Nikon D4s: Bayer processing breakthru?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Scottelly
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Re: Thanks to all: Nikon D4s: Bayer processing breakthru?
In reply to Tom Schum, 3 months ago

Tom Schum wrote:

Many thanks to all for your input and opinions.

It seems to me that we all know how bayer has been continually optimized over the years and we are left with only about 70% of the pixel count in terms of resolution. A breakthrough would go beyond this, and nothing was said about a breakthrough in the Shutterbug review.

So for now I might call it a subjective reading of D4s resolution byt the Shutterbug staff, as suggested.

DPR lab tests carry a lot of weight, at least for me, so I'll be waiting for them.

Here are a few opinions of my own. I use a CFA camera (Fuji X-E1) as well as my Sigma DP3M. There is a different look to the images from each, and it might only be the style these days but CFA is a little more gentle in the images. Foveon will definitely wow you but the comfort level with CFA seems to be a little bit higher for me because it is not reaching out to grab your attention so much. There is a place for both in the photographic art.

I've seen posts about trying to make Bayer look like Foveon, but nary a one about making Foveon look like Bayer. The crisp softness of Bayer and other CFA images is not easily produced from Foveon images I think, because in post processing one might need the complementary function to sharpness enhancement. I don't know if such a function is available.

It seems to me that the Foveon mantra of "as good as a bayer with twice as many pixels" has not been quite on the mark lately. It was true several years ago, but we have seen some advancements in Bayer/CFA processing that seem to erode the clear advantages of Foveon. Now, with the D4s, we might see parity between the images from the Nikon full-frame sensor at low ISO and the Merrill at low ISO. One reason we might not have seen such comparison images in the recent past is that no D4s owner or reviewer is particularly interested in exploring it. DPR's method of doing test images seems to involve careful sharpening until the limit, for any given sensor, and this might show us something interesting when compared to Merrill. Or, maybe not. I'm guessing in a couple months we will have some DPR test shots from the D4s, and then this will all blow over (if it is any kind of storm at all).

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Tom Schum

Crisp softness?

" The crisp softness of Bayer and other CFA images is not easily produced from Foveon images I think, because in post processing one might need the complementary function to sharpness enhancement. I don't know if such a function is available."

I don't think you're thinking straight Tom. Crisp and softness are antonyms, not synonyms. To get softness from a Foveon image all you need to do is apply a blur filter in Photoshop or some other image editing program. Unsharp mask has a similar affect.

Since you shoot with a DP3M, I suggest you find someone who owns one of those new Nikon D5300 or D3300 cameras and a good 50mm lens (the 50mm f1.4 A from Sigma should do just fine, but the Nikon 50mm f1.4 or the older 50mm f1.4 EX from Sigma should be good enough, if you set them at f4 or f5.6 for your tests), and see for yourself whether there is a "parity" or not. Don't forget to use a tripod and mirror-up mode, shooting in good light on a clear day (with no wind). I'd suggest using the 10 second self-timer function. If the Sigma photos resolve text and other things that look more readable to you in the photos from the Sigma, from the same distance (distant road signs and such), then you can bet that there is no "parity" for a CFA sensor of only 14.7 megapixels, since even the images from the latest cameras with 24 megapixel sensors don't hold the same fine detail. If you find that you can read distant signs easier in the images from the Nikon camera, then you'll have to wait until the Quattro comes out, to see if your theory is correct. That camera will have the latest tech in it, and you'll be able to do a better, closer comparison between the Foveon and CFA sensors.

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