Sigma/Foveon change their tune (great technical article)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by George Preddy, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html

    -----

    Addendum of October, 2003

    Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the SD9
    was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more
    experience with the proposed terminology in the marketplace. Many catalogs
    and reviews have not been able to accomodate the proposed terminology
    changes, and needed to put a single number into a megapixel slot;
    unfortunately they sometimes chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very
    misleading, as it suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same
    category as 3 to 4 MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering image
    resolution and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to 14
    MP.

    In response to this misleading information in the marketplace, Sigma and
    Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number can be
    used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of photodetectors, is the
    only possibility. It is an objective count of the same kind of detector
    elements as are usually counted as megapixels. It is incomplete in that it
    does not fully represent the novel organization of pixel sensors into stacks
    of three, which allows image capture free of color artifacts and allows all
    the sharpness to fit naturally into a smaller output file. When more
    information can be used, a notation such as "10.2 MP (3.4 MP Red + 3.4 MP
    Green + 3.4 MP Blue)" is appropriate.
     
    George Preddy, Oct 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. George Preddy

    Todd Walker Guest

    On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 02:56:05 +0900, "George Preddy"
    <> wrote:

    >From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html
    >
    >-----
    >
    >Addendum of October, 2003
    >
    >Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    >customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the SD9
    >was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more
    >experience with the proposed terminology in the marketplace. Many catalogs
    >and reviews have not been able to accomodate the proposed terminology
    >changes, and needed to put a single number into a megapixel slot;
    >unfortunately they sometimes chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very
    >misleading, as it suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same
    >category as 3 to 4 MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering image
    >resolution and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to 14
    >MP.
    >
    >In response to this misleading information in the marketplace, Sigma and
    >Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number can be
    >used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of photodetectors, is the
    >only possibility. It is an objective count of the same kind of detector
    >elements as are usually counted as megapixels. It is incomplete in that it
    >does not fully represent the novel organization of pixel sensors into stacks
    >of three, which allows image capture free of color artifacts and allows all
    >the sharpness to fit naturally into a smaller output file. When more
    >information can be used, a notation such as "10.2 MP (3.4 MP Red + 3.4 MP
    >Green + 3.4 MP Blue)" is appropriate.


    Great! So glad this came from an UNBIASED source.

    ________________________
    Todd Walker
    http://www.toddwalker.net
    Canon 10D
    http://www.toddwalker.net/canon10d
    ________________________
     
    Todd Walker, Oct 27, 2003
    #2
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  3. George Preddy

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    In other words they have decided to lie because no one is going to buy the
    camera unless they do. Very smart move which will really help them get good
    customer relations. Friends don't let friends buy Sigma.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "George Preddy" <> wrote in message
    news:bnjjqe$e0u$...
    > From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Addendum of October, 2003
    >
    > Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    > customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the

    SD9
    > was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more
    > experience with the proposed terminology in the marketplace. Many catalogs
    > and reviews have not been able to accomodate the proposed terminology
    > changes, and needed to put a single number into a megapixel slot;
    > unfortunately they sometimes chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very
    > misleading, as it suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same
    > category as 3 to 4 MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering

    image
    > resolution and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to

    14
    > MP.
    >
    > In response to this misleading information in the marketplace, Sigma and
    > Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number can be
    > used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of photodetectors, is

    the
    > only possibility. It is an objective count of the same kind of detector
    > elements as are usually counted as megapixels. It is incomplete in that it
    > does not fully represent the novel organization of pixel sensors into

    stacks
    > of three, which allows image capture free of color artifacts and allows

    all
    > the sharpness to fit naturally into a smaller output file. When more
    > information can be used, a notation such as "10.2 MP (3.4 MP Red + 3.4 MP
    > Green + 3.4 MP Blue)" is appropriate.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tony Spadaro, Oct 27, 2003
    #3
  4. ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon sensor
    now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be well
    improved IMHO

    Simon
     
    Simon Stanmore, Oct 27, 2003
    #4
  5. George Preddy

    Alfred Molon Guest

    yawn
     
    Alfred Molon, Oct 27, 2003
    #5
  6. George Preddy

    Alan Browne Guest

    This is not a "great technical article" it is manifestation of Sigma
    realizing that they are not selling the SD-9, the Foveon chip and Sigma
    lenses and accessories.




    George Preddy wrote:

    > From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Addendum of October, 2003
    >
    > Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    > customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the SD9
    > was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more
    > experience with the proposed terminology in the marketplace. Many catalogs
    > and reviews have not been able to accomodate the proposed terminology
    > changes, and needed to put a single number into a megapixel slot;
    > unfortunately they sometimes chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very
    > misleading, as it suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same
    > category as 3 to 4 MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering image
    > resolution and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to 14
    > MP.
    >
    > In response to this misleading information in the marketplace, Sigma and
    > Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number can be
    > used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of photodetectors, is the
    > only possibility. It is an objective count of the same kind of detector
    > elements as are usually counted as megapixels. It is incomplete in that it
    > does not fully represent the novel organization of pixel sensors into stacks
    > of three, which allows image capture free of color artifacts and allows all
    > the sharpness to fit naturally into a smaller output file. When more
    > information can be used, a notation such as "10.2 MP (3.4 MP Red + 3.4 MP
    > Green + 3.4 MP Blue)" is appropriate.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Alan Browne, Oct 27, 2003
    #6
  7. George Preddy

    jriegle Guest

    They can say what they want. It all gets sorted out in the camera tests.

    The Foveon sensor had some potential. The 3.43 mp sensor was slightly better
    than the 6mp Canon D-SLR in the side-by-side test on dpreview except that
    the Foveon was free of the artifacts found in the bayer sensor cameras. This
    is considering the Foveon image was resampled to a 6mp image! It just shows
    all the processing that must be done to bayer sensors thanks to the spatial
    relationship of each color sensing site on the CCD/CMOS chip. It really made
    the bayer sensors look ugly.

    I'm still going to buy the Canon. I'm not putting my eggs in the Sigma
    basket. I hope Foveon finds its way out of Sigma.
    John


    "George Preddy" <> wrote in message
    news:bnjjqe$e0u$...
    > From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Addendum of October, 2003
    >
    > Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    > customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the

    SD9
    > was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more
    > experience with the proposed terminology in the marketplace. Many catalogs
    > and reviews have not been able to accomodate the proposed terminology
    > changes, and needed to put a single number into a megapixel slot;
    > unfortunately they sometimes chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very
    > misleading, as it suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same
    > category as 3 to 4 MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering

    image
    > resolution and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to

    14
    > MP.
    >
    > In response to this misleading information in the marketplace, Sigma and
    > Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number can be
    > used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of photodetectors, is

    the
    > only possibility. It is an objective count of the same kind of detector
    > elements as are usually counted as megapixels. It is incomplete in that it
    > does not fully represent the novel organization of pixel sensors into

    stacks
    > of three, which allows image capture free of color artifacts and allows

    all
    > the sharpness to fit naturally into a smaller output file. When more
    > information can be used, a notation such as "10.2 MP (3.4 MP Red + 3.4 MP
    > Green + 3.4 MP Blue)" is appropriate.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    jriegle, Oct 27, 2003
    #7
  8. Sigma 10MP? Not according to the tests. Re: Sigma/Foveon change their tune (great technical article)

    "George Preddy" <> wrote in
    news:bnjjqe$e0u$:

    > [...] Many catalogs and reviews have not been able to
    > accomodate the proposed terminology changes, and needed to put a
    > single number into a megapixel slot; unfortunately they sometimes
    > chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very misleading, as it
    > suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same category as 3 to 4
    > MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering image resolution
    > and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to 14 MP.


    Sounds like Sigma marketing hype to me. When the output file is
    2268x1512, that ain't 10 megapixels.

    Of course, it might be tough to sell a 3.4 megapixel DSLR these days, so
    the marketing department has to switch into high gear. I sure hope they
    didn't threaten those who don't parrot their hype.

    Rational folks realize that an unbiased source should be used, not the
    camera maker. Let's look at what the reviewers are getting in terms of
    resolution. From Imaging Resource:

    Sigma SD10:

    "As before, the 3.4-megapixel 3-color-per-pixel Foveon sensor in the SD10
    produces overall resolution approaching that of a 6-megapixel sensor
    using a conventional color filter array pattern, with "strong detail"
    present in the laboratory resolution test image out to about 1,050 lines
    vertically, and 1,200 lines horizontally."

    Canon 10D:

    "I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,400 lines horizontally and
    1200 vertically, although there was still meaningful detail beyond that
    point. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,550
    lines. "

    Sounds like Sigma can demand that folks call it a 10MP, but the
    resolution falls short of their 6MP competition.

    If it's a 10MP camera, it's a really, really bad one.

    --
    Albert Nurick www.TheDeliciousLife.com
    A guide to the good life
    www.nurick.com in Houston, Texas
     
    Albert Nurick, Oct 27, 2003
    #8
  9. George Preddy

    Darrell Guest

    Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    "Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    > http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon

    sensor
    > now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    > characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be

    well
    > improved IMHO
    >

    Too bad the micro-lenses are Sigma's ;)
     
    Darrell, Oct 27, 2003
    #9
  10. George Preddy

    Lionel Guest

    Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    "Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    > http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon sensor
    > now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    > characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be well
    > improved IMHO
    >
    > Simon


    Simon will you kindly do some REAL research before posting this tripe
     
    Lionel, Oct 27, 2003
    #10
  11. Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    "Lionel" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Simon will you kindly do some REAL research before posting this tripe



    Lionel

    1) I posted a link to a review and that's where to find the research.
    2) On Usenet one man's tripe is another man's truffle: Even asking kindly
    will never change that

    Simon
     
    Simon Stanmore, Oct 27, 2003
    #11
  12. George Preddy

    Chris Brown Guest

    Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    In article <>,
    Lionel <> wrote:
    >"Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message
    >news:<>...
    >> George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    >> http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon sensor
    >> now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    >> characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be well
    >> improved IMHO
    >>
    >> Simon

    >
    >Simon will you kindly do some REAL research before posting this tripe


    He would seem to have a point. This chart:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10RESLs10.HTM

    Shows quite clearly that the SD10 has significantly less pixel-level
    aliasing than the SD9 (although it hasn't been eliminated). This is, of
    course, at the expense of apparent sharpness, simply because the apparent
    sharpness of SD9 images was, in part, due to aliasing. I guess the large
    light gathering area for each pixel is responsible for eliminating some of
    this high-frequency artifacting.
     
    Chris Brown, Oct 28, 2003
    #12
  13. George Preddy

    MikeWhy Guest

    "George Preddy" <> wrote in message
    news:bnjjqe$e0u$...
    > From: http://www.x3f.info/technotes/x3pixel/pixelpage.html
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Addendum of October, 2003
    >
    > Since the above "technote" was written in the fall of 2002, in reaction to
    > customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that the

    SD9
    > was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera, we have had more

    ....

    The pixel dimensions of the exported image is a pretty good indicator of
    resolution. Might I dare venture into this word mincing and suggest that
    this definition would be most acceptable to the consumer and cause the least
    confusion.
     
    MikeWhy, Oct 28, 2003
    #13
  14. "George Preddy" <> wrote in
    news:bnjjqe$e0u$:
    > ... in reaction
    > to customers wondering why Foveon and Sigma did not clearly state that
    > the SD9 was either a 3.4 megapixel or a 10.2 megapixel camera ...
    > the SD9 is delivering image resolution and sharpness that is outstanding
    > in the DSLR category of 6 to 14 MP ...
    > ... Sigma
    > and Foveon now agree and insist that if only a single megapixel number
    > can be used, then the 10.2 MP number, based on the number of
    > photodetectors, is the only possibility.


    I have much less animosity toward the Foveon sensor and the SD9 than many
    people here, but that could change fast with BS like this.

    A pixel is one dot in a two-dimensional array of dots. You can't have
    stacked pixels. I don't believe the Foveon sensor is competitive with 10-14
    megapixel Bayer sensors, and, if Sigma and Foveon try to make this BS
    claim, I think it will backfire on them much like Fuji's attempt to call
    their 3 megapixel "SuperCCDs" "6 Megapixel Sensors" backfired.

    Here's a suggestion for a more truthful claim - "The Foveon sensor has 3.4
    real megapixels which are equal to 5 Bayer megapixels". This claim would be
    in-line with the reviews I've read from reputable sources like
    DPReview.com.
     
    Tony Whitaker, Oct 28, 2003
    #14
  15. What a joke.

    George ... if you've got the time: care to tell
    how you came to be a member of this cargo cult ?

    Stan
     
    Stanley Krute, Oct 28, 2003
    #15
  16. Re: Sigma 10MP? Not according to the tests. Re: Sigma/Foveon changetheir tune (great technical article)

    Remember when "17 inch" monitors measured about 15" diagonally? There
    needs to be some truth in advertising to address the Foveon hype, just
    as the FCC or some agency mandated that the visible image area of a
    monitor had to match the advertised size instead of the mfgr including
    the part of the screen hidden behind the bezel.

    dave

    Albert Nurick wrote:

    > "George Preddy" <> wrote in
    > news:bnjjqe$e0u$:
    >
    >
    >>[...] Many catalogs and reviews have not been able to
    >>accomodate the proposed terminology changes, and needed to put a
    >>single number into a megapixel slot; unfortunately they sometimes
    >>chose the 3.4 MP number. This number is very misleading, as it
    >>suggests that the SD9 is in some sense in the same category as 3 to 4
    >>MP cameras, when in the fact the SD9 is delivering image resolution
    >>and sharpness that is outstanding in the DSLR category of 6 to 14 MP.

    >
    >
    > Sounds like Sigma marketing hype to me. When the output file is
    > 2268x1512, that ain't 10 megapixels.
    >
    > Of course, it might be tough to sell a 3.4 megapixel DSLR these days, so
    > the marketing department has to switch into high gear. I sure hope they
    > didn't threaten those who don't parrot their hype.
    >
    > Rational folks realize that an unbiased source should be used, not the
    > camera maker. Let's look at what the reviewers are getting in terms of
    > resolution. From Imaging Resource:
    >
    > Sigma SD10:
    >
    > "As before, the 3.4-megapixel 3-color-per-pixel Foveon sensor in the SD10
    > produces overall resolution approaching that of a 6-megapixel sensor
    > using a conventional color filter array pattern, with "strong detail"
    > present in the laboratory resolution test image out to about 1,050 lines
    > vertically, and 1,200 lines horizontally."
    >
    > Canon 10D:
    >
    > "I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,400 lines horizontally and
    > 1200 vertically, although there was still meaningful detail beyond that
    > point. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,550
    > lines. "
    >
    > Sounds like Sigma can demand that folks call it a 10MP, but the
    > resolution falls short of their 6MP competition.
    >
    > If it's a 10MP camera, it's a really, really bad one.
    >
     
    Bay Area Dave, Oct 28, 2003
    #16
  17. "Tony Spadaro" <> wrote in message
    news:dQdnb.24373$...
    > In other words they have decided to lie because no one is going to buy the
    > camera unless they do. Very smart move which will really help them get

    good
    > customer relations. Friends don't let friends buy Sigma.


    That is exactly right, they are finally going to start lying and start
    listing 1/3rd pixels as full pixels. In a way, it is a sad day for the
    truth, now there are no honest manufactures.
     
    George Preddy, Oct 28, 2003
    #17
  18. Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    "Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    > http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon

    sensor
    > now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    > characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be

    well
    > improved IMHO


    It looks like a nice update, the price will be interesting. As will be SD-9
    prices.

    It looks like they've fixed the high ISO workaround, the SD-9 could always
    take nice ISO 1600 shots, but you have to underexpose and push in RAW, the
    explicit higher ISO setting don't work nearly well in low light for some
    reason. The SPP Fill Light looks like a very convenient way to increase
    dynamic range using automated exposure blending (using RAW adjusted exposure
    baselines), again it is doable with the SD-9 too given SPPs great exposure
    control, but its a good deal of work per image replaced with a quick slider.
    Great new feature. But SPP was always, and still is at v2.0, a great Sigma
    strength for those who are interested in shooting RAW.
     
    George Preddy, Oct 28, 2003
    #18
  19. Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    " Darrell" <> wrote in message
    news:EFhnb.96222$...
    >
    > "Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    > > http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon

    > sensor
    > > now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    > > characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be

    > well
    > > improved IMHO
    > >

    > Too bad the micro-lenses are Sigma's ;)


    But at least the camera is capable image their sharpness. ;) ;)
     
    George Preddy, Oct 28, 2003
    #19
  20. Re: ...and Sigam launch the SD10

    "Chris Brown" <_uce_please.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > Lionel <> wrote:
    > >"Simon Stanmore" <> wrote in message
    > >news:<>...
    > >> George - you'll find this of great interest I think ...
    > >> http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10A.HTM ... the Foveon

    sensor
    > >> now has micro-lenses and has lost its *false* aliasing sharpness
    > >> characteristic as a result. Still, the cam' and its software look to be

    well
    > >> improved IMHO
    > >>
    > >> Simon

    > >
    > >Simon will you kindly do some REAL research before posting this tripe

    >
    > He would seem to have a point. This chart:
    >
    > http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SSD10/SD10RESLs10.HTM
    >
    > Shows quite clearly that the SD10 has significantly less pixel-level
    > aliasing than the SD9 (although it hasn't been eliminated). This is, of
    > course, at the expense of apparent sharpness, simply because the apparent
    > sharpness of SD9 images was, in part, due to aliasing. I guess the large
    > light gathering area for each pixel is responsible for eliminating some of
    > this high-frequency artifacting.


    It'll be interesting to see how it's received. I suspect most Sigma users
    would rather use the SD-9/10's normal 13.7MP output when more smoothing is
    desired, rather than have it done by default, like for poster size and up
    enlargements.
     
    George Preddy, Oct 28, 2003
    #20
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