Jump to content


Photo

New digital filter/sensor design from Kodak?


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:42 AM

Filter Pledges Crisp Photos in Low Light

Jun 14, 12:12 AM (ET)

By BEN DOBBIN
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A year from now, capturing a crisp, clear image of a candlelit birthday party could be a piece of cake - even with a camera phone. Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) said Thursday it has developed a color-filter technology that at least doubles the sensitivity to light of the image sensor in every digital camera, enabling shutterbugs to take better pictures in poor light.
"Low light can mean trying to get a good image indoors of your kid blowing out the birthday candles. It can mean you want to take a photograph on a street corner in Paris at midnight," said Chris McNiffe, general manager of the photography company's image sensor business. "We're talking about a 2-to-4-times improvement in (light) sensitivity."
Analyst Chris Chute doesn't doubt that the new filter system, intended to supplant an industry-standard filter pattern designed by Kodak scientist Bryce Bayer in 1976, represents a breakthrough in boosting photo quality - especially when light conditions are not ideal.
"It's often the most simple concepts that can have the most profound impact," said Chute of IDC, a market research firm near Boston. "This could be revolutionary in terms of just changing that very simple filter on top of the sensor and basically allowing companies to use it in all different kinds of cameras."
Kodak expects to provide samples of its new technology to a variety of camera manufacturers in the first quarter of 2008. The technology is likely to be incorporated first in mass-market point-and-shoot cameras and camera-equipped mobile phones beginning sometime next year.
"Typically new features like this would be more likely to show up in high-end products and then trickle down," said analyst Steve Hoffenberg of Lyra Research Inc. "But I think the biggest potential benefit of this may come in the camera phone environment. Camera phones are using smaller sensors to begin with and smaller sensors generally mean smaller pixels, which means lower sensitivity."
When the shutter opens on a digital camera, an image is projected onto the sensor, which converts light into an electric charge. Most sensors use the Bayer mask: Half of the millions of cells on a checkerboard grid are filtered to collect green light and a quarter each are filtered to let through red and blue light. A computer chip then reconstructs a full color signal for each pixel in the final image.
The new method, which has been under development for more than five years, adds "panchromatic" cells that are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light and collect a larger amount of light striking the sensor. Tailoring software algorithms to this unique new pattern enables faster shutter speeds, which reduces blurring when capturing a moving subject, McNiffe said.
  • 0

#2 Werner Klipsch

Werner Klipsch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 86 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 June 2007 - 06:50 AM

I have heard about this, but I don't see why there would be such a big improvement. Twice as sensitive is one stop, always welcome but not exactly a major breakthrough. I have seen some impressive 3 megapixel camera phones already, all they really need is a better lens now. They already capture kids by birthday candle light!

Also, bare silicon is nothing near "Panchromatic" Panchromatic means black and white with a spectral peak in green, to more closely respond like the human eye. Silicon responds weakly to blue, much more so to red and infrared.

Having less area directed to red green and blue filtering will give more sensitivity and resolution to the luminance. but colour S/N will suffer.

But ah yes, they have "algorithms" to deal with that. Yes sir, you can do anything with the right algorithms, if you can only write them :lol:
  • 0

#3 Laurent Andrieux

Laurent Andrieux
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1527 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • France

Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:03 PM

If think David is mentionning what is described here : http://www.dpreview....dakhighsens.asp
  • 0

#4 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11936 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:51 AM

I haven't read about it, but it depends how it works.

If this is an innovation that reduces noise and therefore makes the lower-exposure parts of the image usable, then that's very helpful, because you're effectively extending dynamic range (downwards). I suspect it's not, though.

Phil
  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:48 AM

I haven't read about it, but it depends how it works.

If this is an innovation that reduces noise and therefore makes the lower-exposure parts of the image usable, then that's very helpful, because you're effectively extending dynamic range (downwards). I suspect it's not, though.

Phil


Judging from the filter pattern (see the link above) you'd be gaining exposure in the unflitered sensor sites while retaining the slower speed in the filtered sensor sites, so in theory you are gaining speed and dynamic range at the expense of color resolution in the darker areas -- but it also depends on the bit-depth chosen to work at as to whether you can make use of the extra exposure information.
  • 0


Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Opal

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Technodolly

The Slider

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Opal

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC