Will the Quattro Embarrass Sigma into dropping their camera line?

Started Jul 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP maxotics Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: My Conclusion

Foveon is specifically designed for binning, has been since the start. AFAIK the low res RAW option does on-chip binning.

In fact, the LCD on the back of the DP2Q shows a video stream from the sensor and the Merrill series supported 640x480 in pretty decent quality (besides low resolution and the associated aliasing, that is). Scaling to 1080p doesn't sound impossible?

Magic Lantern works by intercepting the RAW stream to the LCD and writing it to the card in sequential 14-bit values. At 1080, 24fps, that means 80 megabytes per second (mbs). Only Canon cameras with 1000X cards can handle that. The Canon SD card cameras cannot.

This is where Foveon quality gets in the way of video. A bayer sensor camera, like the Canon, is writing 14 bit, red, green, blue values which are later interpolated into 24bit color. The Foveon camera is recording three 12-bit values (I assume) at each pixel. So instead of writing 14 bits per pixel (which are later de-bayered) it must write 36bits per pixel. Let's call it 4-bytes per pixel (assume a little compression). So now we have 4-bytes x 1920 x 1080 x 24 frames per second, or 200 megabytes per second! There is currently no SD card or camera electronics that deliver that in the consumer realm (that I know of). A minute of RAW Foveon video would be 12 gigabyte! However, the quality would be off the charts!

Do you think 1080p RAW video possible now? Sigma could created motion JPEGs, but the slow camera processing indicates that the RAW data is computationally difficult.  And then, even if Sigma could create 24 JPGs a second, they would be 8-bit, with limited dynamic range, the current bane of DSLR h.264 video.

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