Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

Started Mar 4, 2012 | Discussions
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DaSigmaGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,303
Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

I just did a calculation to work out what the resolution of a full frame Foveon sensor would have, if it has the same number of photosites/mm as the SD1 sensor has...It works out to be about 34.6mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 103.8mp!

The same calculation but with the same photosites/mm as the SD15 returns a much more modest figure of 14mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 42mp...Less than the resolution of the SD1 with a 1.5x crop sensor!

Clearly the photosite size of a full frame Foveon sensor could be made much larger and hence less noisier, with a much higher dynamic range and much better high ISO capability, whilst still allowing a sizeable increase in resolution over the SD1.

Personally, I'd be more than happy with a 20mp x3 full frame Foveon sensor because of the fantastic image quality it would give compared to the SD1.
For IQ and filesize sake, I think Sigma should not go above 25mp x3.

So what resolution would like to see Sigma use for a future full frame Foveon sensor?

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mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 5,893
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

I agree. I'm tired of Sigma of Sigma trading IQ for absolute resolution. I'd be willing to bet that a 15-20mp FF sensor would produce much better results than what I've seen from the SD1 so far with all its shadow banding and noise at iso 100.

Rawmeister Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

Considering the dodgy problems of getting the availalble lenses to resolve the sensors.... I'd say 15MP x 3 giving around 30MP bayer equivelent.

So same file size as SD1 except better ISO performance and less strain on lenses.
I figure you could use any lens u want since the pixel pitch is same as SD14/15.

And a Ziess 21mm should be spectacular on it!

jrdigitalart
jrdigitalart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,448
But ...

There has already been a comment attributed to Sigma, that they are already working on a FF 100MP Foveon sensor.

Couple that with the advances now being posted here for the SD15 and my anticipation is gaining confidence.
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DMillier Forum Pro • Posts: 19,204
Re: But ...

And don't forget that when the pixel count becomes very high, pixel binning becomes a practical proposal. A sensor that offered you 100MP native or 25MP binned would be pretty flexible and offer the choice: high rez or low noise/high DR.

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Rawmeister Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: But ...

The lens needed to resolve that sensor would cost 6 or 7 grand methinks.
Might as well just use a bigger sensor a la Medium Format.

Processing files of that size would take too long. I'd need a whole new computer system lol.

I've decided that 6720 pixels across (30MP) is the ideal res for me all things considered.

Mostly Lurking Senior Member • Posts: 2,103
I'd be very happy with an SD-15 Sensor increased in size

to FF, but I'd also be happy with one increased to 1.5 crop factor.
'Be careful what you wish for because you might get it!'
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cinefeel Contributing Member • Posts: 860
Re: I'd be very happy with an SD-15 Sensor increased in size

The SD1 does not have noise/banding at ISO 100 if you use the right tone curve.

Going to make a post about this soon.

Noise is almost completely undetectable until ISO 400.

zodiacfml Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

Interesting. Is it easier for them to create new sensors based from a pixel design?

For example, the Canon G1 X has its design from the 7D while the D800 is also from another.

In Sigma's case, to create a FF sensor based on a previous pixel design, more likely, would be to use the pixel design of the 4.7MP sensor but that would mean not using the the new design they worked hard for, the 15MP.

Does anyone have information if Sigma is still making the 4.7MP sensor? I'm asking this if they can produce two types at the same time.

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

I just did a calculation to work out what the resolution of a full frame Foveon sensor would have, if it has the same number of photosites/mm as the SD1 sensor has...It works out to be about 34.6mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 103.8mp!

The same calculation but with the same photosites/mm as the SD15 returns a much more modest figure of 14mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 42mp...Less than the resolution of the SD1 with a 1.5x crop sensor!

Clearly the photosite size of a full frame Foveon sensor could be made much larger and hence less noisier, with a much higher dynamic range and much better high ISO capability, whilst still allowing a sizeable increase in resolution over the SD1.

Personally, I'd be more than happy with a 20mp x3 full frame Foveon sensor because of the fantastic image quality it would give compared to the SD1.
For IQ and filesize sake, I think Sigma should not go above 25mp x3.

So what resolution would like to see Sigma use for a future full frame Foveon sensor?

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amdme127 Regular Member • Posts: 471
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

I think anywhere from 18-25mp would be a very potent full frame that would be more usable with most of their lenses when used on the SD1. If they want to go higher than that, good for them, just they need to pick up the lens game and get lenses that will resolve at that resolution.
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Vakr New Member • Posts: 16
Re: But ...

jrdigitalart wrote:

There has already been a comment attributed to Sigma, that they are already working on a FF 100MP Foveon sensor.

Never read about this. What or who is the source?

yvind Strm Veteran Member • Posts: 4,130
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

zodiacfml wrote:

Interesting. Is it easier for them to create new sensors based from a pixel design?

For example, the Canon G1 X has its design from the 7D while the D800 is also from another.

In Sigma's case, to create a FF sensor based on a previous pixel design, more likely, would be to use the pixel design of the 4.7MP sensor but that would mean not using the the new design they worked hard for, the 15MP.

Does anyone have information if Sigma is still making the 4.7MP sensor? I'm asking this if they can produce two types at the same time.

Of course they do. SD15 and the DPs use the old design.

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

I just did a calculation to work out what the resolution of a full frame Foveon sensor would have, if it has the same number of photosites/mm as the SD1 sensor has...It works out to be about 34.6mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 103.8mp!

The same calculation but with the same photosites/mm as the SD15 returns a much more modest figure of 14mp x3...Or as Sigma would say, 42mp...Less than the resolution of the SD1 with a 1.5x crop sensor!

Clearly the photosite size of a full frame Foveon sensor could be made much larger and hence less noisier, with a much higher dynamic range and much better high ISO capability, whilst still allowing a sizeable increase in resolution over the SD1.

Personally, I'd be more than happy with a 20mp x3 full frame Foveon sensor because of the fantastic image quality it would give compared to the SD1.
For IQ and filesize sake, I think Sigma should not go above 25mp x3.

So what resolution would like to see Sigma use for a future full frame Foveon sensor?

SigmaChrome Veteran Member • Posts: 8,190
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

yvind Strm wrote:

Does anyone have information if Sigma is still making the 4.7MP sensor? I'm asking this if they can produce two types at the same time.

Of course they do. SD15 and the DPs use the old design.

Do you actually know if the sensor is still in production or if Sigma is just using up old stock?

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DaSigmaGuy OP Forum Pro • Posts: 12,303
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

amdme127 wrote:

I think anywhere from 18-25mp would be a very potent full frame that would be more usable with most of their lenses when used on the SD1. If they want to go higher than that, good for them, just they need to pick up the lens game and get lenses that will resolve at that resolution.
--
Matt

But that would push their price of such lenses through the roof and that would be a problem for Sigma because noone will buy Sigma lenses that cost a lot more than Canon or Nikon equivalents.

I think they will have no choice but to compromise on the resolution so that existing lens designs will be good enough.

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zodiacfml Contributing Member • Posts: 526
IMHO...

Maybe, they actually are, they could even have working samples only limited to R&D department.

I feel FF is the next iteration of the Foveon sensor to keep up with competition in the future. Imagine the FF with an option similar to the D800 that can switch into DX or APS-C format.

Seemingly, the FF will have the photosites of the SD1 unless ISO performance becomes mainstream such as the MP count.

Vakr wrote:

jrdigitalart wrote:

There has already been a comment attributed to Sigma, that they are already working on a FF 100MP Foveon sensor.

Never read about this. What or who is the source?

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Rodrigo Cunha Contributing Member • Posts: 701
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

Remember there were working prototypes of the SD14 by the end of 2006. The 4.7mp design is now 6 or 7 years old (2005-2006). You don't want to use it! The read noise is much higher, for example, and the reading speed much lower.

Probably you could increase the pixel size in this new design without compromising other parameters, yielding better dynamic range and lower noise. But why bother? Just scale the SD1 sensor!

It's not like your lenses will be worse while using the new sensor, you'll just notice the problems better. And believe me: the resolution will be there, at least in the centre. In the corners, well, all wide angle lenses are worse in the corners... Just look at MTF charts! Some tele lenses are equally sharp in the entire frame, but those are rare indeed.

Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 16,797
Don't understand...

Isn't that what we have with the SD1?

Maybe I misunderstand...

Best regards,

Lin

Mostly Lurking wrote:

to FF, but I'd also be happy with one increased to 1.5 crop factor.
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Rawmeister Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: Don't understand...

Yes, but the Sd1 sensor is not FF. It's 23.5mm across, or 1.5 crop. The original post was about what we would like to see for res on a FF Foveon at 36mm across.

The idea is that if we had it full frame size it would give better performance with respect to image quality and be less demanding of lens resolution because the pixel pitch would be much larger.

ABMountainHiker Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

This is very interesting. To help clarify, in your calculation what physical pixel size did you use?

DaSigmaGuy OP Forum Pro • Posts: 12,303
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

ABMountainHiker wrote:

This is very interesting. To help clarify, in your calculation what physical pixel size did you use?

The calculations are simple...The dimensions of a full frame sensor are 36mm x 24mm.
The dimensions of the SD1 sensor are 24mm x 16mm.

The resolution of the SD1 sensor is 4800x3200, which works out to be exactly 200 photosites/per mm on both the x and y axis. 200 x 36mm = 7200. 200 x 24 = 4800. 7200x4800 = 34.56mp, or roughly 35mp rounded up. So the resolution of a full frame Foveon sensor with the same amount of photosite/mm as the SD1 sensor would be about 35mp.

However, Foveon sensors have three seperate layers though, so thats actually 35mp x3 which is about 105 million seperate photosites!

That would be equivalent to the same resolution as a 70mp Bayer sensor but with about extra 1/3rd more data to shift around...And that inevitably means very sluggish performance. Sigma will have no choice but to ditch "True II" processors and look for something a lot faster...Perhaps licensing the use of Canons Digic 5 processors or whatever it is Nikon are using in the D800.

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