Bayer - Foveon comparison

Started Nov 23, 2008 | Discussions thread
Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,498
Resolution versus detail......

There is no question that the 50D produces considerably more resolution than the SD14. The foliage, in this particular case is not a good read for either because of wind and subject motion, so to be more precise let's look at immobile areas of interest and to avoid color issues let's convert both to greyscale.

The interesting thing to me is that this image reveals the differences in "resolution" and "detail revealed". We commonly thing of resolution and detail as more or less the same beast but they really are not.

When you look at the images below, I think you will see what I mean. The 50D has very smooth curves and edges because of the huge pixel count difference but the bayer smoothing effect has robbed the image of a great deal of detail which is revealed in the SD14 crop.

First - the SD14 image was interpolated using Photoshop bicubic smoother to the same pixel dimensions as the 50D then both were converted to greyscale. No matter what level of "sharpness" I apply to the 50D image I can't see the details rendered by the SD14 even though the "resolution" is by any measure obviously greater.

Does aliasing play a role? Undoubtedly. But with the SD14 capture I can absolutely determine that on the right side of the image there is chain-link fencing. I would only know this from the 50D capture because of a small amount of visible hint along the top of the chain link frame. Likewise with the detail on the welded seam on the huge wheel. It's hardly discernable in the 50D capture but rather obvious in the SD14.

I suspect that the greater color resolution uniformity of the SD14 plays a role here and perhaps better dynamic range even thought the 50D has very good DR. The differences are quite apparent to me. Better resolution from the 50D, more revealed detail from the SD14. For forensic work the SD14 wins in my estimation. For clean lines and higher resolution the 50D wins.


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