Does any1 know what it would take to improve Foveon high ISO performance?

Started Aug 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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ammca66564 Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: One main question

xpatUSA wrote:

jl123 wrote:

Just what is the issue? Was my thought potentially correct that by its nature this sensor doesn't get as much light to each layer of its 3 part sensor?

Not really correct. Many people think that the blue and green layers, for example, "block off" some light from the red layer. But the physics of light reveal that the blue and green layers are, to a great extent, transparent to red light.

More to the point is a ) the low quantum efficiency ( QE = % conversion of photons to electrons ) and b ) the insanely wide bandwidth of each layer:

So the sensor itself starts off hampered by the need for more light than other sensors (for it's 30% per layer QE) and the complex processing needed to weed out the color information from those overlapping curves. Of course, Foveon cheats by somehow adding the R, G and B quantum efficiencies together and calling it "total quantum efficiency" (the black line above). 70%? . . . don't be fooled.

Don't get me wrong, I love the layered principle and own a couple of SD10's, but improvements in "ISO" performance, i.e. SNR, lie in the direction of larger pixels and less resolution in a APS-C, APS-H or even FF sensor, I would have thought. Think Nikon D700, e.g.

I think that SPP is a work of art, for what it accomplishes, some of that being sneaky noise reduction whether you want it or not (I've read somewhere).

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Best Regards,


This points toward what I want. Five or six mp worth of big fat pixels. I don't need enormous files and I-got-more-pixels-than-you bragging rights. I don't do 96" x 144" enlargements.

What I need is really good, highly sensitive pixels. Five or six million of them please.

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