New Sensor technology coming out in the next 18 months?

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
Eric Fossum
Contributing MemberPosts: 742
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Re: Speaking of high dynamic range....
In reply to Iliah Borg, Jan 13, 2013

Iliah Borg wrote:

Is it linear dynamic range?

It looks very much like NIT sensors I use if a lens with a lot of flare is mounted on the camera.

I think the NIT sensors are inherently logarithmic.  For scenes with high dynamic range, it is hard to beat logarithmic companding of the range of light.

The main issue with logarithmic response is that on flat lighting days, e.g. cloudy landscape, there is often a relatively narrow range of light, so the whole image is recorded using only a small fraction of the range of the sensor...that is, the signals from the pixels are all close together.  The output contrast is very very low and recovering the linear dynamic range can lead to noise and significant amplification of imaging artifacts.  I don't think NIT has dealt with this too much but certainly earlier log sensors have suffered from this.

Recovering good color rendition from RAW log sensor output is also tricky due to the non-linear signal and the same things just mentioned.

I don't think NIT could build the RED sensor today given the pixel count and speed.  I suppose it is possible they transferred their technology to RED's sensor designers but also unlikely.  Good color dynamic range imaging is possible using other techniques.  See this paper from Aptina:

http://www.imagesensors.org/Past%20Workshops/2009%20Workshop/2009%20Papers/081_Solhusvik_HDR_DCG_final.pdf

Maybe this is the approach used by RED since it is the most well-established method for linear HDR.  (It was invented by Orly Yadid-Pecht and myself while at JPL).  But, there are many ways to skin that cat.

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