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Old Dec 27, 2015, 1:58 PM   #1
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Default How does camera produce black and white image?

Hi all,
Just a general question. How does a digital camera produce a black and white image? Does it use software on the raw image, use a filter, ??
.... john

Last edited by Shinnen; Dec 27, 2015 at 1:59 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old Dec 27, 2015, 2:53 PM   #2
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The sensor only 'sees' light levels, and does not distinguish color, so B&W is much easier than color. Each pixel is behind a colored filter, so software is used to create the color image by interpreting the light levels as color levels. Look up 'Bayer Filter' to see how color is created, as that is what is used in most cameras.
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Old Dec 27, 2015, 3:20 PM   #3
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There are cameras that don't use Bayer Filters, and each photoreceptor gathers visible light of any color. These cameras can only produce B&W images. The most notable of them is the Leica M Monochrom.

As VTphotog said, cameras that use Bayer Filters must average the information they get for the individual colors into a single value for brightness.

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Last edited by TCav; Dec 27, 2015 at 3:24 PM.
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Old Dec 27, 2015, 11:13 PM   #4
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Thanks guys,
The reason I ask is that I'm playing around with near infrared, and was wondering if black and white mode would be more conducive to infrared photography than normal (colour) mode; and from what you've said here it appears that the answer is NO.
.... john
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