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Why no high-res, high-quality monochrome?

Regular readers of this blog know that I like to shoot a lot of infrared. While a modified camera with the usual color filter array sensor can be used to that effect, and is also useful for false color (see images below, and also yesterday’s entry), a monochrome sensor would offer a stop higher sensitivity, lower noise, greater dynamic range, superior resolution at the same pixel count—the medium-format 16.8-megapixel Kodak KAF-16803 is the sensor I’m lusting after. But it is simply not available from any medium-format vendor; they’re all building color backs.

Understanding economies of scale (small market), a monochrome camera ought to be easier to build: no color filter array, so no powerful hardware to interpolate the R/G/B data, a black & white screen would suffice (cheaper), and probably other color-related issues. Or so it seems.

Are there any readers out there like me who would like to see a medium-format monochrome back? Or for that matter a 16-megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds Mark IIIm (monochrome)?! Email me if you have similar ideas.


Fall color in June
Fuji F30-IR, Monitor Pass summit, CA

Burning Man
Fuji F30-IR, east Monitor Pass, CA

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