"But at low ISO nothing can beat this camera." - CEO SIGMA

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Wayne Larmon
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,252
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The true definition of a pixel
In reply to Ray Ritchie, 7 months ago

Ray Ritchie wrote:

In fairness, the term "picture element," later compressed to "pixel," came in to use long before the development of color imaging. According to thispaper ("A Brief History of the Pixel" by Richard F. Lyon of Foveon), it was first used in the 1920's, and "pixel" came in to usage in the 1960's, well before the introduction of digital cameras as a common piece of commercial technology, and at a time when all the attention in the digital imaging world was still focussed on monochrome. And of course, 99% of all the digital cameras in the world today still use Bayer imagers, in which "pixel" is referred to as an addressable XY location where a single color is detected. The above-referenced paper makes it fairly clear that Foveon started insisting on "pixel" as referring to all three primary colors being captured for a given XY location because they felt that referring to their sensor as "3.4MP x 3" was unfair to it in terms of describing its perceived image quality.

It seems odd to me that you seem to want to say that "pixel" now means "what Foveon does," when the term has been widely used and understood to mean something else for decades.

I'm not agreeing with Sigma's "number of sensor pixels times three" definition by a long shot! I'd rather that manufacturers of camera that uses Bayer sensors use a term like sensel instead of pixel. And that Sigma would stick to the actual number of pixels that is in their sensor. And both would explain the significance of the term that is used to describe the picture elements in their sensors.

Anybody that has edited an image thinks of a pixel as containing R, G, and B information. Both common usages (the manufacturers of cameras with Bayer sensors and Sigma) are misleading. I object to misleading.

But it looks like this thread will be full shortly. I guess somebody needs to start a "the true definition of a pixel" thread.

Wayne

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