Advantages of Foveon sensor Locked

Started Jun 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,347
Re: Advantages of Foveon sensor

Hi Mike,

The issue with color "accuracy," as you say, is primarily one of post capture processing, however, no amount of post processing can retrieve subtle variations of hue which were not captured in the first place.

Greater tonal variations within a color range allow closer approximations of reality in terms of color reproduction. As I have said previously, I've noticed this primarily in greens myself, but Mike Chaney, developer of Qimage Ultimate software, did a very nice analysis using his Sigma camera and his Canon 5D and demonstrated that with red hues, the same issues exists with CFA based sensors. In fact, it's quite easy to look at color resolution charts and quickly see that color resolution from the Foveon sensor is uniform regardless of hue. On the other hand, CFA sensors lose a great deal of resolution primarily in the reds so that when photographing flowers, as Mike did for his samples, the differences in color "accuracy" were quite easy to see. The Foveon captured the full red spectrum. The CFA (5D) could not render the reds as his eyes actually saw them in the flower.

So in the case with reds, and in my own experiments with greens, the Foveon can reproduce very real color subtleties which exist in reality which the CFA simply doesn't "see." Therefore I think it's fair to say that an advantage of the Foveon sensor is better color accuracy. It's more difficult to achieve over the full color spectrum and requires careful lighting and lower ISO, but as Laurence correctly stated, it "is" achievable in my experience. Most of my professional work involved very precise matching of colors for gallery fine art. I found it quite possible to please my most discriminating clients using Sigma cameras.

Best regards,


mike earussi wrote:

I would never claim "greater color accuracy" as one of the Foveon advantages, as color accuracy seems to be more a result of the software processing the raw files than any inherent property of the chip (as such, many Bayer cameras have greater color accuracy than Sigma's Foveon bodies). I would, though, claim a greater possibility for more tonal variations within a specific color range due to the high overlap of colors in the chip compared to more narrow color cutoff of Bayer filtration.

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