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Nikon's rumoured RGBW sensor is coming soon?


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#1 dave's clichés

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 09:38 AM

Hi guys,

 

          JoJu first signaled that a photographer had been shooting with a new beta Nikon where the low light performance was several stops better than conventional sensors. 

 

  A little while later I came across an article stating that Nikon had been working with a new Sony sensor for their upcoming DSLR replacement that instead of using a conventional RGB sensor, they use a RGBW sensor where the W represented "white". An extra white pixel is added into the mix and just deals with the black/white component of the image and somehow enables noise levels to be reduced by up to 2 stops.

  

 

 

     and now here the angry photographer (TAP) claims that the announcement is to coincide with Nikon's 100 year anniversary celebrations and may be fairly soon.....

 

 

 

 

 Watch with caution TAP is not everybody's cup of tea! 

 

 

 

 

 

    If it's true that the noise improvement could be up to 2 stops then that will put Nikon back in front in terms of IQ........

 

     .............. 2 stops is major!



#2 wim

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:20 AM

Stands to reason that it could indeed be at least one stop (1 R + 1 G + 1 B = 1 W), depending on the structure of the sensor. If it also is a BSI sensor, 2 stops certainly is a possibility (+ 4 * 25% on top).

 

Interesting would really be to see how it performs with B&W with an additional white pixel. Could be a winner indeed.

 

Kind regards, Wim



#3 Doroga

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:40 PM

Such pattern was tried in mobile and quickly abandoned.

Nikon will probably solve processing in house so it should be great for JPEG shooters, but it will be a new X-Trans for anyone relying on RAW.



#4 dave's clichés

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 09:41 AM

Such pattern was tried in mobile and quickly abandoned.

Nikon will probably solve processing in house so it should be great for JPEG shooters, but it will be a new X-Trans for anyone relying on RAW.

  Good point!  No doubt Adobe CC will have it up and running within a short time though, please subscribe!  :huh:  ;)



#5 Brightcolours

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:28 AM

It will be a somewhat small change to the "normal" bayer interpolation workflow, compared to Sigma's two styles of sensor and Fuji's alternative CFA pattern.

 

So my prediction is that DCRAW will quite quickly support such a RGBW scheme, and then many RAW converters will start to offer support?



#6 Doroga

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:07 PM

It is totally new pattern, same as Fuji.

Basic support will be easy, but to make it really better than standard RGBG will be quite a task.



#7 Doroga

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:11 PM

RGBG relies heavily on these GG for getting high luminance resolution,

Even slight uncompensated difference between G1 and G2 result moire patterns.

You can't just use W and G together, processing will be much more complex to archive same resolution as RGBG 



#8 Doroga

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:14 PM

Then there are possible dynamic range issues,
If you want to preserve white channel from clipping you'll have to underexpose RB channels even more resulting more color noise.

Maybe white channel clipping will be considered ok and in these areas only RGB will be used with lower resulting resolution


RGBG is really clever and balanced approach that have outlived many competitors so far :)



#9 dave's clichés

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:54 PM

I would imagine Nikon will supply a basic RAW converter as part of the package just to get you up and running until ACC get's going with a true converter!



#10 Doroga

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 03:04 PM

Fuji XTrans once again :)

 

I would imagine Nikon will supply a basic RAW converter as part of the package just to get you up and running until ACC get's going with a true converter!



#11 Brightcolours

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 03:11 PM

RGBG relies heavily on these GG for getting high luminance resolution,

Even slight uncompensated difference between G1 and G2 result moire patterns.

You can't just use W and G together, processing will be much more complex to archive same resolution as RGBG 

RGGB gets green out of 2, it now only has to get it out of one. The interpolation for the rest remains the same. Now W will be used to get more luminance. 

Not difficult at all to implement in current bayer interpolation algorithms.

Resolution is not in any way linked to the introduction of a W.



#12 Doroga

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

with RGBG green channel has 2x more pixels than any other channel and about 1.4 better resolution.
So it's a good place to start for reconstructing luminance "channel".

With RGBW all channels will have same 1/4 pixel count and same lower resolution.


And you can't just add up G+W like you can with G1+G2



#13 Brightcolours

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 04:04 PM

with RGBG green channel has 2x more pixels than any other channel and about 1.4 better resolution.
So it's a good place to start for reconstructing luminance "channel".

With RGBW all channels will have same 1/4 pixel count and same lower resolution.


And you can't just add up G+W like you can with G1+G2

With RGGB you get resolution from all 3 colours, that will not change. Just if you only look at green, or only red, or only blue, you get double the resolution for the green channel.

 

With RGBW you get a W which has resolution for all colours. Depending on what interpolation tells you which colour the pixel should be, it will add resolution to all 2 channels. So you can actually say that resolution on the whole may increase.



#14 JoJu

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:42 PM

Well, driving the sensor up to 5 digits ISO sounds cool, but is only one part of the story.

Having it in a DSLR makes me wonder, how to AF and how to find a suitable frame in darkness? Hard to imagine to have such an ISO monster for just taking handheld pictures in dark northern winter-woods. Tons of fanboys will scream for precise, fast AF-C, even if that means the AF would still work but I can't recognize a dark thing in the dark finder.

Alright, admittedly high ISO are good for a lot of things. Stopping down f/5.6-8 lenses or use them with converters, i.e.

#15 wim

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:34 AM

Well, driving the sensor up to 5 digits ISO sounds cool, but is only one part of the story.

Having it in a DSLR makes me wonder, how to AF and how to find a suitable frame in darkness? Hard to imagine to have such an ISO monster for just taking handheld pictures in dark northern winter-woods. Tons of fanboys will scream for precise, fast AF-C, even if that means the AF would still work but I can't recognize a dark think in the dark finder.

Alright, admittedly high ISO are good for a lot of things. Stopping down f/5.6-8 lenses or use them with converters, i.e.

 

Time to go EVF :).

 

Kind regards, WIm



#16 JoJu

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 05:28 AM

EVF improved a lot since Sony F505, true. But not enough yet to handle low light situations reliably. At least the Fuji X-T2 has more troubles to focus quickly and precisely in dark conditions than a D750 or D810. And those are no top performers like D500 / D5.




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