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[filmscanners] Re: Foveon

tonysleep@halftone.co.uk wrote:

 > On Mon, 11 Feb 2002 19:24:34 -0800  Arthur Entlich (artistic-1@shaw.ca)
 > wrote:
 >>   By the way, the first camera coming out with the first chip type (7
 >>million pixel equivalent) will be by Sigma, and sell for about $3000 US.
 > This is all very well, and the matrix design and 9um sensor size does
 > a big step forward for information density to begin approaching film
 > the sensor area is still only 20.7 x13.8mm! That's 33% of 35mm area, and
 > therefore deeply uninteresting, to me anyway.

Hey, give these guys time.  CCDs were made it a day either.  Once
production ramps up, the price per unit will drop and yields will likely
improve allowing for larger chips.  Also, there is no specific advantage
to a larger chip if the lenses are very good quality, of course the
smaller chip means a pretty small 1000mm lens to ;-)  Other than keeping
the 35mm standard, in terms of design and lens focal lengths, I can see
some advantage to reducing the image sensor area, if it doesn't reduce
resolution, simply because it can mean a lighter and smaller "kit".

I don't know about you, but my back is beginning to tell me "buy one of
those pentax SLR 110 film cameras" ;-)  If lens size and weight can be
reduced with minimal loss of res and lens quality, darn, I'm happy.

 > I like the way that the blue-sensitive layer is at the top, which should
 > minimise noise, but they haven't said anything about whether optical
 > filtering is used or doping to limit chromatic response of each layer.
 > Optical = an instant hit on sensitivity, where doping could be almost
 > lossless.

I understand it is doping.

 > It might be even cleverer though, depth penetration may be all they
need to
 > know to assess luminance and colour, so neither optical filtering nor
 > discrete layering would be required. That isn't what the graphics
show, but
 > then they probably wouldn't, and it is hinted at in the coverage.

I believe that is the case. I think the graphics were to help some
people to conceptualize the differences in the capture process.  Its
probably difficult for most people to comprehend a filterless "color
separation" system, so the diagrams, I believe are intentionally
inaccurate in that aspect.

 > Nor have they said anything about ODR or bit depth AFAICS, beyond
 > the Konica at ISO100-400, with 800-1600 s/w selectable. That's on a par
 > with vanilla CCD and CMOS.

Again, in fairness, the first "commercial" CCD cameras were beyond
useless.  Here's a brand new technology that takes the process into a
whole new realm, and the first product will likely be an improvement
over the old CCD designs.  Heck, CIS scanners still don't come up to CCD
quality, and CIS scanners sell well, and often for more than CCD in
spite of it.  The sample images, although small, and Jpegged, had some
nice tonal range in them.

 > On the other hand, the potentially huge reduction in colour aliasing
 > grain aliasing) and other artifacts could make for a 'last generation'
 > filmscanner, if Foveon are going to produce strip arrays in sensible

Yes, what about a two or three section scan done in a few seconds?  To
me, this technology changes everything.

 > When's it out, David, and why doesn't Vuescan support it yet, Ed? ;)

I see it now... Polaroid Foveon chip scanner, with Vuescan Deluxe.



 > Regards
 > Tony Sleep
 > http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film
scanner info
 > & comparisons
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