New M12 Lenses Keeping Up With The Latest Sensors
It's incredible to see how the latest generation of Sony CMOS image sensors have become the defacto choice in what seems a very short period of time. Not surprising though considering the advantages these sensors bring with their high dynamic range, faster frame rates and lower cost than their CCD predecessors.
On the face of it, there are no drawbacks as the Sony Exmor and Pregius series are an improvement over CMOS sensors of old in just about every way. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, these sensors produce superb images with low noise - something that CMOS sensors were known for in the past.
There is one area which to some might be considered a drawback. On the one hand the larger sensor size is good for collecting light, on the other it means that it pushes the optical requirements up which can translate to a higher cost, or in some cases, it can be difficult to find a suitable lens.
This has certainly been the case with S-Mount or (M12) miniature lenses which, due to their very small size, generally have a narrow aperture compared to that of their much larger C-Mount cousins. Finding lenses that supported 1/3" or even 1/2" sensors wasn't a problem. The newer, larger IMX sensors start at 1/1.8" format and and are as large as 1.1" and this has been a problem if your application requires the use of M12 lenses.
With the rapidly growing autonomous platform (drones, AUVs, robots) that will effect every walk of life in the not-too-distant-future, where small format cameras often play a critical role, there is an ever growing demand for M12 lenses that can support the latest cameras that use Exmor and Pregius sensors.