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Author Topic: New Sensor  (Read 7697 times)
ARD
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« on: April 22, 2008, 04:15:07 PM »
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Not sure if this has been posted already, but looks like there is a new sensor just around the corner

Have a look at the link below - not the fastest website to load

New Sensor
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lovell
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 04:21:38 PM »
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What does very high ISO sensitivity have to do with flash?  Nothing I think.

Even if one could get noise free ISO 25,600, one still needs fill flash at times.  Shadows on a face are still there regardless of the ISO sensitivity.

Flash is here to stay forever ;-)

But don't get me wrong...I welcome higher and higher ISO's especially if noise is not a problem.
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Ray
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 08:51:54 PM »
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What does very high ISO sensitivity have to do with flash?  Nothing I think.

Even if one could get noise free ISO 25,600, one still needs fill flash at times.  Shadows on a face are still there regardless of the ISO sensitivity.

Flash is here to stay forever ;-)

But don't get me wrong...I welcome higher and higher ISO's especially if noise is not a problem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191931\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When we're talking about sensitivies of 100x greater than existing silcon based technology, I would think that noise-free high ISO images have everything to do with reducing the need for flash, including fill flash.

If you can raise the shadows without getting a degraded, noisy result, then the need for fill flash is certainly less. That doesn't, of course, mean that flash is then obsolete. Whatever the sensitivity of the camera, flash would still enable faster shutter speeds under the same lighing conditions, and faster shutter speeds are always needed to freeze action.

However, that figure of 100x greater sensitivity seems to translate to 6-7 stops of additional dynamic range if my maths is correct. The problem with a camera of such sensitivity, is that the photodiodes would presumably be sensitive to all sorts of stray radiation that is not part of the intended image.

Another problem is that most lenses do not seem to perform at at their best when the spectrum is extended into the infra red region. Lenses are generally not designed to focus such wavelengths in the same plane as visible light. This new CIGS sensor will probably need completely redesigned lenses if it's developed for high end DSLRs.

Nevertheless, this development seems very exciting in theory for photographers. Combined with other technology on the drawing board, such as the creation of artificial materials with a negative refractive index using nanotechnology, in order to make lenses that are not limited nearly as much by diffraction as Rayleigh's Law indicates, could mean that eventually we'll be able to take razor sharp, hand-held, noise-free shots at f64 and ISO 25,600.
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Slough
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 05:07:22 AM »
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What does very high ISO sensitivity have to do with flash?  Nothing I think.

Even if one could get noise free ISO 25,600, one still needs fill flash at times.  Shadows on a face are still there regardless of the ISO sensitivity.

Flash is here to stay forever ;-)

But don't get me wrong...I welcome higher and higher ISO's especially if noise is not a problem.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191931\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes I agree. Contrast masking, lifting shadows etc is no substitute for good lighting, and fill flash can add a lift to an image that no amount of Photoshop fiddling will achieve.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 08:31:09 PM »
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You must be the kind of photographer that only knows flash as the popup or brick on top of your camera

Flash has many more uses that have nothing to do with ISO
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Ray
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 08:34:13 AM »
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You must be the kind of photographer that only knows flash as the popup or brick on top of your camera

Flash has many more uses that have nothing to do with ISO
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192066\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think here we should distinguish bewtween the creative use of flash, (bouncing the flash off a wall to bring illumination from a different direction, the placement of lighting around the subject to create interesting shadows etc), and the use of flash simply to increase the intensity of the light because there's not enough of it.

Fill flash is generally used to illuminate the shadows. The direction of the light is from the direction of the camera and not necessarily particularly creative. In such circumstances, a sensitive sensor can compensate for the lack of light intensity. In fact there's no such thing as poor lighting of itself. The light is either sufficient in relation to the recording device or not sufficient. Light which is poor in relation to an insensitive recording device, may no longer be poor in relation to a sensitive device.

If this new sensor is used simply to give us a camera with a base ISO of 6,400 and the usual dynamic range of 8 to 10 stops, then it wouldn't change anything with regard to the need for fill flash.

However, it never occurred to me that anyone would produce a prosumer or professional camera with a base ISO of 6400. I would have thought that, with a bit of imaginative design, such new technology would be exploited to significantly increase the DR of the camera, perhaps using a design similar to Fuji's dual photodiode system.

With such a camera, having a dynamic range of, say, 16 stops, the highlights would need to be compressed. As I understand, the number of levels in the brighter stops of the DR scale are far greater than the eye can detect. The levels are basically wasted. Ideally, we need a redistribution of those levels towards the shadows. A sensor which is 100x more sensitive than current silicon based sensors should theoretically make it possible to capture shadows of significantly greater quality than is currently possible and also capture the subtleties of the natural lighting which are basically wiped out by a blast from a flash gun.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 08:36:18 AM by Ray » Logged
lovell
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 12:12:13 PM »
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When we're talking about sensitivies of 100x greater than existing silcon based technology, I would think that noise-free high ISO images have everything to do with reducing the need for flash, including fill flash.

If you can raise the shadows without getting a degraded, noisy result, then the need for fill flash is certainly less. That doesn't, of course, mean that flash is then obsolete. Whatever the sensitivity of the camera, flash would still enable faster shutter speeds under the same lighing conditions, and faster shutter speeds are always needed to freeze action.

However, that figure of 100x greater sensitivity seems to translate to 6-7 stops of additional dynamic range if my maths is correct. The problem with a camera of such sensitivity, is that the photodiodes would presumably be sensitive to all sorts of stray radiation that is not part of the intended image.

Another problem is that most lenses do not seem to perform at at their best when the spectrum is extended into the infra red region. Lenses are generally not designed to focus such wavelengths in the same plane as visible light. This new CIGS sensor will probably need completely redesigned lenses if it's developed for high end DSLRs.

Nevertheless, this development seems very exciting in theory for photographers. Combined with other technology on the drawing board, such as the creation of artificial materials with a negative refractive index using nanotechnology, in order to make lenses that are not limited nearly as much by diffraction as Rayleigh's Law indicates, could mean that eventually we'll be able to take razor sharp, hand-held, noise-free shots at f64 and ISO 25,600.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191967\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Excellent extremely high ISO performance has NOTHING to do with fill flash, and why you draw that correlation is beyond me.  How is sky high ISO going to remove a shadow from a face?  Make a face pop out of the background?  Increase the contrast (or decrease) on only one side of a face...the list of uses for fill are infinite, and have NOTHING to do with ISO.  Zero.  What if one wants to dim the too bright background and brighten the face in the foreground?  You need flash for that.  Flash controls contrast, adds or subtract shadows, and can narrow the DR between the background and foreground as required.

Flash handles a back lit subject.  ISO has nothing to do with this.  Zero.

As to ISO correlation with dynamic range?  There generally is none, save for DR differences between ISO 50 and 100, or 100 and 3200, but this has more to do with signal amplification issues.

Flash is here to stay, and I suspect forever.

But don't get me wrong...I welcome and appreciate higher and higher ISO numbers along with lower noise and hope this trend keeps on going.

What higher ISO will provide us is wider depth-of-field capabilities in very low light shooting (because aperture can be stopped down), and so in this regard, flash is less required of course.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 05:29:41 PM »
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Excellent extremely high ISO performance has NOTHING to do with fill flash, and why you draw that correlation is beyond me.  How is sky high ISO going to remove a shadow from a face? [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194175\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I tried to explain but I guess you didn't read my post. I'll try again. I remove shadows or lighten shadows all the time in Photoshio. The easiest way is with the shadows/highlight tool. Unfortunately, because current sensors are very insensitive compared to this new technology which is the subject of this thread, such shadows are often seriously underexposed and degraded, therefore the use of fill flash will usually give better results.

However, a shot which is more correctly exposed for the shadows would not necessarilly need fill flash, depending on the design of the sensor. Such shadows, that previously would have been noisy and degraded due to the relative insensitiviy of current sensors, could theoretically be clean (or cleaner) with this new sensor which is claimed to be 100x more sensitive to light.

However, I get your point that a camera which is merely more sensitive and has a higher base ISO in proportion to that increase in sensitivitiy, with no increase in DR, will not reduce the need for fill flash. I imagine, if we ever get such cameras which really are 100x more sensitive, technology will have moved on in other areas also and we'll have processes in the sensor design which compress the highlights.

If this is the case, as I'd expect it to be, a typically backlit subject which currently requires fill flash, would have instead compressed highlights and a more correctly exposed main subject.

I might have given the impression that it's the use of a high ISO setting which reduces the need for fill flash. This is clearly not true. It's the new, more sensitive technology which should make it possible to have both higher quality images at ultra-high ISO settings as well as higher quality shadows at lower ISOs.

If all we get is a camera with a base ISO of 6400 and the same DR of 7-9 stops, it won't necessarilly have any bearing on the need for fill flash.
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lovell
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 01:47:18 PM »
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I tried to explain but I guess you didn't read my post. I'll try again. I remove shadows or lighten shadows all the time in Photoshio. The easiest way is with the shadows/highlight tool. Unfortunately, because current sensors are very insensitive compared to this new technology which is the subject of this thread, such shadows are often seriously underexposed and degraded, therefore the use of fill flash will usually give better results.

However, a shot which is more correctly exposed for the shadows would not necessarilly need fill flash, depending on the design of the sensor. Such shadows, that previously would have been noisy and degraded due to the relative insensitiviy of current sensors, could theoretically be clean (or cleaner) with this new sensor which is claimed to be 100x more sensitive to light.

However, I get your point that a camera which is merely more sensitive and has a higher base ISO in proportion to that increase in sensitivitiy, with no increase in DR, will not reduce the need for fill flash. I imagine, if we ever get such cameras which really are 100x more sensitive, technology will have moved on in other areas also and we'll have processes in the sensor design which compress the highlights.

If this is the case, as I'd expect it to be, a typically backlit subject which currently requires fill flash, would have instead compressed highlights and a more correctly exposed main subject.

I might have given the impression that it's the use of a high ISO setting which reduces the need for fill flash. This is clearly not true. It's the new, more sensitive technology which should make it possible to have both higher quality images at ultra-high ISO settings as well as higher quality shadows at lower ISOs.

If all we get is a camera with a base ISO of 6400 and the same DR of 7-9 stops, it won't necessarilly have any bearing on the need for fill flash.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194250\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Depending on PhotoShopping to deal with shadows is not the best policy IMHO.  To my mind, that practice is only meant for those shots that were not made right at the time of shutter release.  Depending on PS for "fixing" lighting errors as a general policy means the possible introduction of digital artifacts (combing or blocking), and perhaps at times adding strange casts of color too; the beating up of pixels.  Much better to get it right at the time the shutter is released, and often times one needs a flash.  I too use the Shadow & Highlight adjustment tool, but only as a last resort, and never as a policy.

As to low shadow, low light shooting, higher cleaner ISOs will mean more DOF possabilities.  Where F1.6 was required, F4 would be fine, in regard to hand holding and fatter DOF, if required for a shot.  And this is a great thing that high clean ISO can provide us some day.

I still don't see how you correlated Dyanamic Range with ISO.  However I can see a correlation between high clean ISO and less of a need for flash for some shots, and/or less of a need for a tripod, and the provision of fatter depth-of-field possabilities.

Often flash is required not as a primary light, but rather as a way to add or take away shadows, add contrast, or remove it, and for these purposes flash will always be required even if the days comes when we are provide ISO 100,000 with no noise.  The great thing about that high ISO would be the provision of fat DOF in low light interiors like museums and such, the Louvre, etc.  These days, one can use a fast prime but the too shalow DOF means one element is sharp and others not so much.  This is not to suggest that selective focused shots will go away of course.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
BobDavid
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 08:27:44 PM »
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Studio lighting = strobes and modifiers most of the time. High ISO is nice, but having ultimate control over light is better.
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Ray
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 08:28:06 AM »
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Depending on PhotoShopping to deal with shadows is not the best policy IMHO.  To my mind, that practice is only meant for those shots that were not made right at the time of shutter release.

Well, as the previous poster implied and as I have previously stated, creative and controlled lighting is different from plain insufficient lighting.

If fill flash is used to provide a different type of lighting, which will inevitably produce different shadows, or perhaps no shadows at all, then the fill flash result might be preferred on the basis that the lighting on the main subject is different in character rather than just being greater in intensity.

It's something I'm not completely certain about. If we had this new technology to experiment with, we could make some comparison shots, with fill flash and without, unless we were DB owners and then of course we wouldn't be interested.

I tend to think that the natural shadows resulting from the natural but weak lighting get wiped out with fill flash, but I would need to experiment more with this idea. It's an interesting topic.

As you probably know, the 5D does not have a built-in flash. I often wondered why, and I figured it was perhaps because the 5D has (or had when it was introduced) such sterling low light performance.

Nevertheless, the 5D has its limitations and there have been a number of occasions when, in retrospect, I wish I'd taken the trouble to take out my 550EX because of noisy shadows.

Following is a series of variations on a shot which I regret not taking the trouble to use fill flash ( ie. get out my 550EX and risk a bunch of nuisance tourists getting in the way)    .

In order from left to right, we have:

(1) A basic conversion in ACR with no fill light adjustment showing the really dark shadows.

(2) A conversion with fill light adjustment, which is close to the best I could do with this shot, displaying shadows which are too dark, in my opinion, but which disguise the noise.

(3) The conversion with fill light plus additional shadows/highlight adjustment in PS.

(4) A crop showing the noise due to the low DR of the 5D.

If the 5D had 12 stops of DR instead of around 9 stops, this shot could be rescued. If it had 16 stops of DR, then no problem at all and definitely no need for fill flash.

[attachment=6499:attachment]  [attachment=6500:attachment]  [attachment=6501:attachment]  [attachment=6502:attachment]
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Ray
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2008, 10:01:44 AM »
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I should add that the above photo was taken in 2005 before I had any inkling of the powers of CS3E. If I was at that site today, in the same lighting conditions, I would have opted to shoot bracketed exposures to merge to HDR, rather than stuff around with my 550EX flash unit or tripod.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2008, 10:49:55 AM »
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It does seem quite possible that with high ISO capable technology, controlled lighting and studio lighting may not require "strobes".

I agree that strobes are here to stay, because in many situations you need a small battery efficient portable light source.  In a studio situation it may be various non-strobe lights could be used very effectively if appropriate shutter speeds and apertures can be used without excessively bright lights from advanced sensors.

One disadvantage of studio strobes is modeling lights and ratios rarely exactly match the output of the flash tube, so unless one is using a single strobe setup with a reflector, the actual ratios are difficult to judge visually. Using non-strobe lighting would allow you to see this as you set up the lights for the shot.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 10:51:21 AM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2008, 11:03:25 AM »
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Use of flash as fill-in varies not only from man to man but from discipline to discipline.

Ray´s tree shots have eff-all to do with the shallow plane where control is required in, say, fashion or portraiture photography; filling in a bunch of roots or foreground evenly is doomed to failure using a camera flash anyway.

In fashion, glamour or really any sort of model-based work, the choices that are open to you such as reflector, umbrella or even direct bare flash are all different in their effect and non of these is going to be the same as simply twiddling a few PS controls.

As others here have written, camera technique is not going to be replaced nor even devalued by raising sensitivity of film or sensor...can´t remember any great advantage that pushed TXP 120 had over FP4 in those aesthetic areas of balance!

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2008, 11:47:13 AM »
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filling in a bunch of roots or foreground evenly is doomed to failure using a camera flash anyway.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194627\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Rob,
You are totally wrong here. A strong flash unit such as the 550EX can have an enormous effect on a bunch of roots 10 or so metres away, even in broad daylight and bright conditions.

Fill flash from the camera's built-in flash has a limited reach. From the 550EX it has a much greater reach.

In a place like Angkor Wat, some photographers walk around all day in bright sunlight with camera plus attached flash on tripod. There are lots of shadows that need illuminating.

My contention is, with an extremely sensitive sensor, such shadows will not need the additional illumination of fill flash.
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2008, 12:23:05 PM »
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Rob,
You are totally wrong here. A strong flash unit such as the 550EX can have an enormous effect on a bunch of roots 10 or so metres away, even in broad daylight and bright conditions.

Fill flash from the camera's built-in flash has a limited reach. From the 550EX it has a much greater reach.

In a place like Angkor Wat, some photographers walk around all day in bright sunlight with camera plus attached flash on tripod. There are lots of shadows that need illuminating.

My contention is, with an extremely sensitive sensor, such shadows will not need the additional illumination of fill flash.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray, re-read my post: the operative word was evenly; have you forgotten the inverse square law? Even has zilch to do with total power, but everything to do with how you apply whatever flash power is available to you.

Rob
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2008, 07:22:33 PM »
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Ray, re-read my post: the operative word was evenly; have you forgotten the inverse square law? Even has zilch to do with total power, but everything to do with how you apply whatever flash power is available to you.

Rob
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194650\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Rob,
Okay! I missed the operative word 'evenly' because I'm not sure why it's important if the purpose is to remove noise from the shadows. Shadows are nice. We don't want to completely remove shadows do we?

When using flash in bright, sunny conditions, it doesn't seem to affect the well-lit parts of the scene much, which are illuminated by natural light a hundred times stronger than the flash, but it sure helps the shadows, provided such shadows are not greater than 10-20 metres away.
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