Monday, September 1, 2008
Does Your Camera Have An Evil Twin?
What’s in a camera’s DNA? We’ll show you the features and technologies that have trickled down from the top-end models to the popular sweet-spot cameras.
The DP1 features a new Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) image-processing engine developed specifically for the DP1’s sensor; the SD14 has a previous-generation imaging engine also designed for the Foveon sensor.
While other imaging sensors record just one primary color at each pixel site, producing data for the other colors by interpolating data from neighboring pixels via complex proprietary algorithms, the Foveon X3 sensor used in the SD14 and DP1 records all three primary colors at every pixel site, functioning much like color film. The Foveon sensor takes advantage of the fact that different light wavelengths penetrate silicon to different depths: red the deepest, green a bit less and blue least of all. Thus, three pixel layers are stacked, the top recording blue light, the middle one green and the bottom one red. The advantages? Every pixel site records every color, so no colored filter array is needed over the pixels, no interpolation of missing colors is needed and no image-softening, anti-aliasing filter is needed.
Bottom Line: As a D-SLR, the SD14 is the more versatile “twin,” providing TTL viewing with a wide range of interchangeable lenses. The compact DP1 is a fine “take-anywhere” camera that fits in a large pocket. Both have the same Foveon X3 sensor.
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