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[filmscanners] RE: Newish Digital Tech



Hi Paul,

> The Foveon chip manages to use more light than a conventional
> array, because
> in the latter, each pixel (even if no space was wasted on
> interconnect)

I am not convinced of that, and there is no physical evidence that proves
that, at least publicly available, that I have seem.  It's all speculation.
The non-light passing elements of the cells may occupy a very area portion
of the cell, where in the Bayer pattern sensor, that can be done from
underneath, and won't interfere with the usable light area of the cell.

> has
> to discard more than half the light energy that hits it.

What ever the number is, it's a "so what" though...red herring as it were.
The Bayer pattern sensor is only designed to sense the light of a particular
color at a certain spatial point.  Images from Bayer pattern imaging sensors
have not shown to be inferior to those of scanning cameras, or the Foveon,
with respect to same sensor area comparisons. Typically, scanning cameras
will be better as they have a much higher resolution.

> The Foveon patent
> claims that their system makes use of virtually all the visible light that
> hits it,

That is not a relevant issue in a patent, and can be simply pure hype.  They
can claim what they want in a patent, and it doesn't have to be true.

> and that sounds reasonable when you consider how it works.

I am considering how it works, and I am not finding that to be the case.

> At this point, it's all theory, because the Foveon chip hasn't
> gone through
> nearly as much refinement as conventional CCDs. However, it's
> heartening to
> see that the damn thing pretty much worked on the first try,

That depends on what you mean by "worked" and by "first try".  I am sure
they went through many process changes, and have made many sensors before
releasing a product.  Worked?  Check the low light performance.  It's
horrid.  See DPReview, the Sigma D-9 discussion, and check some of the
images.

> I
> think it will
> have a good chance of doing what it promises, which is to take over the
> world of digital photography. We'll see.

Yes, we will.  It simply doesn't solve any problems of significance, which
is the issue I have with it, as well as the color rendition and now light
performance are horrid from what I've seen.

> However, back to the original point: I'm not sure it will automatically
> become the preferred device for film scanners, because they
> require linear,
> not 2D, sensors, and operating in low light levels isn't an issue--you can
> always make the illuminant brighter.

Density range may be an issue as well.

Regards,

Austin

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