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RGGB Bayer matrix in typical digital sensor

Blur by Bayer Pattern Demosaicing

Every major brand as of 2010 utilizes a variant of the Bayer Pattern matrix, in which half the pixels are green, a quarter are blue, and a quarter red ( there are variants with 4 colors). A distinctly different approach is Sigma’s true-color Foveon sensor, used only in Sigma’s cameras.

The Bayer Pattern sensor measures one monochrome value at each photosite; one brightness level filtered to one color (red or green or blue). Therefore, the Bayer sensor has much lower color resolution than simple megapixel math would suggest. By comparison, the Sigma true-color Foveon sensor can sample red, green and blue at every photosite.

Sigma rates the Foveon sensor as having a 2X resolution factor, suggesting that a 3MP Foveon sensor is equivalent to a 6MP Bayer sensor. That is arguably true for subjects having strong primary colors, but I deem it overly optimistic in the general case. A more realistic overall rating of the resolution advantage is somewhere around 1.5X. See the review of the Sigma DP-2 in diglloyd Mirrorless Cameras.

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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