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Old Mar 29, 2004, 8:39 PM   #1
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Default new polaroid foveon digicam

there was mention a couple months ago about the new polaroid foveon digicam. has anyone heard anything new recently. i'm wondering if i should wait for a foveon camera?
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 1:29 PM   #2
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i'm wondering if i should wait for a foveon camera?
Why? Is not generally any better then a bayer design with 2x the spatial MP count. (the Poloraids are 1.5MP X3 chips if memoery serves, therefor a 3-4MP bayer would be just as effective). The main difference in image appearance in x3 chip images is the sharper percived look on the computer screen at 100 percent since you are looking at a file that is 1/2 the dimensions of the bayer equivalent, but this is irrelevant and nullified when y ou resize both the same dimensions(as is what happens when you print).

-Chris
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 4:58 PM   #3
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I disagree, with of course the mandatory qualifications.

It's not just a question of "looking good on the computer screen."

It looks better printed also, which of course assumes a printer capable of taking advantage of its quality. While a 3 meg foveon is competitive with a 6 meg bayer filter, in many ways it has aspects which remain superior - Interpolating up does not result in increased noise or grain.

However, as you point out, if this camera is only 1.5 megs and the compition is over twice that - which it is - AND you're not planning on having these images published at 3000 dpi, then indeed yes it's a waste of money.

Dave
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 5:07 PM   #4
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While a 3 meg foveon is competitive with a 6 meg bayer filter, in many ways it has aspects which remain superior - Interpolating up does not result in increased noise or grain.
I'm not sure if I understand this statement about noise. Looking at a magnification of any image that contains ANY noise/grain will result in easier identification of the noise.

As far as superior aspects, I'm not sure I can think of any other then (1) the rare instance one photographs near pure primary colors overlaid(candy apply blue background with apple red shapes, etc.) [and/or] (2) the absence of any color moire, that can sometimes be present on bayer systems [and/or] (3)the effect of increased accutance at high spatial frequencies, result of the absence of an anti-alias filter. However, this being a 'good' thing is not accurate technically, but can be perceptibly under some conditions, it should be noted.

-Chris
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 5:57 PM   #5
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i understand your points. it does sound like you are saying the images will be superior (on screen & print). as far as it being a waste of money, how so? it's priced similarly to most 4-5 mp point and shoot cameras?
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 6:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lodingi
i understand your points. it does sound like you are saying the images will be superior (on screen & print). as far as it being a waste of money, how so? it's priced similarly to most 4-5 mp point and shoot cameras?
First, it should be noted that we were discussing the version of the X3 chip as used in the Sigma cameras. I don't know if the Poloraid will use an anti-alias filter. However, if the Poloraid does not use an anti alias filter, the aliasing(jaggies) on an 8x10 print will be worse then from a good quality 4MP bayer camera(such as Canon G3, for example). At best, the 1.5MP X3 chip should be expected to approach a good quality 4MP standard bayer sensor and slightly exceed a standard 3MP bayer camera.

-Chris
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 7:20 PM   #7
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i understand now. thanks for the info.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lodingi
i understand your points. it does sound like you are saying the images will be superior (on screen & print). as far as it being a waste of money, how so? it's priced similarly to most 4-5 mp point and shoot cameras?
I a 5 Meg Bayer chip. Let us say I take a "perfect" image. Looks great! Ok, if I zoom in on that image and some point I start to see "noise." Mind you I'm talking perfect focus, light etc.

This will not occur with a Foveon sensor. Naturally at some point zooming in on that "perfect Foveon image results in a loss of detail - blur if you will, but not noise. I'm using the word "noise" in a different sense then the way we normally use the expression.

In practice this means that you can interpolate a Foveon image up further then a bayer pattern sensor.

Now I normally print at 16 x 20 and I have no trouble doing this with my 5 Meg Bayer - I even do it with a 2 meg camera I carry in my pocket . But to get that large with two megs it has to be a high contrast, "dark" picture.

I don't own a Foveon but I did downlaod and print results from the Sigma SD-9 and the results were a hair better then from my 5 Meg Bayer.

I then as an experiment cripped and printed similar images form the Bayer and Foveon and the Foveon were noticably better.

As things stand now the Foveon can't compete with the new wave of 8 and 11 Meg Bayers but if they ever have an 8 Meg Foveon I'll happily spring for it.

Finally, I know nothing about this Polaroid camera and there quite a bit more to a camera then its sensor.

Even the SD-9 is useless to me because I need a high ISO for my work.

Dave

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Old Mar 31, 2004, 12:39 PM   #9
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Why don't we just "wait and see" ... one of these days we'll actually have one and then we'll post some real samples. It's always fun to hope that something lives up to its PR hype but quite often it does not.

-Steve
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 12:53 PM   #10
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Ok, if I zoom in on that image and some point I start to see "noise." Mind you I'm talking perfect focus, light etc.

This will not occur with a Foveon sensor.
This does not make any sense. Could you please provide a controlled example?


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Naturally at some point zooming in on that "perfect Foveon image results in a loss of detail - blur if you will, but not noise. I'm using the word "noise" in a different sense then the way we normally use the expression.
Well, noise is defined as an unwanted signal. In the case of digital cameras, it is a result primarily of thermal noise. What is your defnintion? Examples?

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In practice this means that you can interpolate a Foveon image up further then a bayer pattern sensor.
I have yet to see this demonstrated. Phil Askey recently took this to task in his SD10 review. The Fovewon images were approximately the same as a 10D, in controlled situations, both cameras having 'perfect' light, focus, etc. The Foveon images had some aliasing problems tht did become slightly apparent when upsizing cmopared to the 10D.

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I then as an experiment cripped and printed similar images form the Bayer and Foveon and the Foveon were noticably better.
One problem is that you are comparing a consumer class bayer 5mp, it seems. Noise will be higher from this camera then from the SD9. Use a DSLR to compare, and then you need controlled situation shots, not general/random shots if you need accurate results.

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Even the SD-9 is useless to me because I need a high ISO for my work.
YOu should check out the SD-10. It has much imporoved high ISO performance over the SD-9.

-Chris
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