OM Digital Germany Interview

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Ain't gonna get sucked into a sensor format argument. Dennis Mook has some thoughts about how new computational photography software are reducing the differences between sensor size and resulting images. OMDS said they were going to put more emphasis on computational photography. Future developments along these lines should be very interesting.
https://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2021/04/topaz-had-sensor-format-argument-on.html
 

BDR-529

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Much like the second coming of Christ, there is no sensor tech coming that will make that much of a difference much less eclipse FF/APS-C, and

As a matter of fact there is a new technology that could bring m4/3 sensors much closer to FF at least until it becomes available in larger formats as well.

And the very company that demonstrated working 8k video camera in 2019 happens to be a m4/3 camera manufacturer who promised to bring this technology to consumer models after launching it first in broadcast systems for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

I'm of course talking about Panasonic organic sensor technology which promises global shutter, 15dB dynamic range, substantially less noise in low light, less heat problems and even much cheaper sensors once it's mature enough for high volume manufacturing.

And this is where m4/3 has a huge advantage over FF just beause it requires just 1/4 of sensor area. Any new technology will have extremely low yield and very high production cost at the beginning and therefore first applications will be the onces which require small footprints

Remember that Canon had to develop now obsolete APS-H sensor format just because back in the day it was technically and commercially not feasible to produce full-size FF sensors but Canon's customers had invested huge amounts of money in 35mm lenses which they wanted to use even with digital bodies.

Unfortunately the actual launch of Panasonic GH6 and organic sensors seems to share a common pattern with the Second Coming you mentioned.
 
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pake

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As a matter of fact there is a new technology that could bring m4/3 sensors much closer to FF at least until it becomes available in larger formats as well.

And the very company that demonstrated working 8k video camera in 2019 happens to be a m4/3 camera manufacturer who promised to bring this technology to consumer models after launching it first in broadcast systems for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

I'm of course talking about Panasonic organic sensor technology which promises global shutter, 15dB dynamic range, substantially less noise in low light, less heat problems and even much cheaper sensors once it's mature enough for high volume manufacturing.

And this is where m4/3 has a huge advantage over FF just beause it requires just 1/4 of sensor area. Any new technology will have extremely low yield and very high production cost at the beginning and therefore first applications will be the onces which require small footprints

Remember that Canon had to develop now obsolete APS-H sensor format just because back in the day it was technically and commercially not feasible to produce full-size FF sensors but Canon's customers had invested huge amounts of money in 35mm lenses which they wanted to use even with digital bodies.

Unfortunately the actual launch of Panasonic GH6 and organic sensors seems to share a common pattern with the Second Coming you mentioned.
I think I saw an article where they said Panasonic gave up on the organic sensor development and sold the company/project to somewhere else. But they do have a massive video camera with an organic sensor (which costs $$$$$$s) so the tech is somewhat real. Just expensive, demands lots of cooling and power etc.

Anyway... Sony is also doing R&D on organic sensors so it's only a matter of time when the real breakthrough comes. It would be more desirable that the breakthrough came from the Fuji/Pana alliance (if they're still doing it) to challenge the dominance of Sony sensors.
 

BDR-529

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I think I saw an article where they said Panasonic gave up on the organic sensor development and sold the company/project to somewhere else. But they do have a massive video camera with an organic sensor (which costs $$$$$$s) so the tech is somewhat real. Just expensive, demands lots of cooling and power etc.

Panasonic sold their entire semiconductor business including their 50% share of joint venture with Tower Jazz (sensor fab) to Korean Nuvoton in November 2019. Organic sensor development was, however, a joint R&D project with Fuji and it was never listed as a part of the deal.

At the moment it is not clear where this development continues - which I'm sure it does - because this will be the next breakthrough in sensor technology just as OLED was in displays. Several major players in broadcast/medical/industrial imaging are developing organic sensors at the moment so Panny was just the first to release a working 8k broadcast camera in 2019.

Panny was not the only one because Hitachi did also release a 8k broadcast camera with organic sensor for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Now, how many 8k organic sensors were already ready one year ago?
https://www.thebroadcastbridge.com/content/entry/15155/hitachi-introduces-8k-camera-with-cmos-sensor

World is full of fabless semiconductor companies who concentrate in R&D/IPR and outsource manufacturing to companies like Nuvoton and Tower Jazz so a new improved version of this sensor might surface pretty much overnight.

On a related note: NHK released last summer a working prototype of organic sensor which is a direct competitor to Foveon technology. It can detect all three colours: blue, green and red on each photosite.
http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2020/07/nhk-develops-3-layer-organic-sensor.html
 
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fortwodriver

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On a related note: NHK released last summer a working prototype of organic sensor which is a direct competitor to Foveon technology. It can detect all three colours: blue, green and red on each photosite.
http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2020/07/nhk-develops-3-layer-organic-sensor.html

I believe time is of the essence with this tech. Merrill was at JPL working on Foveon in the early-mid 90s long before it ever ended up in a consumer camera. Merrill's tech came from work done in the late 80s by another scientist.

It may be a long time before whatever NHK is working on exits whatever R&D and/or military application and ends up in a consumer camera. They have done some other stuff too... 3D imaging, and an 8k sensor that is made up of over 100MP. That was back in the 2010s.
 

BDR-529

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I believe time is of the essence with this tech. Merrill was at JPL working on Foveon in the early-mid 90s long before it ever ended up in a consumer camera. Merrill's tech came from work done in the late 80s by another scientist.

Foveon sensor has one serious flaw: it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Human eye is ridiculously insensitive to fine details in croma but very sensitive to luma instead.
This is the reason why even high-end cameras still use Bayer filters and 4:2:0 video looks just fine.

Foveon is trying to hide this by taking some artistic liberties in mathematics. They multiply the number of photosites by three and claim that their sensor with 20 million photosites is in fact equal to traditional 60MP one. Or would have been, had the project not been terminated.
 

fortwodriver

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Foveon sensor has one serious flaw: it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Maybe so, but the original intent was to try and duplicate broadband colour sensing within a single pixel. I don't think the original scientists ever envisioned it applying to consumer photography. JPL saw its potential in very high-resolution imaging that allowed them to eliminate the interpolation stage. They had their reasons for not wanting to work with interpolated images and up until then, their only choices were monochrome sensors and beam-splitting.

So yeah, from a consumer standpoint it was a solution looking for a problem, and Sigma sticking to the SA mount, and their own lenses really didn't help most of the time. Many found the cameras incredibly frustrating to work with.

But some do enjoy them...
 

BDR-529

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They had their reasons for not wanting to work with interpolated images and up until then, their only choices were monochrome sensors and beam-splitting.

My first digital camera was a 3CCD Panasonic DV camcorder which they promoted as a hybrid camera because it even had real a flash for "3,1MP still images".

Still images were a huge disappointment despite the nominally reasonable 3,1MP resolution. It took me a while to realize why they were utterly crappy.

This camera had also a set of prisms to split blue, green and red to three separate CCD sensors which of course had just enough resolution for 720*576 DV (0,4MP) video and then some for digital IS.

Once again sales guys had managed to add up the pixels in different CCD sensors despite the fact that the whole idea was to align sensors so that all three colours can be captured from each of the 414 720 photosites á la Foveon.

They went even so far that jpegs which camera captured were automatically extrapolated in-body to 3,1MP from whatever was the active area of nominally 0,8MP CCD sensor. Trying to extrapolate entirely new photosites which were never captured in the first place is an entirely different task than to interpolate 2 out 3 RGB values when one is known and missing coulours were captured in adjacent pixels.
 
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fortwodriver

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My first digital camera was a 3CCD Panasonic DV camcorder which they promoted as a hybrid camera because it even had real a flash for "3,1MP still images".

They went even so far that jpegs which camera captured were automatically extrapolated in-body to 3,1MP from whatever was the active area of nominally 0,8MP CCD sensor. Trying to extrapolate entirely new photosites which were never captured in the first place is an entirely different task than to interpolate 2 out 3 RGB values when one is known and missing coulours were captured in adjacent pixels.
I remember those. Not only that, but they had no invested in any "photographic" colour science. Everything was calibrated to NTSC/PAL television colours. With proper TV lighting, those cameras did have good results. But who carried a lighting rig with those cameras? Nobody.
There's a big difference. Even Sony's 3CCD HAD (I think that's what it was called) was sub-megapixel in those video cameras.

Split-prism multi-CCD got much better when we crossed the 2MP threshold. I believe that's about when Sony introduced those CineAlta 2/3rds cameras that did very, very good work for their time. Enough to make it to the big screen.
 
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