Canon 7d-ii rumor: multi-layer sensor a'la Foveon

Started Aug 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 11,377
Re: Canon 7d-ii rumor: multi-lawyer sensor a'la Foveon

Truman Prevatt wrote:

HBowman wrote:

If Canon come with a foveon like sensor, be sure it will be better in every way than the actual foveon. First, it will handle ISO and second, every raw developers will support it. They can't go other way around.

That said, I do not know if it will be a true 3 layers sensor. I do not know if Foveon patents are in public domain yet. If yes, others can use it. If no, they can circumnavigate it.

The fact that the absorption depth of light in silicon is wavelength dependent is a fact of physics - it is not patentable. It has been know for well over 75 years.

What Foveon patented was an H/W implementation it use this phenomenon - not the phenomenon itself - to be able to calculate an RGB output for use in a digital imaging sensor.

Fuji and Canon (and probably a combination of Sony and Nikon) have been exploring a full color sensor and have all have issued patents on the subject to exploit this phenomenon. The key to the susses of such a sensor will be more related to its noise performance and ISO performance. In todays market, good noise and ISO performance is assumed. Right now Canon has fallen behind Nikon in the top end camera performance. Just check out DXO Mark's ratings. Canon needs to hit a home run - especially in the FF lines or else it will be giving that high end up to Nikon.

I look for Sony to release a full color sensor at some point but only if it can actually compete with their current crop of high resolution CFA sensors in resolution/noise and ISO performance. If they do I expect it will be full frame instead of an ASP-C.

What if ISO/noise performance sucks, but resolution is spectacular? (a la Foveon)

I'm willing to bet Sony would produce it for whoever wants it. Maybe Canon would use such a sensor in a 1Dx Mk IV or an ultra-high resolution 4D (if it does imaging as well as or better than the Quattro and the camera can work as fast or faster than the SD1 Quattro is expected to work). Not ALL of Canon's sensors have been good at high-ISO. When the 1Ds Mk II came out, it was considered TOO noisy for general use, right? That's why it has the "s" (for "studio") designation, right? It was never considered to be a low light camera . . . but it has lost that stigma somewhat. Now it's the Nikon D800 series that has the stigma of being a camera for bright light use . . . but it too seems to be losing that stigma somewhat. If Canon makes a camera with a Foveon-style full-frame sensor, with 24 MP per layer, and it can do 800 IS0 better than the SD1 (and I'm certain it could), and it can do 1600 ISO alright (and I'm sure that would be the case, because a Sigma full-frame camera with a 24 MP per layer sensor would do ISO 1600 alright), then I think Canon would be heralded as an innovator, and their new studio camera would be considered the best 35mm DSLR available for bright light shooting and even for medium level lighting (1600 ISO is pretty high). If it goes to ISO 3200, but it's very noisy and the color starts to shift at that setting, that will be o.k., if that is the MAXIMUM setting. The camera will still be considered something really special . . . especially if it captures more detail than the D810. Even if it operates slowly (3 fps and has long write times) it will be considered the best you can get . . . for its purpose. No doubt Canon would put two new processors in the camera and make it faster than the Quattro DSLR will be . . . and it will be much more expensive than the Quattro DSLR too, I'm sure (probably around $5,000). But it will be full frame, and it will capture more detail than the Quattro, and it will be a Canon. It will sell "enough" for a first try at the "new" technology. I doubt this will happen, but it COULD . . . and Canon could get away with it. By the time the law suit is over, they will be paying Sigma/Foveon some licensing fees or something. But they will have made waves and they will be back on top again, with something Nikon doesn't have . . . and something Sony doesn't have either (unless Sony is the sensor maker).

All of this is just wild speculation . . . but it's fun to imagine, right?

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