Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

Started Dec 12, 2013 | Discussions
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mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 6,254
Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

I'm optimistic that Sigma will eventually produce a FF camera but I'm still debating over which resolution I'd prefer.

If Sigma just took the present SD1M pixel density and made it FF it would make around a 32mp chip. This would easily exceed any other dslr on the market in terms of absolute resolution including the Pentax 645 and Leica S and probably come close to the 50-60mp digital MF backs, which would be a very strong selling point. But it might, baring improved technology, also keep the same present problems of poor high iso noise and blotchy shadows.

OTOH, a FF 24mp Foveon chip would have better low light noise and less shadow color blotchiness than a 32mp Foveon, and 24mp is pretty much a FF standard now anyway with the Canon 5DIII, Nikon 610 and Sony A7. Plus the files would be smaller and so would process faster and require less storage.

I have no way of knowing whether Sigma has yet made any decision on this, but if they haven't I thought it would be interesting to get a poll and a variety of opinions on this which may help to influence their decision.

Thanks

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sigma SD1 Sony Alpha 7
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carlos roncatti
carlos roncatti Senior Member • Posts: 2,662
why not using the poll tool?
1

NT

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mike earussi OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,254
Re: why not using the poll tool?

carlos roncatti wrote:

NT

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To understand photography, you must understand that the experience must be much more important than the result ....
Carlos Roncatti Bomfim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyeCYthMbd0
http://www.crbimage.com

Because I'd like more detailed opinions than just a check mark.

xpatUSA
xpatUSA Senior Member • Posts: 8,596
Re: why not using the poll tool?
1

mike earussi wrote:

carlos roncatti wrote:

NT

-- hide signature --

To understand photography, you must understand that the experience must be much more important than the result ....
Carlos Roncatti Bomfim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyeCYthMbd0
http://www.crbimage.com

Because I'd like more detailed opinions than just a check mark.

Sorry, Mike, I have to agree with Carlos.

You'll get detail opinions galore, I'm sure, but it is nice to see the sentiment (i.e. results of poll) of those interested enough to punch a button. Many folk (most) hit a button and pass an opinion anyway. (Keeps the post count up )

Anyway, I'd like to see the SD10 sensor up-sized to FF and duly improved . . . 10MB

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Ted
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Hornbrille
Hornbrille Regular Member • Posts: 312
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

I'm less optimistic regarding FF and I believe that the future lies in smaller sensors combined with faster and better lenses. My guess is that Sigma will reveal a 20MP MFT sensor with less noise than the Merrill line.

Uwe 8-)

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dr.noise
dr.noise Veteran Member • Posts: 3,618
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

Hornbrille wrote:

I believe that the future lies

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dr.noise
dr.noise Veteran Member • Posts: 3,618
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?
6

Currently it's 4800 * 3200 which is quite generous. So if they go for FF, just leave the resolution the same for bigger pixels, and I'd easily agree for less, like 3600 * 2400 which is anyway much better than my DP2s.

What really needs to be improved is high ISO colors and noise.
The problem Foveon has now is not even about sensor size. It could be FF, APS-C or m43, doesn't really matter. It's only 10% about resolution and 90% about high ISO colors and noise.

Extending usable ISO to 6400 while keeping saturated colors would be a real breakthrough and maybe x5 times increment in user base. That is really what we need. Along with better low light AF and overall more refined system.

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HBowman
HBowman Senior Member • Posts: 1,230
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?
3

Hello Mike,

If Foveon output a full frame sensor, I would like it below 30 Mp, like old 22 Mp MFDB's. Foveon do not need that much pixels compared to bayer.

The electronic behind it is very important especially for colour transitions and you have two ways :

- High MP sensor >> The pixel density will produce better tonal transitions (i.e D800...)

- Low MP sensor (16 Mp) >> BUT with 16 bit readout/output colours (thus a new electronic behind the sensor).

If you give me the choice I would prefer the second option.

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joaquin100 Senior Member • Posts: 1,692
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?
1

HBowman wrote:

Hello Mike,

If Foveon output a full frame sensor, I would like it below 30 Mp, like old 22 Mp MFDB's. Foveon do not need that much pixels compared to bayer.

The electronic behind it is very important especially for colour transitions and you have two ways :

- High MP sensor >> The pixel density will produce better tonal transitions (i.e D800...)

- Low MP sensor (16 Mp) >> BUT with 16 bit readout/output colours (thus a new electronic behind the sensor).

If you give me the choice I would prefer the second option.

As Nikon user the color output and overall IQ of SD14/SD15 made me to buy them, then i would go for the low MP sensor if it brings the vibrant colors back.

A SD15 Happy camper.

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 19,620
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

mike earussi wrote:

<...>

OTOH, a FF 24mp Foveon chip would have better low light noise and less shadow color blotchiness than a 32mp Foveon, and 24mp is pretty much a FF standard now anyway with the Canon 5DIII, Nikon 610 and Sony A7. Plus the files would be smaller and so would process faster and require less storage.

I agree with this one.  Having a lower pixel count means the ISO noise gap from other cameras is reduced... and comparing 24MP stacked to 24MP bayer would yield a consistently clear advantage to the Foveon chip.

It would also be a large enough jump over the current camera resolutions to make it worth switching to.

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mike earussi OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,254
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

HBowman wrote:

Hello Mike,

If Foveon output a full frame sensor, I would like it below 30 Mp, like old 22 Mp MFDB's. Foveon do not need that much pixels compared to bayer.

The electronic behind it is very important especially for colour transitions and you have two ways :

- High MP sensor >> The pixel density will produce better tonal transitions (i.e D800...)

- Low MP sensor (16 Mp) >> BUT with 16 bit readout/output colours (thus a new electronic behind the sensor).

If you give me the choice I would prefer the second option.

-- hide signature --

A 4x pixel binned 32mp chip yielding 8 large mp or a 9x binned 3.5 very large mp sensor (same as the SD9/10) would also produce much better high iso sensitivity and still give you the option of 32mp when needed, and could also produce superb 4K video if Sigma ever decided to add it.

mike earussi OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,254
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

mike earussi wrote:

<...>

OTOH, a FF 24mp Foveon chip would have better low light noise and less shadow color blotchiness than a 32mp Foveon, and 24mp is pretty much a FF standard now anyway with the Canon 5DIII, Nikon 610 and Sony A7. Plus the files would be smaller and so would process faster and require less storage.

I agree with this one. Having a lower pixel count means the ISO noise gap from other cameras is reduced... and comparing 24MP stacked to 24MP bayer would yield a consistently clear advantage to the Foveon chip.

In theory, yes, but when I compared the D800E vs. D610 and A7r to the A7 uprezzed to match, the noise at high ISOs looks the same. Whether this would also be the case for Sigma I don't know.

It would also be a large enough jump over the current camera resolutions to make it worth switching to.

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 19,620
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

mike earussi wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

I agree with this one. Having a lower pixel count means the ISO noise gap from other cameras is reduced... and comparing 24MP stacked to 24MP bayer would yield a consistently clear advantage to the Foveon chip.

In theory, yes, but when I compared the D800E vs. D610 and A7r to the A7 uprezzed to match, the noise at high ISOs looks the same. Whether this would also be the case for Sigma I don't know.

I don't think you can really apply the results of slightly larger photo sites on a totally different sensor type to what it would mean for a Foveon chip though...  there's no reason to think the larger photo sites would not help the results.

The Sony output already looks like a ton of noise reduction is being applied anyway, which is probably masking any difference.

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jrdigitalart
jrdigitalart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,564
FWIW . . .
1

. . . I'm pretty happy with the current Sigma Foveon chip's resolution, so if we keep the spatial location count "as is" and apply it to FF, Voila! Deal Maker!

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Johan Borg Senior Member • Posts: 2,387
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

HBowman wrote:

Hello Mike,

If Foveon output a full frame sensor, I would like it below 30 Mp, like old 22 Mp MFDB's. Foveon do not need that much pixels compared to bayer.

+1 for 22 Mp, or more precisely 5730 x 3820 active pixels, giving us 4K resolution also when using DC lenses - or shooting video (usually less need for wide angle). Judging from history with HD, 4K screens should dominate the market for a number of years...

PrebenR Veteran Member • Posts: 3,417
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?
1

I expect the physical size to be constant, but resolution or number of pixels as you ask about is something that have many factors.

In favour of high MP (32x3):

  • Marketing
  • Resolution

In favour og low MP (15x3):

  • Handheld shooting
  • Noise (not entirely sure)
  • Lens choice
  • Post processing time
  • Storage space ånd write times

I would not mind the Merrill sensor MP count in a FF chip.
--
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PrebenR Veteran Member • Posts: 3,417
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

Johan Borg wrote:

HBowman wrote:

Hello Mike,

If Foveon output a full frame sensor, I would like it below 30 Mp, like old 22 Mp MFDB's. Foveon do not need that much pixels compared to bayer.

+1 for 22 Mp, or more precisely 5730 x 3820 active pixels, giving us 4K resolution also when using DC lenses - or shooting video (usually less need for wide angle). Judging from history with HD, 4K screens should dominate the market for a number of years...

10 years time. Current 4K screens have severe lag problems, at least those on display.
--
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vkphoto
vkphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,632
Term FF?

Never understood the modern concept of "FF". Every camera on the market is a full frame camera.

Some have smaller FF sensors (APC-S and smaller), some have bigger FF sensors (24x36) and some have very large FF sensors (6x6 and up).

I think that term "FF" is more suitable to describe the lens. It can be less than FF (DX lens on FX body, NEX lens on A7), equal to FF (XF on Fuji X) or larger than FF  (Nikkor AI-s on Fuji X).

Anyway, back to the original question, my vote goes to Foveon 6x4.5

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Hornbrille
Hornbrille Regular Member • Posts: 312
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

Oops. Hens lay, people lie/lye.

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dr.noise
dr.noise Veteran Member • Posts: 3,618
Re: Poll: which size FF Foveon would prefer?

PrebenR wrote:

10 years time. Current 4K screens have severe lag problems, at least those on display.

Even common FullHD is mostly enough for viewing from 2-3 meters on a 50" plasma.

4K, I dunno, maybe for cinema screen only.

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