Total and effective pixels?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sosumi, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Sosumi

    Sosumi Guest

    What does this men in stupid language? Sometimes the total pixels by far
    exceed the "effective" pixels. If they´re not effective, then why put them
    there in the first place?
    Sosumi, Aug 28, 2007
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  2. Sosumi

    Pete D Guest

    Because they are used for metering and balancing and other stuff.
    Pete D, Aug 28, 2007
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  3. "Effective" here is a bit of a mistranslation of the Japanese term "yuukou",
    which means "valid" (as in "this ticket is valid from <date> to <date>") and
    refers to the pixels are operational in some manner. There are "total
    pixels", that includes inactive ones, "effective pixels", which includes
    operational but ignored ones and "optical blacks", ones that have light
    blocks and are used for "dark current" correction, there are active pixels,
    that excludes the ignored ones but includes the "optical blacks", and then
    there's the recording pixels, which are the ones you get in your image.

    To reiterate, from larger to smaller.

    Total pixels
    Effective pixels
    Active pixels
    Recording pixels

    Terminology varies from mfr to mfr, and changes when a mfr gets a new
    "madogiwazoku*" in charge of documentation.

    The sensor mfrs used to advertise the total pixels as the defining number,
    but people thought that was bogus, so they compromised on effective pixels.
    Not much of a compromise, since it's still a lie.

    *: Madogiwazoku: Literally "tribe next to the window". These are people who
    have risen beyond their level of incompetency and are given window desks
    (Japanese companies do enormous offices without even cubicle partitions) and
    make-work positions where they can't do too much damage.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 28, 2007
  4. That's great! Is there a cool Japanese term for the
    "1/1.x" sensor size crap?

    Thanks David.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 28, 2007
  5. I think "detarame" (BS) should do. Reading Japanese is still slower than
    reading English (it's possible but a real effort to follow subtitles in
    non-English movies, for example) so I don't read camera discussions in
    Japanese on the net. I do get some of the monthly and bimonthly magazines,
    but they tend to be bowlderized.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 28, 2007
  6. There are two different terms here. There are some inactive pixels
    used for metering, normalizing, and other technical things. These,
    however, should NOT be an appreciable fraction of the total.

    There are also cameras that ALWAYS interpolate :-( In this case there
    is a real difference between the number of sensors in the focal plane
    array and the number of pixels in the resultant image file. This type
    of camera is rapidly disappearing, however :)
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Aug 28, 2007
  7. Sosumi

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, David:

    I believe you meant to write, "'yuukou' is a mistranslation of the
    English term 'effective'."

    After all, Kodak >did< invent the digital camera and Bayer sensor;
    Hmmm..."madogiwazoku" almost looks like a Polish word! :p

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Aug 30, 2007
  8. No, "yuukou" in Japanese is a reasonable word for the phenomenon being
    described, and "effective" doesn't capture the meaning.
    No. The _CCD image sensor_, which is what's being taked about here, was
    invented at Bell Labs and a few US companies produced early products, but it
    was Sony who turned the technology into something useful for cameras. And
    the four terms above describe details of the CCD image sensor as developed
    by Sony.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 30, 2007
  9. Where does Fairchild come into this? The first CCD image chips I saw
    were from Fairchild, and they had a little camera they built to
    demonstrate the chip.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Aug 30, 2007
  10. Sosumi

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, David:

    You've been living in Japan, too long, man.

    Yes, I already knew that Bell came up with the CCD, along with countless
    other electronic marvels. Sony, however, was renowned for >video<
    cameras; I thought this subject thread concerned >digicams<, where Kodak
    has been the most innovative, over the years?

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Aug 31, 2007
  11. Boston is nice.

    But 30 years there was enough, except for the occassional visit.
    You're joking, right? In their consumer digicams, Kodak purchases and
    rebadges OEM cameras (mostly with Sony sensors) from Japan and Korea. Not
    innovative in the least. Meanwhile Sony has been seriously innovative in
    digicams from the get-go. Kodak's dSLRs were interesting _in their day_, but
    that's getting to be ancient history.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 31, 2007
  12. That's interesting. When you say "Kodak purchases and rebadges OEM cameras,"
    do you really mean cameras made by Japanese and/or Korean manufacturers for
    any brand that wants to use them? The "Schneider Kreuznach" lenses and all?
    And Kodak has nothing to do with their design? I've never seen other brand
    names on what would appear to be Kodak digicams, as far as I know.

    Neil Harrington, Aug 31, 2007
  13. That's the claim. No references, though. My impression is that it's well
    known that Kodak does no dcam mfg of their own, outsourcing all of it. Or
    was at one point.

    Maybe that's changed, but at least for some of their cameras, the insides
    were quite off-the-shelf, with Kodak designed and specified exteriors. Does
    that count as "innovative camera design"? Not, I think.
    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 31, 2007
  14. Sosumi

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, David:

    Well, you've missed out on "Bean Town's" sports renaissance, of the new
    millennium. The Patriots earned 3 Super Bowl victories and the Red Sox
    finally won the World Series; even the long-suffering Celtics finagled
    a huge offseason trade, this summer, which is expected to instantly
    transform the team into a playoff contender.

    Also, Boston College successfully started its 2007 football campaign,
    Saturday (Sept. 1), by beating Wake Forrest, 38-28.
    No, >you< must be jesting, friend, if you think Kodak is any different
    from Canon, Nikon (or Sony, itself, for that matter), in this particular
    respect. You see, today, all the major firms "outsource" the design and
    manufacture of their P&S digicams, to a relative handful of OEM's (e.g.,
    Sanyo, Flextronics, etc.).

    Nor is the practice limited to the camera business, either. Taiwan now
    produces over 80% of the world's notebook PC's (regardless of brand),
    for example. Yet, no sane person would suggest that this tiny island
    nation - while, admittedly, quite intelligent and industrious - is
    Earth's new capital of computer technology.

    Recall, too, the fact some heavyweight companies (such as NVIDIA and
    ATI) have always been "fabless" operations, and have never actually
    made anything, themselves. They've definitely been formidable players
    in "intellectual property," though, just as Kodak long has.
    What is this, the comedy hour? Sony is deservedly infamous for its silly
    "Mavica" toycams, among other of its laughable consumer crap.

    The only chance that clown crew has, of becoming a fearsome contender,
    in photography, is if they're able to fully exploit the know-how they've
    absorbed from Konica Minolta.
    Kodak's DSLR line >is< history, as of 2005. Still, they've continued
    their innovative ways, in the P&S arena. The dual-lens V570 and ultra
    affordable C513 (CMOS-based) are merely a couple of Kodak's post-DSLR

    Any further questions, David? :-J

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Sep 4, 2007
  15. Sosumi

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, David:

    And >my< point, is this: That's standard procedure, throughout the
    camera industry, nowadays.

    Hello, Neil:

    See above. Everybody loves printing German labels, on modern digicam
    lenses; but, in reality, it's simply a "name only" custom.

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Sep 4, 2007
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