canon rumors FORUM

Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: Canon Rumors on May 22, 2013, 10:00:17 AM

Title: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Canon Rumors on May 22, 2013, 10:00:17 AM

Canon still working on Foveon Technology

Canon has been working on 3 layer Foveon sensor technology for a while now, it still hasn’t appeared in a camera and we haven’t heard anything to say it will. However, the fact they continue to spend resources on it, tells us there is definitely a good application for the technology.


Patent Publication No. 2013-93553 (Google Translated)



Imaging element of three-layer structure



Canon patent



Source: [EG]


cr


Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Dianoda on May 22, 2013, 10:05:56 AM
A foveon-style FF sensor in a canon body would be sweet.  Canon, dooo ittttttt.....
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Albi86 on May 22, 2013, 10:08:47 AM
Interesting....
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: andyjaggy on May 22, 2013, 10:24:52 AM
A foveon-style FF sensor in a canon body would be sweet.  Canon, dooo ittttttt.....

I'm in love with my Sigma merrill cameras, I would be incredibly interested in a Canon fovean camera. The fact that an APS-C sized fovean sensor can capture as much or more detail than most full frame bayer sensors makes a full frame fovean sensor look really interesting.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Albi86 on May 22, 2013, 10:34:19 AM
A foveon-style FF sensor in a canon body would be sweet.  Canon, dooo ittttttt.....

I'm in love with my Sigma merrill cameras, I would be incredibly interested in a Canon fovean camera. The fact that an APS-C sized fovean sensor can capture as much or more detail than most full frame bayer sensors makes a full frame fovean sensor look really interesting.

The Foveon has great potential and great flaws.

To fix the latter in a reasonable time, imho, a great deal of resources are needed - the sort of resources maybe only Sony and Samsung have.

The good thing is that manufacturers are understanding that the Bayer sensors (and the mechanical mirrors/shutters) are the bottlenecks of modern cameras' performance. However the Foveon is not the only solution. There's another prototype of sensor (can't recall the name) that uses the energy of the photons to translate it into wavelength and then into color information.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: paul13walnut5 on May 22, 2013, 10:50:18 AM
Been banging the drum for a while that it's about pixel quality rather than quantity.  This combined with decent colour depth in video mode would be very interesting.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on May 22, 2013, 10:51:11 AM
I'm most pleased to read this!  The only other rumor I have heard, from a year or two ago, was that Sony was interested in developing the technology.  If Canon can make strides, that might give them an edge. 

What this should tell all the foveon-Sigma haters, is that the concept definitely is worth the resources spent to develop it.  Why?  Because the basic idea, is the closest a digital sensor has come, to what film emulsion achieved.  That of delivering full color at every location, within the lateral plane.  Not only that, but film emulsion also achieved full color in the longitudinal plane...and a very thin plane it was.  However, its plane was also that of flimsy plastic film which did not always form a perfectly flat plane within the camera, or the enlarger.

That said, I honestly do not think the foveon approach, will ever achieve parity with bayer or similar CMOS array approaches, with regards to the higher ISO noise floor.  I could be wrong, but it just seems like the physics are against it.  But that doesn't mean the foveon technique, won't ever be at parity, or even surpass other techniques...at the lower ISO's.

I owned a first generation DP2 for about 2 years, and shot over 5000 images with it (alongside my Canon DSLR and other gear).  I loved it a lot, and sold it for a great price.  Its images easily scaled to 25 megapixels.  The ability to achieve natural color saturation in post editing, was better than anything else I've experienced (with minor caveats such as the weird tint toward the corners of the frame...easily correctable...and obviously nothing above ISO 200).  I am now frankly craving a DP3 Merrill, for use in landscape stitched panoramas.  Talk about cramming a ton of resolution into just a few shots...!  The camera is said to take 8 or more seconds to write the RAW files, so I guess as long as the clouds or other objects aren't moving too fast, panoramas should be achievable.  HDR panoramas might be near impossible though, depending on how wide the overall angle of view is...of course if there is no cloud or other movement at all, it might not be so bad.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: bchernicoff on May 22, 2013, 10:55:16 AM
There's another prototype of sensor (can't recall the name) that uses the energy of the photons to translate it into wavelength and then into color information.

Are you sure you aren't thinking of Roger's April Fool's Day post? http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/wavelength-detecting-sensor-eliminates-bayer-filter-triples-resolution (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/wavelength-detecting-sensor-eliminates-bayer-filter-triples-resolution)
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: mb66energy on May 22, 2013, 11:01:19 AM


[...]

The Foveon has great potential and great flaws.

To fix the latter in a reasonable time, imho, a great deal of resources are needed - the sort of resources maybe only Sony and Samsung have.

The good thing is that manufacturers are understanding that the Bayer sensors (and the mechanical mirrors/shutters) are the bottlenecks of modern cameras' performance. However the Foveon is not the only solution. There's another prototype of sensor (can't recall the name) that uses the energy of the photons to translate it into wavelength and then into color information.

Why not Canon? AFAIK Canon develops sensors in their own company. O.k., they are behind others in some specs + IQ under different circumstances. But in 2005 when I decided to buy a 20D Canon had a great advantage: It's sensor reproduced great color and detail  - much better than other cameras from other brands and it was a Canon developed +produced sensor.
They have to do something revolutionary - evolutionary development of existing 18MPix sensors will not satisfy us and I think we will see some revolutionary sensor within 2 or 3 years.

@paul13walnut5:
Good remark about pixel quality instead of quantity. A 12 or 15 MPix FF sensor three layer sensor without antialiasing and high ISO sensitivity would be outstanding!
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: paul13walnut5 on May 22, 2013, 11:11:23 AM


That said, I honestly do not think the foveon approach, will ever achieve parity with bayer or similar CMOS array approaches, with regards to the higher ISO noise floor.  I could be wrong, but it just seems like the physics are against it.  But that doesn't mean the foveon technique, won't ever be at parity, or even surpass other techniques...at the lower ISO's.



With lower resolution & larger photosites it could. 

Again, from a video perspective this is very exciting, 3ccd's used to be the norm, makes for a very bulky camera, especially with much larger sensors in a block.  So foveon might be the way forward, and of course for video you don't need huge MP counts.

A 16:9 8MP could give you 4k video.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Albi86 on May 22, 2013, 11:20:56 AM
There's another prototype of sensor (can't recall the name) that uses the energy of the photons to translate it into wavelength and then into color information.

Are you sure you aren't thinking of Roger's April Fool's Day post? http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/wavelength-detecting-sensor-eliminates-bayer-filter-triples-resolution (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/wavelength-detecting-sensor-eliminates-bayer-filter-triples-resolution)

Lol, yes. Maybe this is why I didn't recall it :P
My head moved the memory into the garbage can but forgot to clear it.



Why not Canon? AFAIK Canon develops sensors in their own company. O.k., they are behind others in some specs + IQ under different circumstances. But in 2005 when I decided to buy a 20D Canon had a great advantage: It's sensor reproduced great color and detail  - much better than other cameras from other brands and it was a Canon developed +produced sensor.
They have to do something revolutionary - evolutionary development of existing 18MPix sensors will not satisfy us and I think we will see some revolutionary sensor within 2 or 3 years.



I was talking about money. Canon is not as big a company as Sony or Samsung. And imho before the Foveon actually gets to a point in which it can replace the Bayer sensors with no drawback, a lot of money has to go in R&D.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Stuart on May 22, 2013, 11:27:39 AM
"continue to spend resources on it, tells us there is definitely a good application for the technology"

But is a dSLR what they are thinking of?

Its also 2 years since it was filed, why does publishing it make it anything more than visible for IPR use?


Yes i love the idea, but its just an idea.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: birtembuk on May 22, 2013, 11:28:25 AM
The patent was filed on2011.10.4 and, as happens most of the time, it is published about 18 months later. This "grace period" buys time to the companies for the filing in the various countries before the content of the patent is made public. Usual procedure. What it just means is that by October 2011 the R&D of Canon completed a particular research project and thought appropriate to file for a patent. It does not mean that they are still working on this or that there is something in the pipe with this. How many patent did they already file on lenses which applications have not seen the light of day yet. Still waiting for the 50 f/1.2 II though  :P   
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on May 22, 2013, 11:40:42 AM
The patent sounds like research more than like something they would produce.  Canon works on a lot of different technologies trying for a breakthrough.  This is a way to improve on the serious issues with Foveon type sensors, but I doubt if its enough to make them better than Bayer technology.
 
In any event, here is a translation of part of the description.  Its hard to read, as all such machine translations are.
 

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION


[Detailed Description of the Invention]
[Field of the Invention]
[0001]
The present invention relates to a photoelectric conversion device, a manufacturing method for the same, and a photoelectric conversion system. 
[Background of the Invention]
 [0002]
 A Patent document 1 has disclosed the photoelectric conversion device which detects two or more colors by a unit pixel by including two or more photoelectric conversion parts in a unit pixel along a depth direction. In this photoelectric conversion device, it is used that the rate of the absorption of light of each color by a semiconductor substrate changes with depth from a semiconductor substrate surface. 
 [Citation list]
 [Patent literature]
 [0003]
 [Patent document 1] JP,2008-500768,A
 [Summary of Invention]
 [Problem to be solved by the invention]
 [0004]
 since a substrate is deep and light with long wavelength, for example, red light, can carry out until entering, the generated electric charge can diffuse to a substrate. This may bring about the loss of photosensitivity. In the photoelectric conversion part which was arranged at the deep position among two or more photoelectric conversion parts, the loss of photosensitivity takes place easily. This influence can become remarkable with micronization of a pixel. 
 [0005]
 In the photoelectric conversion device with which two or more photoelectric conversion parts were arranged along the depth direction, there is the object of this invention in providing advantageous technology, in order to make high photosensitivity of the photoelectric conversion part which was arranged at the deep position. 
 [Means for solving problem]
 [0006]
 One side surface of the present invention starts a photoelectric conversion device, and the aforementioned photoelectric conversion device, The component in which light has the 2nd page that was arranged at the incident opposite side of the 1st page and the 1st above-mentioned page, Two or more photoelectric conversion parts which were arranged at the inside of the aforementioned component along the depth direction from the 1st above-mentioned page are included, Any at least one except the aforementioned photoelectric conversion part which was arranged at the nearest position from the 1st above-mentioned page among two or more aforementioned photoelectric conversion parts. The difference of elevation has large uneven shape at the interface with the aforementioned component from the 1st above-mentioned page rather than the aforementioned photoelectric conversion part which was arranged at the nearest position, and the interface of the aforementioned uneven shape is characterized for the light which entered from the above-mentioned 1st page side, and arrived at the interface of the aforementioned uneven shape by localization or making it resonate. 
 [Effect of the Invention]
 [0007]
 According to the present invention, in the photoelectric conversion device with which two or more photoelectric conversion parts were arranged along the depth direction, it is advantageous in order to make high photosensitivity of the photoelectric conversion part which was arranged at the deep position. 
 
 
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 22, 2013, 11:56:41 AM
Foveon rocks!  ;D
FF+Foveon=FFF
FFF+mirrorless=me happy  :P
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: jcollett on May 22, 2013, 01:14:38 PM
I enjoy using my Sigma DP1x but the body design and controls are quite clunky.  I'd like to see the merger of Sigma and Fuji and have Foveon tech put in a Fuji X100s style body.  It would be both a beauty and a beast!
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: jrista on May 22, 2013, 01:17:58 PM
A layered, Foveon-style sensor is definitely intriguing. It has a lot to offer, but at the same time, it also has it's limitations. From a raw spatial resolution standpoint, Foveon will probably never compete with Bayer...at least, not with the same low levels of noise. Foveon can be upscaled, but the results are not quite the same (remember, bayer has limited color resolution, but it still has full luminance resolution.)

The most intriguing technology I've seen to date that maximizes resolution and light gathering/quantum efficiency is Panasonic's MCS, or Micro Color Splitting. Instead of FILTERING colors, red light is split from the incoming light at each pixel, and directed to the appropriate neighboring pixels. The result is White + Red and White - Red pixels that, when interpolated, contain all of the color and luminance information that reached the sensor (there can still be losses due to IR Cut and transmission losses, as well as due to Q.E. losses).

Unlike either Foveon or Bayer, an MCS sensor achieves high spatial resolution as well as low noise. I'd really like to see Canon develop something like this, instead of a layered sensor...I think the end result is even better high ISO performance as well as more color-rich low ISO performance. (And, theoretically, by gathering more light overall, one would suspect dynamic range to improve as well...but I don't really know how an MCS design might affect read noise...which is really the fundamental issue Canon faces these days...noisy high frequency downstream components adding gobs of read noise.)
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: RLPhoto on May 22, 2013, 02:53:00 PM
It could be useful in a FF, High MP, native 50 ISO 1DS body but IT WILL BE A STICKER SHOCKER.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Caps18 on May 22, 2013, 03:44:24 PM
You will need a new type of monitor to really use it the way it could possibly be made.  Imagine no pixels, no 'resolution', just a standard size that everything is scaled to.  It might be vector-based with infinite resolution if the picture is digitally made.  Or if it captured with this type of Foveon sensor, it will have to use some math processing to figure out what color to put where.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: hpjfromdk on May 22, 2013, 04:01:14 PM
If you're not fluent in Japanese the US patent app with same priority is US20130082343A1

~ hans ~
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: Quasimodo on May 22, 2013, 04:14:52 PM
If you're not fluent in Japanese the US patent app with same priority is US20130082343A1

~ hans ~

And here I thought that fluency in Japanese was a prerequisite for all CR members...... ;)
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: RGF on May 22, 2013, 05:02:31 PM
Interesting .. wonder how Canon plans to incorporate this into their product line.

Will they start at the top or place it in a middle level camera?

Years ago introduced technology on a one off basis.  For example eye control went no where, DO has stalled but may eventually go somewhere.  Recently Canon seems to have upped their game regarding quality.  Wonder how they will position a Foveon - type sensor.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: paul13walnut5 on May 22, 2013, 06:49:18 PM

Years ago introduced technology on a one off basis.  For example eye control went no where,

Eye Control was on the A2E (5), 50e, 30e and 30v, and the 3, and one of the APS EOS cameras (as in APS film)   It was sold on cameras between 1992-2007 (the latest the EOS 3 was listed as a current model by canon, the most recent new model to feature ECF was the 30v, launched in 2004) so it was far from a one off basis.

Widely revered, widely derided.  It's hard to think of a more devisive feature amongst Canon users of a certain generation.  I loved it and wish they would bring it back.  It had an off switch.  I never use spot average flash metering, but I don't get upset by cameras having it.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on May 22, 2013, 10:45:23 PM
You will need a new type of monitor to really use it the way it could possibly be made.  Imagine no pixels, no 'resolution', just a standard size that everything is scaled to.  It might be vector-based with infinite resolution if the picture is digitally made.  Or if it captured with this type of Foveon sensor, it will have to use some math processing to figure out what color to put where.

??? why

monitors are already full color per pixel
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: RGF on May 22, 2013, 11:06:41 PM

Years ago introduced technology on a one off basis.  For example eye control went no where,

Eye Control was on the A2E (5), 50e, 30e and 30v, and the 3, and one of the APS EOS cameras (as in APS film)   It was sold on cameras between 1992-2007 (the latest the EOS 3 was listed as a current model by canon, the most recent new model to feature ECF was the 30v, launched in 2004) so it was far from a one off basis.

Widely revered, widely derided.  It's hard to think of a more devisive feature amongst Canon users of a certain generation.  I loved it and wish they would bring it back.  It had an off switch.  I never use spot average flash metering, but I don't get upset by cameras having it.

Point was not to deride eye control, but to point out that starts with technology which it tests in the marketplace.  They seem to stopped that process in the last 5 yrs and I wonder if they will make intrude the foreon sensor too early?
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: M.ST on May 23, 2013, 01:35:43 AM
I my opinion that´s the "surprising" announcement.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 23, 2013, 01:58:19 AM
Foveon rocks!  ;D
FF+Foveon=FFF
FFF+mirrorless=me happy  :P

foveon dont rock, if so there have been a good foveon sensor out by now with good high iso properties and easy to to convert  to color true pictures with out tons of mathematical calculations.
se my earlier answer:

a Foveon solution with different layers is not a good solution, there are already other solutions tested, a single cell with prismatic properties that divides the RGB to surfaces that are equal and not stratified

Foveon is NOT about high ISO.
Leica is NOT about high ISO.
Medium format is NOT about high ISO.
Why so many people are going crazy about high ISO? I understand that it's useful, specially when you are shooting for money and you need to deliver. I'm not a pro, I shoot for pleasure and I prefer noise-free low ISO camera with better DR and resolution. Sigma Merrill series Foveon is not perfect, but (correct me if I'm wrong) it is only 3-rd generation sensor and at ISO100 it kicks the color-guessing CMOS technology in their balls. :)
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 23, 2013, 08:55:24 AM
Foveon rocks!  ;D
FF+Foveon=FFF
FFF+mirrorless=me happy  :P

foveon dont rock, if so there have been a good foveon sensor out by now with good high iso properties and easy to to convert  to color true pictures with out tons of mathematical calculations.
se my earlier answer:

a Foveon solution with different layers is not a good solution, there are already other solutions tested, a single cell with prismatic properties that divides the RGB to surfaces that are equal and not stratified

Foveon is NOT about high ISO.
Leica is NOT about high ISO.
Medium format is NOT about high ISO.
Why so many people are going crazy about high ISO? I understand that it's useful, specially when you are shooting for money and you need to deliver. I'm not a pro, I shoot for pleasure and I prefer noise-free low ISO camera with better DR and resolution. Sigma Merrill series Foveon is not perfect, but (correct me if I'm wrong) it is only 3-rd generation sensor and at ISO100 it kicks the color-guessing CMOS technology in their balls. :)

no it doesn't regarding  colors and how we se colors. Bayer sensors don't have a lower limit on color accuracy, they can achieve literally perfect (100% match to human eye perception) color.
http://alt-vision.com/documentation/AeroSense-2003-Oral.pdf (http://alt-vision.com/documentation/AeroSense-2003-Oral.pdf)

Diagrams that can help make sense of this can you found on pages 20, 21, and 22.
The diagram on page 22 is the one that will give you the true, better insight. Look at the human eye curves (upper left graph) and the Bayer camera curves (lower left graph)
Pay attention to their shapes, and how they interact with each other. The Bayer curves is similar to the eye curves. Blue barely crosses red, and green is definitely a hump in the middle. All the slopes are similar.

Now look at the Foveon (upper right) curve. Its nowhere close. Look at where red and blue cross. Instead of being below 10% of their peak values, they're at 50%. Blue should have been finished (totally out of the picture) by about 550n, but it's still going strong all the way to 660nm (pretty deep red). Green and red should both be sloping downward from 600nm on, but instead red is sloping up. This is example  why the Foveon sensors have considerable difficulty discriminating many colors.

Eric Fossum ones wrote, clarity and richness from  the Foveon image  is a equal wonder  as when a jumbo jet taking off.

Diagrams are just diagrams. I don't pick lenses by looking at MTF diagrams, I look at RAW images. Same with cameras. Those signals must be filtered, corrected and processed before you get a picture. Canon CMOS and Sony CMOS deliver different results, why do you think that Sigma Foveon and Canon Foveon should be the same?
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 23, 2013, 11:27:23 AM
well MTF diagrams  gives you good information about the lens you are picking, so does this curves about problems with 3 layers of filter, there are other constructions  , read earlier answer
IF there had  been only minor problem with a Foveon or similar construction you can be sure there had been  sensors  out on the market since  years back
And Foveon is not the first with a construction like this.They are the first to do a commercial product

Got any diagrams on how those problems are/should be solved?
I think that scientific method is the best, except when people start using it religiously, like "... this is the only way, now and forever, amen" or "... my book says X, so your book is wrong, because my religion is the right one".
Perhaps one of the reasons why Foveon is not very popular, is that it requires more in-camera processing power, which results in slow shooting speed and short battery life.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on May 23, 2013, 12:47:07 PM
In my practical usage, I will state again, that despite what the above tests might or might not show, the color saturation and variation I achieved with the older DP2, was quite usable, and did deliver a wide color palette.  And when boosting color and vibrance sliders in post, there was no apparent color noise, and the variety of color did not diminish...at least with shots done at ISO 100 or ISO 50.  This is not true of all the bayer-sensored cameras whose RAW files I have edited, including the 5D3 and my 6D.  Of course overall, the file is better from those two than from the DP2 (not even discussing the file's resolution dimensions here).  Their sensors are huge by comparison, and their implementation is far more developed and evolved. 

But it's really just something you have to be open minded and experience for yourself.  You can't judge Sigma's sensor alone, based on tests and charts.  I suspect the Merrill sensor is significantly better, as well.

Basically what I am saying, is that when editing RAW files, the primary colors, become blown out very quickly, when you apply boosted saturation in post editing of the files in Lightroom or ACR...with bayer sensors...where they do not with the foveon sensor I used (again at low ISO...at higher ISO, yes it was not usable for color...but no one has said it is).

You can attempt to discredit what I just said, or say it's not a valid point.  I don't care.  It's still the reality of using the foveon sensor.  Sure, you could argue that such boosted color saturation is not a realistic interpretation of the reality the camera was capturing...but I could argue that a big part of what it captured IS REALITY, it is just representing it in a way that flies in the face of the philosophies you adhere to, and thus you close your mind to other interpretations that exist in reality, whether you like it or not.

Again, thus far, the only digital camera sensor that has achieved an interpretation of "true color" in the lateral plane, is the foveon.  Film did it in the lateral plane, and essentially in the longitudinal plane (since the emulsion layer was very thin).  Bayer sensors certainly rely on math to determine color...to argue the opposite is to lie and ignore the obvious.  So an argument based on the supposed "flawed math" needed to produce an image with a foveon sensor, is a flawed argument itself.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: jrista on May 23, 2013, 02:06:35 PM
well MTF diagrams  gives you good information about the lens you are picking, so does this curves about problems with 3 layers of filter, there are other constructions  , read earlier answer
IF there had  been only minor problem with a Foveon or similar construction you can be sure there had been  sensors  out on the market since  years back
And Foveon is not the first with a construction like this.They are the first to do a commercial product

Got any diagrams on how those problems are/should be solved?
I think that scientific method is the best, except when people start using it religiously, like "... this is the only way, now and forever, amen" or "... my book says X, so your book is wrong, because my religion is the right one".
Perhaps one of the reasons why Foveon is not very popular, is that it requires more in-camera processing power, which results in slow shooting speed and short battery life.

I would say the biggest reason Foveon doesn't sell is they are stuck in Sigma cameras. Sigma is NOT known for producing a high quality camera body, nor is it know for high quality or high end DSLR features and functionality. Their menu system is a joke. Foveon has some EXCELLENT strengths, and for types of photography that do not require high ISO (i.e. landscapes), it is an excellent design. The problem is that Sigma owns it, and they just plain and simply don't make a very good camera. Personally, I find that to be a sad state of affairs. I think Sigma purchased Foveon thinking the sensor itself would bring in the sales.

I think the Foveon+Sigma story is an excellent example of how camera BODY and its functionality overall is significantly more important than just the sensor.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 23, 2013, 02:27:01 PM
well MTF diagrams  gives you good information about the lens you are picking, so does this curves about problems with 3 layers of filter, there are other constructions  , read earlier answer
IF there had  been only minor problem with a Foveon or similar construction you can be sure there had been  sensors  out on the market since  years back
And Foveon is not the first with a construction like this.They are the first to do a commercial product

Got any diagrams on how those problems are/should be solved?
I think that scientific method is the best, except when people start using it religiously, like "... this is the only way, now and forever, amen" or "... my book says X, so your book is wrong, because my religion is the right one".
Perhaps one of the reasons why Foveon is not very popular, is that it requires more in-camera processing power, which results in slow shooting speed and short battery life.

I would say the biggest reason Foveon doesn't sell is they are stuck in Sigma cameras. Sigma is NOT known for producing a high quality camera body, nor is it know for high quality or high end DSLR features and functionality. Their menu system is a joke. Foveon has some EXCELLENT strengths, and for types of photography that do not require high ISO (i.e. landscapes), it is an excellent design. The problem is that Sigma owns it, and they just plain and simply don't make a very good camera. Personally, I find that to be a sad state of affairs. I think Sigma purchased Foveon thinking the sensor itself would bring in the sales.

I think the Foveon+Sigma story is an excellent example of how camera BODY and its functionality overall is significantly more important than just the sensor.

Yes. I agree.
The lack of third party RAW processing software support doesn't help as well.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on May 23, 2013, 04:22:51 PM

I think the Foveon+Sigma story is an excellent example of how camera BODY and its functionality overall is significantly more important than just the sensor.

That might be true, but then that's why I like to purchase the sensor in Sigma's smaller and less costly DP series body (or I should say "camera").  Certainly the initial price of the SD-1 was absurd, and a bit of a fiasco...and the current SD Merrill is still not enough camera for the money.

And certainly Sigma makes very few lenses that are capable of making full use of the Merrill sensor's resolution.  Perhaps the new 35mm f/1.4, and a couple of their superteles...Again, that's why I like to purchase the DP series camera, because their lenses can and do impart the full resolution onto the sensor.

But I thought this discussion was really more about the sensor itself, rather than a convenient opportunity to slam Sigma for producing less than competitive DSLR's...So it's kind of sad that it has suddenly gone in that direction.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on May 23, 2013, 04:26:50 PM
Yes. I agree.
The lack of third party RAW processing software support doesn't help as well.

Are you saying you can't process the foveon's RAW images with third party software?  Because myself and most others who used it, did so with no trouble.  I have not heard of a lack of support for the new Merrill sensor, if that is what you're saying.  So that's news to me.  You're saying Lightroom 4 cannot open Merrill RAW files?
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: jrista on May 23, 2013, 06:58:21 PM

I think the Foveon+Sigma story is an excellent example of how camera BODY and its functionality overall is significantly more important than just the sensor.

That might be true, but then that's why I like to purchase the sensor in Sigma's smaller and less costly DP series body (or I should say "camera").  Certainly the initial price of the SD-1 was absurd, and a bit of a fiasco...and the current SD Merrill is still not enough camera for the money.

And certainly Sigma makes very few lenses that are capable of making full use of the Merrill sensor's resolution.  Perhaps the new 35mm f/1.4, and a couple of their superteles...Again, that's why I like to purchase the DP series camera, because their lenses can and do impart the full resolution onto the sensor.

But I thought this discussion was really more about the sensor itself, rather than a convenient opportunity to slam Sigma for producing less than competitive DSLR's...So it's kind of sad that it has suddenly gone in that direction.

Please, don't assume you know my intent, and don't put words in my mouth. I was not being opportunistic or gleeful about the option to slam Sigma, I was simply stating a fact. The FACT is, they produce an inferior DSLR. It isn't a slam, I am not sadistically getting a rise for bringing the point up. It's just a fact (even according to DPReview, the SD-1 is a real mixed bag, and has some very glaring flaws, quirky dial functionality, etc.) (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigmasd1/20) I know certain people like them, but numbers speak loudly, and if Sigma's cameras were better, the numbers would speak to that. The people I know who own Sigma DSLRs own them for the sole purpose of having Foveon. Few ever really bring up the body features or functionality unless the discussion takes a turn for the worse, and they enter full blown defensive mode. Interestingly, but not really surprisingly, nearly every single person I know who owns a Sigma DSLR with a Foveon is a landscape photographer, with one who does portraiture.

In the current flow of discussion, a point was made about why Sigma's Foveon isn't selling because the technology is inferior for one reason or another. I simply wanted to point out that it is less likely that the technology is inferior in general (it most certainly has its strengths, and it excels where it is strong), but Sigma isn't really the company that can bring Foveon to full bear on the market against giants like Nikon, Canon, and Sony. The truly SAD thing is that it is Sigma who owns Foveon, and that they can't seem to execute it's success. Again...I'm not opportunistically trying to bash Sigma here...its just an empirical fact (something based on years of observing Sigma fumble around with their priceless Foveon football, and never really making it, nor the camera bodies that house it, into the end zone...to my own dismay, I might add.)
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: TheBadger on May 23, 2013, 11:23:30 PM
Are these the big pixel cameras from Canon everyone is talking about? Or were they referring to the MPs?
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on May 24, 2013, 12:18:55 AM
Yes. I agree.
The lack of third party RAW processing software support doesn't help as well.

Are you saying you can't process the foveon's RAW images with third party software?  Because myself and most others who used it, did so with no trouble.  I have not heard of a lack of support for the new Merrill sensor, if that is what you're saying.  So that's news to me.  You're saying Lightroom 4 cannot open Merrill RAW files?

Yes. I was talking about Merrill RAW files, Adobe has no support for them yet. However, previous generations of Foveon RAW are supported.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: M.ST on May 24, 2013, 01:48:00 AM
Each pixel of the new Canon prototype sensor can capture all the colors.

This is made possible by the physical fact that long-wave (infrared) light penetrates deeper into Silicon than shortwave blue light.

Red light penetrates most deeply into Silicon, green light penetrates only up to the middle and blue light reaches just below the surface of the Silicon.

With the sensor informations the camera system can calculate, which color the pixel see.

The sensor filter is no rasterized like the Bayer pattern. You don´t need a anti-aliasing filter that blur the image. And you don´t need to sharpen the picture to get an usable image. The full performance of the attached lens is available in the image after taking the picture.

Cons: All are talking about High-ISO-Images. You get outstanding low-light images, but over ISO 1600 (maybe ISO 3200) the sensor with the Bayer pattern beats the new prototype sensor.

Why make the new sensor design sense?

You get sharp images, fine details, perfect realistic colors and no moire.

The question is, what you want to shoot. The new sensor is very good, but not good for all. If Canon put the new sensor on the market they have also products with the normal sensor design on the market.

It´s a little bit like AF-systems. the phase-AF is faster but the contrast-AF has a bigger hitrate. I see that the future of the AF-systems is a combination of both passive AF-systems.


 
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: jrista on May 24, 2013, 11:39:56 AM
Each pixel of the new Canon prototype sensor can capture all the colors.

This is made possible by the physical fact that long-wave (infrared) light penetrates deeper into Silicon than shortwave blue light.

Red light penetrates most deeply into Silicon, green light penetrates only up to the middle and blue light reaches just below the surface of the Silicon.

With the sensor informations the camera system can calculate, which color the pixel see.

The sensor filter is no rasterized like the Bayer pattern. You don´t need a anti-aliasing filter that blur the image. And you don´t need to sharpen the picture to get an usable image. The full performance of the attached lens is available in the image after taking the picture.

Not quite accurate. "Full performance" is a non-linear factor when it comes to lenses. A high quality lens, such as one of Canon or Nikon's super telephoto lenses, offers maximum resolution at their maximum aperture. With say a 600mm f/4 lens, at f/4, the maximum potential spatial resolution is 173 lp/mm. Currently, no sensor on earth offers comparable spatial resolution. The highest resolution DSLR sensors, Canon's 18mp APS-C and Sony's 24mp APS-C, offer (with the most optimistic measure) 116 lp/mm and 129 lp/mm. Neither of those sensors bring out the "full performance" of any lens, especially not top of the line professional gear.

Why make the new sensor design sense?

You get sharp images, fine details, perfect realistic colors and no moire.

All of these facts, except the "fine details" one, are true. Simple fact of the matter is, with three sensels at every pixel, you have a lot more raw data points to process in any given read than with a bayer type sensor. That affects how fast you can read, which limits how how far you can push spatial resolution with a foveon design. Currently, the fastest DSLR's process at ~500mb/s. A 36.3mp Foveon would need 200mb/s just to read out ONE SINGLE FRAME in a SINGLE SECOND! You DO get full color information at every pixel, but there are bayer sensors capable of resolving nearly as good color information, just as sharply, with FAR more fine detail.

This is one of the fundamental drawbacks of foveon-style sensors. They are sensel dense, but not pixel dense. From a spatial resolution standpoint, foveon is about 2/3rds LESS capable of resolving fine colored detail than a the top bayer sensors (factoring in the spotty spatial resolution of the red and blue channels). From a purely luminance standpoint, Foveon is about half as good or worse than the best bayer sensors.

The argument for Foveon is often made in the form of: "You can always scale Foveon up and get just as good IQ as a bayer". To some degree, this is true...with the exception of the spatial resolution (fine detail) factor. However the inverse is most definitely true: "You can always scale bayer down and get just as good or better IQ than Foveon."

The question is, what you want to shoot. The new sensor is very good, but not good for all. If Canon put the new sensor on the market they have also products with the normal sensor design on the market.

I would agree with this...assuming Canon ever puts the sensor on the market. I think MCS designs will probably ultimately take over in the long run. Increasing SNR will be critical to achieving higher and higher usable ISO settings, and I think any sensor design that relies on the filtration of light will eventually fall in favor of designs that maximize how much light is used, eliminating the need to filter at all.

It´s a little bit like AF-systems. the phase-AF is faster but the contrast-AF has a bigger hitrate. I see that the future of the AF-systems is a combination of both passive AF-systems.

Sorry, but the AF system comparison is no longer true. According to LensRentals (http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/07/autofocus-reality-part-ii-1-vs-2-and-old-vs-new), modern Canon equipment (newly released lenses paired with a new body like the 5D III or 1D X) is capable of producing just as high a hit rate with PD-AF as with CD-AF. PD-AF is now just as accurate as contrast methods, but considerably faster. For the types of photography that rely heavily on high speed AF lock and tracking, contrast detection will NEVER be sufficient, even when paired with phase detection. The raw performance of PD-AF with a dedicated sensor will never be surpassed, and I do not see AF-critical photographers ever choosing a camera that combines PD-AF with CD-AF.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on June 20, 2013, 04:52:50 PM

I think the Foveon+Sigma story is an excellent example of how camera BODY and its functionality overall is significantly more important than just the sensor.

That might be true, but then that's why I like to purchase the sensor in Sigma's smaller and less costly DP series body (or I should say "camera").  Certainly the initial price of the SD-1 was absurd, and a bit of a fiasco...and the current SD Merrill is still not enough camera for the money.

And certainly Sigma makes very few lenses that are capable of making full use of the Merrill sensor's resolution.  Perhaps the new 35mm f/1.4, and a couple of their superteles...Again, that's why I like to purchase the DP series camera, because their lenses can and do impart the full resolution onto the sensor.

But I thought this discussion was really more about the sensor itself, rather than a convenient opportunity to slam Sigma for producing less than competitive DSLR's...So it's kind of sad that it has suddenly gone in that direction.

Please, don't assume you know my intent, and don't put words in my mouth. I was not being opportunistic or gleeful about the option to slam Sigma, I was simply stating a fact. The FACT is, they produce an inferior DSLR. It isn't a slam, I am not sadistically getting a rise for bringing the point up. It's just a fact (even according to DPReview, the SD-1 is a real mixed bag, and has some very glaring flaws, quirky dial functionality, etc.) (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigmasd1/20) I know certain people like them, but numbers speak loudly, and if Sigma's cameras were better, the numbers would speak to that. The people I know who own Sigma DSLRs own them for the sole purpose of having Foveon. Few ever really bring up the body features or functionality unless the discussion takes a turn for the worse, and they enter full blown defensive mode. Interestingly, but not really surprisingly, nearly every single person I know who owns a Sigma DSLR with a Foveon is a landscape photographer, with one who does portraiture.

In the current flow of discussion, a point was made about why Sigma's Foveon isn't selling because the technology is inferior for one reason or another. I simply wanted to point out that it is less likely that the technology is inferior in general (it most certainly has its strengths, and it excels where it is strong), but Sigma isn't really the company that can bring Foveon to full bear on the market against giants like Nikon, Canon, and Sony. The truly SAD thing is that it is Sigma who owns Foveon, and that they can't seem to execute it's success. Again...I'm not opportunistically trying to bash Sigma here...its just an empirical fact (something based on years of observing Sigma fumble around with their priceless Foveon football, and never really making it, nor the camera bodies that house it, into the end zone...to my own dismay, I might add.)

I certainly agree that Sigma is not the company that can fully develop the technology.  I think I even said something to that effect already.  If not here, elsewhere.
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: CarlTN on June 20, 2013, 04:53:58 PM
Yes. I agree.
The lack of third party RAW processing software support doesn't help as well.

Are you saying you can't process the foveon's RAW images with third party software?  Because myself and most others who used it, did so with no trouble.  I have not heard of a lack of support for the new Merrill sensor, if that is what you're saying.  So that's news to me.  You're saying Lightroom 4 cannot open Merrill RAW files?

Yes. I was talking about Merrill RAW files, Adobe has no support for them yet. However, previous generations of Foveon RAW are supported.

I wonder if LR 5 will support the Merrill RAW files from any of their bodies?
Title: Re: Patent: Canon Foveon Sensor
Post by: ecka on June 21, 2013, 04:40:23 AM
Yes. I agree.
The lack of third party RAW processing software support doesn't help as well.

Are you saying you can't process the foveon's RAW images with third party software?  Because myself and most others who used it, did so with no trouble.  I have not heard of a lack of support for the new Merrill sensor, if that is what you're saying.  So that's news to me.  You're saying Lightroom 4 cannot open Merrill RAW files?

Yes. I was talking about Merrill RAW files, Adobe has no support for them yet. However, previous generations of Foveon RAW are supported.

I wonder if LR 5 will support the Merrill RAW files from any of their bodies?

I hope so :D