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Rumored APS-C monochrom equivalent APS-C camera

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by tomO2013, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013

    Apologies to the mods in advance if this is not the correct forum - it was the best match that I could determine.

    But according to mirrorlessrumors http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/wil...00-monochrome-sensor-camera-at-cp-in-february Samsung are set to unveil a monochromatic mirrorless camera in February.

    Personally I love B&W photos, I'd enjoy the results that the Leica M Monochrom can give you, but have absolutely no interest in paying crazy money to buy one.

    In the same vein I would consider the Sigma's Foveon as potentially offering similar advantage from a B&W perspective.

    But if Samsung could get this to market, I honestly think that it would sell well.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jamesgehrt

    jamesgehrt Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2014
    Easthampton, Massachusetts
    James Gehrt
    Please let there a built in EVF. If so, I am interested.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    There is a discussion over at DPR about this same rumor.

    The one thing of interest brought up over there was that this concept might not be a good a fit for m43. Many of the Panasonic lenses require a fair bit of software lateral CA correction (the 7-14 is a good example). On a monochrome sensor that is of course not possible and so the lateral CA just becomes bad corner softness instead. This can of course be solved if you use relatively narrow band color filters on the lenses (say a Red 25 or Green 61) which probably a lot of dedicated B&W shooters might do anyway for creative reasons. But worth understanding with many mirrorless formats leaning on software for CA correction for some lenses those lenses will have softness issues if shot on a monochrome body without external filters on the lens. And of course lateral CA does not change or improve at all on stopping down!

    Anyway, personally I'd be curious about a monochrome m43 camera but wouldn't switch systems to Samsung to get it. If anything I'd grab a DP2M first. But that's just me.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Dear lazyweb, why would I buy a monochrome camera when I can drop color in post-processing? Is there really going to be a significant qualitative difference that would justify a monochrome-only camera?
  5. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Monochrome cameras can have higher sensitivity (i.e. better high ISO performance) because they lack the rather significant transmission loss of the Bayer CFA.

    Monochrome cameras can have better resolution and noise performance compared to B&W conversions from a color file especially when doing conversions that would be heavy in the red channel. A monochrome camera shot with a Red 25 filter will have significantly better resolution and noise performance than a red channel conversion from a color camera. This is because the red channel in a color camera is decimated by four and typically for daylight exposures is significantly under exposed as well (this is to protect the red channel from saturation when shot in tungsten light).

    So for example, if you were a B&W landscape photographer who might often use a Red 25 filter when shooting with film the choices for digital capture of an equivalent image would be:

    A 16MP Monochrome sensor shot with a red 25 filter on the lens. This would give a final image with 16MP of resolution and the noise of a properly exposed shot.

    A 16MP Color sensor shot with no filter and converted to B+W with the red channel or a Red 25 preset in something like LR. This would give a final image with only about 4MP of resolution and with the noise of a shot that had been underexposed by one to two stops and then pushed.

    It is of course a bit more complicated than that, but in answer to your question yes there are cases in which shooting a monochrome sensor has signifcant advantages over converting from color in post. Of course a significant disadvantage is you need to carry the correct color filters for your monochrome camera and decide which one to use at the time of shooting - a lot less flexible than converting a color image to B&W.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Thanks much, right after I posted my curiosity overcame my laziness so I read up a bit, but should have just waited for your concise reply. Thanks again!
  7. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Actually the technology in the m monochrom is based on a much older generation sensor that has had it's CFA removed. Older generation to the one used in the M240.
    Looking at the results however, it produces B&W's with tonality akin to a medium format camera.

    A modern day m43 / APS-C sensor with the CFA removed should provide results as good (assuming good glass put out front ;)  ).
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    A Fovean-based u43 camera would be a fantastic piece of kit. Great monochrome and uber high def colour. I wonder if Oly/Pany shouldn't pay a visit to Fukushima (yes, Sigma is based there) and persuade them to sign up.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    ^^ That my friend, would be amazing.

    Believe it or not, I would love to see Panasonic in particular go down the route of a monochrom m43 camera. While this is very much a niche idea - I would LOVE to shoot film in native B&W at 4k....

    That being said, whether foveon based, or 'normal' bayer without the bayer CFA sensor; I suspect that any monochrom video camera would be unlikely due to the increased data readout required.

  10. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    leica can do monochrome only cameras, becouse the cost so much more. I doubt anyone else dare to sell a 900usd camera with no colors... I would be tempted by it and maybe 5% more of the market :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Still working the savings 2.5 years later for a Monochrom.... the want for such a camera has yet to wane. This is a recent quick comparison I did with at a local camera shop.

    On the left is my M9 at ISO 3200 with my best efforts at controlling the noise without too much sharpening.
    On the right is the Monochrom at ISO 10000 with zero sharpening. Just a tiny bit of contrast.

    View attachment 399659

    Its hard to explain but the results are absolutely stunning.. unlike anything I've had the fortunate opportunity to handle; tonality, sensor noise that looks so much like fine grain, and detail. When compared to my files converted B&W (Silver Efex)... I realize how much they are simply look like digital converted. There are better samples available online. I think the small sample above shows the differences in cameras that are practically identical in every other way (Monochrom sensor is based on the same CCD sensor in the M9)

    I think it would be an excellent addition to micro 4/3rds. I would love to see it personally.. probably would buy it too. I get the feeling there are both difficulties from both a business and technical standpoint that would need to be addressed. Part of the reason for the Leica Monochrom's excellent files is not only that the Bayer filtering and processing is removed but also because it uses a CCD sensor. According to Ming Thein (IIRC), its the CCD (Kodak former) sensor that produces a fine pleasant looking grain at high ISOs while CMOS would produce less than ideal results (patterning). On the other hand, CMOS sensors have proven far better at handling high ISOs for color applications (with Bayer filter).. something that appeals to the wider audience. Top that with the fact that you are limited in post processing workflow (you need to use B&W filters like you would with film) means you may be stuck with a product that has a small market (business difficulty). I certainly don't see Olympus or Panasonic producing a monochrome camera with a custom CCD chip.

    I wish camera shops would improve lighting at the counters.... that's were so many test shots are first taken by the customers. Anyways.... Even under those conditions the Monochrom gave me a shutter speed of 1/2000th of second at ISO 10000 at f/1.4
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