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Messages - jrista

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 04, 2014, 12:23:01 AM »

One of the most ubiquitous shorebirds in the US, the Killdeer is hard to miss. Between their incessant "injured bird" act and fast antics as they spurt about along shores and around grasslands in their "dash-pause" manner, they are also probably the most well known plover. They are larger than a lot of other plovers, like Piping or Semipalmated, and have longer legs. They have two slightly different plumages...one with two white bands around the neck during breeding season, and one white and one cream colored band during the winter season.

They have a very persistent technique for protecting their nests and their young by playing the injured bird...with a high pitched, lilting chirp, flipping one wing out at an oddly-cocked angle, and showing off rusty-red colored underfeathers that look like they might be covered in blood, they play the hurt card until your close, then jet off with a broken, jerky flight a dozen or so feet out in front of you. Get close again, and they keep drawing you away from whatever it is they don't want you to find. ;) Clever little bastards. :P

Based on the ruckus last year every time I got near a throng of Killdeer, I'm sure they breed in Cherry Creek. I have not yet found any nests or chicks. Unlike the more common beaches where shorebirds are most often found breeding, Cherry Creek is FULL of hiding places, and finding baby birds is near impossible...even if you spot one, they skitter about and disappear into the brush without a trace, never to be seen again. Maybe this year I'll manage to glimpse some baby shorebirds.

Killdeer (Plover)
Cherry Creek State Park (Cottonwood Creek)

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 04, 2014, 12:09:09 AM »
The last shot was pretty much uncropped and not a lot I could do (tricky with 780 reach).  Same with this one.

Oh, I missed that you were using the 2x TC. I guess you kind of need the TC with the pixel count of the 1D II...but generally, I'd drop that and just use the 300 bare with a little bit of cropping if you can get away with it.

Software & Accessories / Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« on: May 04, 2014, 12:06:04 AM »
I don't use microfiber cloths, I use microfiber wipes. Kimwipes, to be exact. You can get boxes of them for super cheap, or whole crates of them for even cheaper. They are scientific grade microfiber wipes that are specifically designed with rigid fibers. It isn't so much the fibers that clean, as the pits in the wipe that actually collect and lift off oils and other crap from the lens.

I usually use them dry, no solvent, and I've never had any issues. No smearing, no scratching.

I don't use Kimwipes alone, though. I also a LensPen. My general routine is to dust off the lens with the lenspen brush end, then to use the kimwipe, then use the carbon lifter on the lenspen to buff out any stubborn spots if there are any. I picked up the three-piece lenspen kit, which includes a lenspen for lenses, one for filters, and a small one that I use to clean up my viewfinder eyepiece (which is by far the dirtiest lens element I have, and the one that gets dirty most often. :P) The lenspen kit comes with a microfiber cloth that contains three holding slots for the pens, and it bundles up nicely and fits into your pocket or a small pocket in a camera bag.

Between the kimwipes and the lens pens, I never have to bother with solvents, so no need to be careful with chemicals. I never have to wash anything, as the kimwipes are disposable and biodegradable. Eventually the lenspens wear out (they use carbon-activated lifters on one end, and there is only so much carbon in the caps...plus, I've noticed that if you aren't extremely careful, the brush end inevitably picks up some oils off your fingers, and eventually you either figure out a way to clean it that doesn't leave behind a residue, or just buy another lens pen.)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 11:49:39 PM »

Shorebirds are some of my favorite birds. I always loved seeing them when I visited a few beaches known for attracting them in California when growing up. Last year was pretty much the year of the shorebird, we had more of them, and more variety of species, than I'd ever seen before. That was thanks to the extremely hot summers and mild winters of the two years prior (2012 and 2013), which created unprecedented mud flats and sandy shores around Cherry Creek reservoir, which created prime shorebird feeding grounds.

Between the deadly rains we had last September (it literally rained non-stop for over a week, no wind, the rain just fell vertically out of the sky at a high rate for days, flooding everything), and the hefty snow pack in the mountains this winter, water levels at Cherry Creek are some of the highest I've seen. Water is backlogged right back through the wetlands, and a couple days recently it was flowing backwards out of the lake because water levels were so high. Without much in the way of shores and mud flats, I don't expect to see as many shorebirds this year.

Thus, it was pretty nice to see a Willet meandering up and down one of the shores of Cottonwood Creek's wetland (a flow control system just south of Cherry Creek reservoir.) Willets are a bit larger shorebirds, larger than most pipers, slightly larger than Solitary Sandpipers. They are pretty bland at first look, but on closer inspection their gray is actually a number of colors and patterns, including gray, white, black, and some shades of brown and tan. They have fairly beefy bills compared to most sandpipers, more akin to a Godwit or Snipe.

Cherry Creek State Park (Cottonwood Creek Wetland)

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 11:36:30 PM »
"Ah, I have to say, after the long and very cold winter here in Colorado, it's really nice to have some warm weather where I can hang out with the birds without shivering to death."

You've got that right, Jon. 

This was a pretty brutal winter. We didn't have as much snow as we've had in the past...but the cold was killer. I had two months where my heating bill (just to keep my house at 63°F) was over $250 (my "normal" bill is $75, and usually around $100-110 in the winter).

Really glad the cold is gone.

I was just out wandering in the bush without the camera (kinda chilly at around 0 C).  +17 one day, 0 the next ugh.  We're behind you relative to spring but there are ducks showing up daily and I got a far shot of a cinnamon teal the other day as well as a northern shouveler.  And this goose with the 1D2, 300 X2.  Oh to have this frame rate with a better camera!

Hmm! When did you get a 1D II? I bet that frame rate is nice! :P I have too many photography-related hobbies to plop the cash down on a 1D X, as much as I know I'd love it's frame rate and AF system. I'll be getting a 5D III soon here, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to miss having 8fps. But, with the money I'll save by not getting a 1D X, I'll also be able to get a nice high quality astro CCD imager and a few upgrades for my mount.

Anyway, great flight shot of the goose! The detail is excellent. Your 300mm lens is ideal for BIF...I have a pretty hard time with BIF using my 600 unless the birds are a good distance away (although that usually results in lower IQ due to waver vapor and evaporating water warping things.) I'm not sure if you cropped that...if you did, I recommend pulling the crop out more...it is a bit too tight. I think it is best to leave a decent amount of negative space around the bird, with more ahead of it's direction of flight than behind.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« on: May 03, 2014, 09:10:55 PM »
My first attempts at posting Images on this thread.

Used the Otus on both the 1Dx & 5DMK III recently while in Bali, found it almost impossible to get the focus spot on using the viewfinder, but once I got the hang of using Live view, zoomed to fix focus, then it starts to come together.

1Dx + Otus 55f/1.4 shot @ f/1.4 & 1/1250th ISO200

It really is amazing how sharp that lens is wide open. I really love that. I need to get a 5D III this year, but I may just have to put an Otus on my list for the future...it's just phenomena.

Out of curiosity, what is the MFD? Can it be used as a closeup lens for objects within a foot or two?

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 09:01:18 PM »
Blue-Winged Teal

For most of the year, were Mallard-central here in Colorado. Mallards are everywhere all the time. They even hang out well into winter, and tend to get here sooner than any of the other duck species. One of the species I find to be quite beautiful are the teals, particularly the Blue-Winged Teals. A few of these beauties were racing (literally) around the Cherry Creek duck ponds...chasing food, chasing after each other, or just simply racing around for the fun of it.

It was actually a rather entertaining show, and they didn't seem to mind my proximity (I set up RIGHT on the edge of shore...I actually ended up creating a puddle where I sat, as the pond is right into the water table, and there is always a muddy shore). A few of the males came right up to me while chasing after tasty morsels of food, so I was able to get some nice shots with a low perspective.

Ah, I have to say, after the long and very cold winter here in Colorado, it's really nice to have some warm weather where I can hang out with the birds without shivering to death.

Blue-Winged Teal, Males
Cherry Creek State Park (Cottonwood Creek)

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:56:00 PM »
Thanks Jack and Click!

Cog, I really love your roadside shots! Especially the one of the warbler head-on....lol, love their spindly little legs.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:38:25 PM »
Meadowlark Headshot

Here is a headshot of this beautiful little bird. I love the colorfulness. Not many birds in Colorado are this colorful...most of them are brownish with some reds, and most of the time, color is a very small percentage of their plumage. Some of the few exceptions are the Yellow Warbler, American Goldfinch, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, and Western Meadowlark. These guys all have brilliant yellow feathers, although I think the meadowlark takes the cake for color and design. I love their blue beaks as well.


EOS Bodies / Re: More Sensor Technology Talk [CR1]
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:17:50 PM »
Lol, well I know you like the higher spatial resolution...but that only works if the lens is up to the task (at least for "spatial" resolution of the image itself...not for comparing final or effective resolution of the larger sensor to a smaller denser one at the same lens focal length, etc...obviously ultimate image quality is less of a factor in that case).  Not many lenses are up to the task.  Also I'm not saying the 600 ii is not able to pull it off, obviously of course it is.  For astro imaging, would you not still need to do a similar multi shot NR process, even for a 6D, 5D3, or 1DX sensor?  How about for the 24MP or 36MP Exmors?  Wouldn't the A7r be an interesting option (since it can be adapted for EF lenses)?  Or is the closer flange distance enough to discourage trying that, due to the higher ghosting?  I assume in that process, you are not using (and would not want to try to use) ISO settings above 1000 or so (meaning the Exmors would have clear advantage). 

If you are talking about astrophotography (honestly not really sure what your trying to get at here), then the answer would really be "none of the above". I use my 7D for AP only because it's what I have right now. As far as the best sensors for AP, one doesn't use a camera built for normal photography. Every normal photography camera "cooks" the images. Even Canon's, even though they cook them less than the competitors, are always modifying the raw signal in some ways, but more than enough that it can make it difficult to properly calibrate and integrate a stack of images to produce a low noise, easily stretched astro image.

Astro CCD imagers tend to be vastly superior to any CMOS image sensor from normal photography cameras. They are usually monochrome, therefor their spatial resolution, particularly for color filtered frames, is higher despite the fact that they often have slightly larger pixels.  They use higher grade silicon and fabrication processes, and usually have higher Q.E. (55-65% is common for low end CCDs, 70-96% is what you get for higher end CCDs). They also usually have considerably higher dynamic range. About the best DR for a modern CMOS imaging sensor for a normal photography camera is around 40-43 dB. Even a lower end astro CCD gets about 55dB, and the midrange and higher end CCD can get anywhere from 70-105dB of dynamic range. About every 3dB is a one-stop improvement. Most of the nice high end astro CCDs that use the Kodak KAF-16803 full frame (36x24mm) sensor with 9µm pixels (or similar variants, some use a 36.7x36.7 4096x4096 pixel square Kodak KAF sensor, but it's specs are generally the same) get between 79 and 91 dB of dynamic range (depends on the actual grade). FWC is around 100,000e-, read noise is about 9-11e-, and dark current (when fully cooled) is around 0.02e-/s or less. Factoring in read noise, that's anywhere from 24-29 stops of dynamic range...which utterly TROUNCES the D800 and any other Sony Exmor based imager on the market.

When it comes to core technology, a lot of the technology that matters for normal photography really doesn't matter a wit for astrophotography. Spatial resolution is an important factor for normal photography. Not the single most important (you should know me well enough by now that I don't believe in the concept of a single most important feature for IQ :P). When it comes to astrophotography, it's a very keen balancing act, between getting enough resolution, but not so much that your dramatically oversampling your subject. You have a number of factors that go into producing a "spot size", the size of a diffraction-limited star at the sensor. When you factor in seeing (atmospheric turbulence), most of the time it's difficult for amateur astrophotographers to find seeing good enough that stars are less than 2-3" (arcseconds) in diameter. For nebula, galaxies, clusters, basically anything non-planetary, you want your sensor resolution to be fairly close to your spot size, not oversampling them too much, but also not undersampling them. For the most part, a pixel size around 5-6µm is pretty ideal for this purpose, but most astro CCDs allow pixel binning, so you can make your effective pixels larger or smaller as necessary when adding barlows or focal reducers in order to match your pixel size to your seeing/spot size. Astrophotography is also dependent on having sensitivity to wavelengths of light that are either utterly unimportant for normal photography, or which may even have a negative impact on color accuracy (i.e. deep reds and near IR and near UV), while concurrently being averse to other wavelengths that are often very important to normal photography (i.e. the various bandwidths within which sodium and mercury vapor lighting emit...yellows, greens, and violets, which contributes to light pollution in cities, is often filtered out with light pollution reduction filters.)

What I need for astrophotography is very different than what I need for stills photography. There is nothing wrong with more spatial resolution for normal photography, more of it certainly doesn't hurt. Total sensor area is also important for normal photography for VERY different reasons that it is important for astrophotography. Total sensor area leads to higher real sensitivity with normal photography. Larger sensor will always trump smaller sensor when it comes to high ISO performance.

With astrophotography, most of what your imaging are point light sources. This makes full well capacity, quantum efficiency, and having a low gain setting far more important than high ISO performance, as the higher you crank gain (or ISO), the faster your stars saturate and "bloom" (clip, then begin to spill over into neighboring pixels, which also eventually clip). Physical aperture size vastly more important than relative aperture in astrophotography, as it doesn't matter so much how fast you image as how much light you get from each and every definable point of the sky that you are resolving.  Physical aperture is also the primary factor in determining limiting magnitude, so a larger physical aperture, even if the telescope is effectively only f/8 or f/10, is important if your goal is to resolve very small details of very distant objects, or very small, dim stars.

It's generally illogical to compare normal photography needs with astrophotography needs. They are very different. What I argue for here on CR is very different than what I may argue for in the astrophotography threads here, or on astrophotography forums. Conflating what I've said about CMOS image sensors for normal photography with what I may have said about astrophotography is generally pointless, as there is no real correlation between those two types of photography.

Have you seen Sigma's internal balance sheets and accounting?  You claim you know where their money goes.  I admit obviously their foveon sensor is still very much in infancy, which is a shame.  However, they did buy the rights to the design from the American company.  And, they are the only ones producing a sensor like it (so far).  They even have a new one (which you were quick to trash, without ever having tried it). 

Your kind of missing the point of what I was saying. It doesn't matter how much money is involved. My point is that if they dumped their Foveon advertising budget into Foveon R&D, the money would be better spent. Regardless of how much they actually spend. A truly competitive Foveon (one that has BOTH the color fidelity advantage as well as competitive spatial resolution) would speak for itself, in images and by a much larger community and word of mouth.

I see nothing wrong with giving Sigma credit for trying, for being different...it seems like it works for the segment of the market they have laid claim to. 

I've never faulted Foveon for trying. Ever. I've only faulted them for lying or being misleading and creating this mistaken notion that somehow, Foveon's layered pixels somehow give them the magical ability of creating more resolution out of nothing. Sigma has a misleading, fallacious advertising agenda for Foveon. They seem to think they NEED to falsely trump up Foveon's resolution capabilities in comparison to bayer sensors, when they really don't. That's my beef with them. If they were truthful and sold Foveon on it's REAL strengths, I'd have nothing to call Sigma out for, and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Primarily they make lenses, after all.  The cameras are a very small niche.  Why would you expect them to be able to spend the funds necessary for the R&D to develop the sensor to your liking, when Canon and Sony have (as yet) not been able to do it?  Canon is trying to do it, and they are the largest camera company in the world.  Yet it's still not even for sale.

Based on the earliest patents from Canon for similar technology, they haven't been at it for even half as long as Sigma (or the prior owner of the technology). Hence my quip about Sigma better spending their money on R&D...it shouldn't take so long for such an intriguing sensor technology to go...almost nowhere. It was at 4-5mp for years, then it had a jump in the last couple of years to higher resolution, but it still lags behind bayer sensors. Foveon still suffers from noise problems, so it's never been as viable at high ISO (which immediately makes it a non-viable option for a LOT of photographers). Some of the technology in Canon's patents already surpasses Sigma's technology that is already in Foveon.

I sincerely hope that as more cash flows into Sigma from their lens division, they will be able to better prioritize more funds for Foveon R&D. I do like the core concept. I just don't believe that Sigma has done Foveon justice (so far). Things could change, and if/when they do, I'll applaud Sigma for the change...but to date, the snail is still losing the race.

(And let's face it, if Sigma spent $1 billion to develop it, it would still be a failure in your opinion, no matter how good it ultimately was...how is that fair or unbiased?)

Now your just assuming things. If you actually learned anything about me over my time on these forums, you would understand how ludicrous that assumption is. :P

I could care less, really, about how much money Sigma spends. What matters more to me is whether they money they spend results in progress that produces real value, and whether they HONESTLY sell the thing or whether they resort to misleading factoids and spurious claims. If Sigma could make the Foveon a truly competitive sensor TECHNOLOGICALLY (and it certainly has the potential, nothing wrong with the technology itself), it wouldn't matter if it cost $1,000,000 or $1,000,000,000...so long as in the end they turned enough of a profit to continue investing in the technology and keep it competitive. If they end up failing in the end, well it still wouldn't matter if they spent a hundred grand or a hundred billion, it would all be a waste in the end.

It will be both interesting and amusing, to see your criticism of Canon's new camera (assuming it even uses this technique...for all we know the next full frame model may not even use it after all.  It's just rumors...)

Again, your disgust with Sigma for simply existing, is juvenile, misplaced, and unnecessary.  As is your harsh view of those who use, or have used their products.  If we state our opinion of the images we got from using the camera, who are you to say we don't have a right to state it?

And were back to the personal insults. You and I do indeed have a mutual loathing of each other, and I have no interest in being friends with you...but I'm really trying to keep it off the public forum. No one else wants to see us fight, so I respectfully ask that if you want to insult me, please use PMs. Then you can get as nasty and hateful as you want.

Backlit Snowy Egret

I hadn't been out to Cherry Creek, my regular birding haunt, for months. I haven't really birded since last year...just been too cold until recently, and I've been so sick of cold. I missed part of the migration, but now the summer birds are arriving. That includes the egrets and the ibises. While photographing shorebirds, a few groups of both flew by, but sadly I was on the wrong side of the birds relative to the sun to get any good shots. This is the only one that came out decently well, although I quite like the backlit wings.

Snowy Egret
Cherry Creek State Park

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 03, 2014, 07:07:16 PM »

I was out checking Cherry Creek to see what kind of birds may have still been around. I kind of missed the first part of the migration this year, as the ducks moved through when it was still rather cold (and I've been just so sick of cold, as it's been quite cold here in Colorado since late September...long time). While hiking around one of the small wetland areas, I almost stepped on this little guy. Not sure what he was doing on the ground, or why he didn't move when I got close (extremely close). His fearlessness gave me a chance to back off, get a nice vantage point, and get some excellent shots.

He sang for me the entire time, too! Really love the meadowlark song, very musical.

(NOTE: No setup of any kind here...completely natural, by-chance setting.)

Male Meadowlark
Cherry Creek State Park

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II
Gitzo GT3532LS + Jobu Pro 2

EOS Bodies / Re: More Sensor Technology Talk [CR1]
« on: May 03, 2014, 05:45:15 PM »
Don't pretend you don't have your own biases, though.  You are proud of, and trumpet often, your bias against an entire company, Sigma.

I've never pretended. I'm pretty strait up about what I think of Sigma. I am not against the entire company. I've said on many occasions I think their new lenses from the last couple of years are excellent, and that I appreciate the competitive force they bring in that arena.

I have NEVER hidden my feelings about how Sigma has handled Foveon. I have been quite open about it. I think they do Foveon, which I believe is technology with a lot of potential, a severe disservice by missleadingly selling it as having some magical powers to increase resolution, when it does nothing of the sort. Spatial resolution is determined by pixel size, plain and simple. Foveon's strengths lie in other areas than spatial resolution, and they are good strengths. No color moire, good sharpness (for the resolutions that Foveon sensors come in), and excellent color fidelity.

Sigma wastes far too much time, money, and effort trying to trick potential customers into thinking they will get more resolution with a Foveon than a bayer, which is just a blatant, outright lie. I don't appreciate that, and yes, I fault Sigma for it. If Sigma would take a big chunk of their false advertising budget and inject it into their R&D department instead, I think they could make Foveon viable both on the color fidelity and spatial resolution fronts, and actually have a real competitor on their hands. But sadly, they keep pushing their missleading advertising.

Your bias and the need to feel proud of it somehow, is rather juvenile, don't you think?

Bait. Hmm. I'll let another fish bite.

Since you are very concerned about having the highest image quality, you should never use an aps-c camera, yet you do, very often.  Practice what you preach.

I use an APS-C camera because I haven't had the money to buy a full-frame camera. I spent over ten grand on a lens last year. No one who isn't independently wealthy spends that kind of money, then turns right around and spends thousands more on MORE equipment. I do practice what I preach. Soon as I have the funds, I'll be using a full frame camera. Until then, my 7D has more reach, thanks to it's higher spatial resolution, and that's a fact I greatly appreciate. Oh, it's also a fact I preach, too. ;P

EOS Bodies / Re: More Sensor Technology Talk [CR1]
« on: May 03, 2014, 05:38:43 PM »
I've been through every free Chipworks article they have ever published.

Hmm. Obviously not, because Chipworks has a free partial die photo of the 70D sensor:

Take a careful look and consider the geometry of a dual-photodiode pixel:
- you can have two rectangular photodiodes that form a square pixel
- or, you can have two square photodiodes that form a rectangular pixel
- finally, you can have two square photodiodes plus wasted space on the die that form a square pixel

The image you are referring to does not even have any of the dual pixels in it, assuming those are pixels at all (on the contrary, they kind of look like readout pins in a land grid array, which would be on the BOTTOM of the sensor, the opposite side from where the actual pixels are, and assuming they are not readout pins, I would know a CMOS sensor pixel if I saw one...those are not even remotely close to what a CMOS pixel looks like...they don't even have microlenses or color filters...it's just wiring and bare silicon substrate). That image is from the outer periphery of the sensor die, which is usually riddled with power regulation transistors and other non-pixel logic. Canon's DPAF pixels are only in the center 80% of the part of the die that actually contains pixels...so even if the image WAS of pixels (which it is not), then they wouldn't be DPAF pixels...they would be standard single-photodiode pixels.

Now, as I said, take a careful look at the partial sensor die and tell me if you see:
a) anything rectangular features on this photo
b) any apparently wasted space

A partial die photo is certainly not a definitive proof.

It isn't proof, because you are gravely mistaken about what that photo is actually of. There is even some kind of stamp on top of the electronics in the region of that photo that ChipWorks has shared. You don't stamp the actual pixels...and usually such stamps are again on the back side or very outer periphery of the sensor, not the side with the pixels. This photo is either of peripheral logic on the top side of the sensor, or circuitry or pinning on the bottom side of the sensor.

It's a very good clue, though, that the 70D sensor is in fact using a quad photodiode design, not  a dual one.
Again, just think of the geometry of a dual pixel design and make your own conclusions.

Again, your completely misinterpreting what that image is.

As for the resolution of a non-bayer filter: I should have been more clear.
The 70D sensor is a bayer sensor, where each pixel has a monochromatic R/G/B color filer.
Thus, each of the four constituent photodiodes of that pixel lies under a single, common monochromatic filter - that happens to throw away 2/3 of the incoming light.

Now, imagine if each of the photodiodes had their own, individual color filters.

I don't need to imagine, as that is exactly what a sensor with split photodiodes WITHOUT DPAF or QPAF would be...each photodiode would have it's own color filter...because each photodiode would be a pixel:P Thus, what you are proposing is the removal of DPAF technology, and a factor of two reduction in pixel size, and a higher resolution. That's it! There really, truly, honestly isn't anything special about giving each smaller photodiode it's own filter. That just means you have a sensor with four times as many pixels, which is pretty much what each new generation of sensors gets anyway. (Well, not four times as many pixels, but a pixel size reduction and an increase in pixel count is a pretty consistent fact of just about every new still photography camera release.)

You still have a single pixel with a single microlens.

If you do this, then you are going to have problems properly distributing light into each photodiode. The entire purpose of the microlens is to guide as much light as possible onto the photodiode. If you try to increase the pixel resolution below the microlens, then the problem you have is that one of those four subpixels gets more light than the rest, as the microlens, just like any other lens, FOCUSES LIGHT. The focal point, where the majority of the light is concentrated, is rarely dead center underneath the microlens (the farther from the center of the sensor you go, the more off-centered the focal point from the microlens will be). So, if you split the color filter and photodiode underneath the microlens, you'll greatly increase noise levels...one out of four subpixels will get most of the light, and the other subpixels will get significantly less light. You idea effectively trades noise for resolution.

You counter might be, well just use more layers of microlenses for each photodiode. If you throw in more layers of microlenses, then you further screw with the AF capability of the subpixels, as you would be mucking with the phase of the light below the initial microlens. Muck with phase, and you can no longer "phase detect" (PD), or at least not detect it as well or as accurately. So again, as I said before, all you are proposing is a factor of two reduction in pixel size, or a factor of four increase in pixel count. In other words, a standard (non-AF capable) sensor with higher resolution...and more noise.

Underneath,  however, there are four individual color filters - one for each photodiode.
Here's the thing about the individual color filters: they don't have to be monochromatic R/G/B filters anymore.
Instead, you can use a combination of di/poly-chromatic filters, from which you can derive the overall pixel color.
And instead of deriving a single R/G/B color, as in a bayer sensor, you derive all three primary colors.

Look up Micro Color Splitting Sensor. Panasonic's design is vastly superior to any kind of di/poly-chromatic filter, because it simply doesn't filter. It splits light, but directs all of it into photodiodes.

In summary, if you have a single, monochromatic filter for the entire pixel, you can only get one color per pixel (either R, G, or B).
But if you use individual di/poly-chromatic filters for each photodiode, you can derive all three primary colors per pixel (R+B+G).
Plus, you have a more sensitive/efficient pixel, as di/poly-chromatic filters by definition are wasting less light than a monochromatic filter.

And, by definition, MCS wastes zero light. Why invest time, money, and effort into a very complicated pixel design, one that is prone to being much noisier due to improper use of a microlens, when there are proven techniques that eliminate filtration entirely?

Back to the topic of extra resolution:
The increase in resolution comes from the fact that you have all three primary colors per pixel vs the single color per pixel in a beyer sensor.
Admittedly, the resolution increase is not all that big - but it's still an increase.

What your proposing is a significant increase in resolution. The fact that you don't understand even that demonstrates that you don't understand sensor technology all that well, which indicates that your just speculating and dreaming. Nothing wrong with dreaming, but you should be aware that's what your doing. ;) Your DOUBLING resolution in both the horizontal and vertical by making each photodiode one quarter the size. The D800 clearly has a lot more resolution than the 1D X, and it's basically the same thing...twice the resolution.

You are really just talking about a pixel size reduction. Again...there isn't anything special here, and because your proposing that one single microlens be used for multiple pixels, your going to have an increase in noise due to what I described above. The increase in noise is going to be a severe drag on IQ, so again...your talking about at the very best, a net neutral difference, and at worst, your going to get WORSE IQ with your sensor design because of the increased noise.

Think about all those things.
You seem to be dismissing the quad-photodiode tech - seemingly without fully realizing its potential.
If you believe that Foveon is better than Bayer, just consider that a quad-photodiode design with individual non-bayer color-filters (one per photodiode) is a better solution that Foveon.

I fully understand what DUAL-photodiode technology is, how it works, why it's designed the way it's designed, and I also understand that it isn't some magical technology that will suddenly slingshot Canon ahead of the competition. You are dreaming, pure and simple, that somehow Canon has solved their IQ problems with an AF invention. It's just a dream, though. It's the same dream a lot of Canon users have, because they all want better IQ out of Canon sensors, but it's still just a dream. It's an ill-educated dream, I am sorry to say, and your misinterpreting a lot of information (such as the Chipworks photo of the OUTER PERIPHERY of the 70D sensor...anyone who knows anything about die fabrication understands that the outer periphery of any CMOS die, sensor, cpu, memory, whatever, is the domain of power regulation, control circuitry, wiring and pin solder points, etc. not core logic, memory cells, or pixels.)

Canon does not have quad pixel technology. If they had already used it in the 70D, then they would have received patents for it years ago. I've read all of Canon's photography-related patent releases for the last three years. They have several for DPAF technology, some new ones since the 70D that have not been implemented anywhere. Their patents, being patents, MUST be extremely precise and explicit about the design (that's what patents are, specific details about specific implementations of a concept). Not one single patent Canon has ever filed for DPAF has ever detailed quad photodiodes. Neither would Canon have sold themselves short by announcing DUAL pixel technology if in reality they had QUAD pixel technology...if they had QPAF, they would have told the world. It would be big news.

Finally, Canon also already has patents for layered sensor technology that really, truly DOES have the potential to increase image quality. Given some of the things their patents discuss, such as the use of what is basically akin to the nanocoating technology they use on some of their lenses on the second and third photodiode layers, Canon has the potential to improve the total amount of light their red and green photodiodes are sensitive to by reducing the chance of reflection at those lower layers, thereby increasing Q.E. Canon Foveon-like technology has the potential to be superior to Sigma Foveon technology, and with Canon's R&D budget, they certainly have the power to bring the technology to market and continue improving it.

If you want to root for Canon, and really want better image quality (which has less to do with photodiode count, and more to do with pixel design quality, quantum efficiency, etc.), then you should look into their layered sensor patents and root for them to actually make a DSLR camera that uses it. If Canon is indeed using nano-crystal technology to reduce reflection and increase Q.E. of the photodiodes in their layered sensors, I think they really have something that could outdo Sigma's Foveon, and outdo it enough that Canon could produce a 30 or 40 megapixel layered sensor that not only has the benefit of higher color fidelity, but also have higher native, non-bayer spatial resolution. THAT is where a meaningful increase in IQ for Canon DSLRs will come from....not DPAF.

You should change your metaphor, it is is Canon  who are chasing today .
Sony  as one example sold more cameras in South Korea than Canon and Nikon  in 2013 and I think the rest of the world will go the same way , from large SLR to smaller but with a FF sensor.

Canon has never chased anyone. They never chased anyone in the past, and they are not chasing anyone now. Canon does what Canon does, for whatever reasons Canon decides to do them. People are constantly complaining about how "Canon hasn't responded to <pickyourpoison>" and "Canon MUST respond to <yaddayadda>"...they constantly complain, because Canon is not in the business of "responding" to anyone for anything...never have, and I don't have reason to suspect they ever will.

Canon builds products for THEIR customers. They build EXCELLENT products for THEIR customers. The fact that Canon builds excellent products for their customers is the reason why they are one of the top imaging companies in the world, and the top photography company in the world. Canon delivers what their customers ASK for, and they make sure that what they deliver lives up to the expectations their customers have, and their own reputation.

Nikon is a very different company. Nikon has practically made a reputation out of doing two things: Responding to competitors products (and responding extremely late, well beyond the time when the ship sailed and the train left the station), and creating hyperniche products like the Df or a 24karat gold plated, lizard-skin gripped $12,000 trophy camera that no one cares about other than as a curiosity on the internet every so often (oh yes, that thing really does exist...which actually blows my mind... ???).  Sony doesn't even seem to have a plan, it's just "*BLAMM!* Shotguun and Ho'yeah! Let's see wut sticks!  :o" wild-west product design and production that's burning their funds and burying them in a hole so deep and filled to the top with debt they will never be able to see sunlight again (let alone pay off).

Canon is not, and will not, be responding with anything to any competitor's product any time soon. Canon will release the 7D II, or the 5D IV, or the 1D XI or whatever the next big thing is when THEY decide it meets the necessary requirements and is capable of maintaining and building up Canon's reputation as the worlds top (and most profitable) photography company. When the next big thing is released, it WILL be a phenomenal product that DOES live up to Canon's reputation as a top-notch photography company, and even if it doesn't have 25 stops of DR, 150 megapixels, 100fps, a 900 image frame buffer, a 200 point AF system that works in both mirror mode and live view/video mode, a 12000ppi 10-bit full-color high DR 60fps EVF and quad memory card slots supporting both CF and CFast2 all for the rock bottom low price of $500....good grief ppl....do you realize what you all sound like when you bring up the "Canon MUST respond!" and "Canon charges too much!" and "I want this, and this, and that, and OH YEAH THIS THING TOO! AND IT HAS TO BE $1500!!!!!!1!1!111111~~! *gimmegimmehgimmeeeenglfheee* *gasp* *GASP* *SUUCKING IN AIR....*"?   :o ::)

Bleh...it would be a wonderful day if everyone could just be happy with the fact that pretty much every single camera on the market today puts nearly every camera from the film era to complete and total, utter shame when it comes to IQ. Even when it comes to drum-scanned large format film, while you gain in resolution, even that can't really touch the color depth and brilliance of a high resolution digital sensor these days.

your reliance on the Canon brand is astonishing
at the same time I can read  from you that Canon is behind in sensor tech and I and many many Canon owners longs for a high resolution, high DR camera now.
a bit contradictory.

It's only contradictory if you assume that the sensor is the sole source of image quality, or that Canon's sensor IQ is the single source of their success as a photography company. Clearly, given the plethora of evidence, the fact that Canon's sensor IQ is no longer "the best of the best of the best" has nothing to do with the fact that Canon makes excellent cameras, excellent lenses, has the best customer service department of any camera company, and sells more cameras than any other camera company.

It's also only contradictory if you assume Canon is incapable of progressing and leapfrogging the competition, again. There is only one individual I know of who has persistently pushed the notion that Canon is literally incapable of competing. He was permanently banned from these forums for his constant antagonism...I certainly hope you are not him.

The fact that you insist that Canon specifically provide you with a high megapixel, high DR camera indicates that you seem to rely on Canon more than I do. Unless one of Canon's next camera releases has a notable improvement on DR, I myself will be picking up a Sony A7r for my high DR, high resolution landscape work. If you really, truly, honestly NEED more dynamic range, and you are really, truly, honestly not completely and utterly dependent upon Canon, then you would have stopped complaining about Canon offering a high DR camera a very long time ago...because there are other options out there that already offer what you supposedly need! :P

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