Thursday, May 01, 2008

Demystifying Digital Camera Specifications

April 3, 2008 - John Galt, Head of Advanced Digital Imaging at Panavision, and Larry Thorpe, National Marketing Manager at Canon Broadcast & Communications Division, came together to help untangle some common misunderstandings in Digital Camera Specifications.

One thing that I had never really appreciated was the reason why single sensor cameras produce RAW images and why that is important. Why, I thought, couldn't you just take full-res RGB from the camera (most RGB formats - TIFF and Targa can represent more dynamic range that the sensor can produce) and be done with it? However - a Bayer matrix in front of a single sensor is a heck of a compromise and if you want to stand the best chance of extracting all the resolution (in all three channels) you are stuck with RAW. I suppose having such a background in video means I always think about image capture and processing in terms of RGB.
Mark Lloyd (root6's own webmaster and guerrilla filmmaker) tells me this is proving a thorn in the side for the Red camera which uses a Canon DSLR image sensor (Bayer-filtered, of course).

Anyhow - watch the presentation - the link in the title is to the 480p starting at part six. The final two parts are the most interesting for bayer/single-sensor cameras. The first two parts provide a very good explanation of MTF (Modulation Transfer Function).
If you're hungry for more (and who isn't?!) The Schubin Report had a great podcast on the subject last year.

1 comment:

Rupert said...

did Atlas shrug, though?