jul 01 2007

Re: Earlier suggestions that a camera CCD should be a shallow, concave section of a sphere instead of being flat (see mine and [cowtamer]'s annotations from 2006) - Sony have now done this (see link), and patented it in 2012.
-- hippo, Jun 16 2014

random, halfbakery