End of Megapixel wars and EF-S buying decisions

Started Feb 23, 2006 | Discussions thread
Arjen van Andel Contributing Member • Posts: 594
New "Technical levels" are needed

Ian Hobday wrote:

Personally I would much sooner have ultra-low-noise ISO6400 (and
low noise ISO12800!), greater dynamic range, better metering,
better focusing for moving subjects, better flash... There are lots
of areas that can be improved that would make a bigger difference
to a higher number of people.

If a sensor can be constructed on silicon (or whatever material) that counts incoming photons in a simple binary counter instead of collecting them in a bucket (that also collects its own electrical noise, leaks, adds amplifier variance and -noise) and if that detection can be done without picking up stray electrons from the chip's surface, there's:

A. No limit to the sensitivity
B. No limit to the dynamic range (just add bits to the counter)
C. No noise


C. The Bayer and AA filters add edge-noise; they are not needed if the sensor is a full colour type like the Foveon 3X. Image quality will improve drastically because each and every transition (edge) will be so much sharper that 8Mp will look like 16-24Mp.

A typical 8Mp Bayer sensor has only 2 million full colour detectors (2/4 green, 1/4 red, 1/4 blue), the missing 6 million are interpolated from detectors which have the wrong colour for proper registration. This is of no real consequence 'inside' a coloured patch, but it goes dramatically wrong as soon as the border or a patch of detail is reached; there's where the sensor (and software) start guessing, with blurry noise-like edges as a result. The edges sort of evaporate. Tiny and distant detail will suffer very noticeably.

Such a device can use the full front real-estate of the chip for detection funnels and the full back real-estate for the counters and the wiring. This is already common practice for CMOS and CCD sensors, I believe.


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