K-01 replacement idea

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: K-01 replacement idea
In reply to Russell Evans, Feb 22, 2013

Russell Evans wrote:

It is said the Bayer Array only uses 1/3 of the available light since only one color of light hits each pixel. If a stop is half of the light hitting the sensor, then we are losing a little more than a stop of light to the array. It is also said that the fixed mirror in the Sony SLT cameras eats about 1/3 a stop in light.

I am thinking that a fixed semi-transparent mirror coupled with a sensor without a color array would provide pretty close to the same ISO performance of a FF sensor. So far, so good, right? To get color back into the picture, the light that is reflected off the mirror would be sent to a smaller P&S sized back lit sensor with a Bayer color array, and that sensor would provide only the color information for the larger main sensor. The camera would combine the data from both sensor into the final output.

If your mirror is truly semi-transparent the light going to the colour sensor will be half as much as the equivalent conventional design, and therefore about 1/6 of the total; and the B&W sensor will get half of the total light.

If semi-transparent means what Sony uses, with about 2/3 of light passing and 1/3 reflected, you are down to only 1/9 of the light available for colour data.

Either way, colour accuracy will take a big hit compared to traditional designs.  I can't see much attraction is a camera that can shoot in the dark if all it gives is low-saturation colour.  Your idea is in some ways analagous to our eyes, with their mixture of rods and cones.  If we want to avoid tripping over hazards, near B&W vision is OK but ...

I can't see a reduced size secondary sensor working because its resolution would suffer (or its pixels would be so small they'd hit the noise barrier, defeating the purpose of the idea).  Our eyes have the highest concentration of cones where we need acute vision so softening the colour fraction might not be such a good idea.

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Gerry
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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006
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