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303 comments

Film (4, Funny)

Cowclops (630818) | about 8 years ago | (#15565075)

Well sure sounds like that'll BLOW AWAY 35mm film and definitely be about comprable to 4x5 film.

Re:Film (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | about 8 years ago | (#15565093)

Call me a noob, but does anyone have any idea how much resolution the human eye can detect (per some unit of area, of course)?

Please note that I am not calling these devices worthless. Even if the human eye can't detect that much resolution on a poster there could still be applications for enlargements etc. I would think.

Re:Film (5, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | about 8 years ago | (#15565158)

Some estimates [clarkvision.com] put it at 300-500 megapixels, but it's really relative; the brain doesn't process all the eye sees.

Re:Film (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565235)

How many bits per pixel?

Oh yeah, right, it's analog. Stupid ancient technology!

Re:Film (2, Informative)

gid13 (620803) | about 8 years ago | (#15565254)

Thanks for trying, but you're not really saying anything. A 500 megapixel image printed on a 10 kilometer by 10 kilometer screen and viewed at a distance of 1 meter will be easily distinguishable by the human eye. As another poster pointed out, it's actually not area that matters but angles, or if you use area you should consider the viewing distance also.

Re:Film (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565496)

the brain doesn't process all the eye sees

Hey, speak for yourself! :-p

OT: The eyes often see what the brain wants to see (3, Informative)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 8 years ago | (#15565545)

Google "optical illusions" and find a scholarly site and have fun.

Some sites [michaelbach.de] have great explainations and demos.

This has nothing to do with image sensors, but does have some bearing on "what can eyes really see".

Re:Film (2, Informative)

tool462 (677306) | about 8 years ago | (#15565171)

According to the quick google search I just did, somewhere in the neighborhood of 576 megapixels.

http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/eye-resolution. html [clarkvision.com]

I don't know how reliable these data are, though. There seems to be considerable hand waving between what the eye records and what the brain "sees" in that link.

Re:Film (5, Informative)

Lord Crc (151920) | about 8 years ago | (#15565190)

Call me a noob, but does anyone have any idea how much resolution the human eye can detect (per some unit of area, of course)?

I found this page [clarkvision.com] interesting. Here's a quote:
Consider a 20 x 13.3-inch print viewed at 20 inches. The Print subtends an angle of 53 x 35.3 degrees, thus requiring 53*60/.3 = 10600 x 35*60/.3 = 7000 pixels, for a total of ~74 megapixels to show detail at the limits of human visual acuity.

Re:Film (2, Funny)

Goblez (928516) | about 8 years ago | (#15565194)

It's not just what the eye can see, it's what the eye can see after we zoooom way in. ;)

Re:Film (2, Insightful)

Cowclops (630818) | about 8 years ago | (#15565204)

Well, resolution of the human eye would be detected in angles (degrees/minutes/seconds), not area, but nonetheless I think I can give the approximate answer you're looking for based on some general rules for selecting screen size for high definition. For a 720p screen, you generally want the screen size to be about half as wide as the distance you're sitting from it, such that a 1280x720 image is considered more or less fully resolved about 10' away from a 60" (width, not diagonal as TVs are usually quoted) screen, or 5' away from a 30" screen, or any combination you wanna calculate.

I guess to turn that into angles, the width of a pixel in a 1280 line wide image on a 60" wide screen is about .047". If you're sitting 120 inches away from a .047" pixel, the angular width of that pixel is arctan(.047/120) or about 1.3 arc minutes (1.3 sixtieths of a degree).

To establish an upper limit for overall resolution, figure that viewers tend to find distance to width ratios of less than 1.3 or so for movies uncomfortable. So, to establish an upper limit on useful resolution for movie watching (not that anyone has yet implied that movies were involved) you can pretty much multiply 720 by 1.5 and, astoundingly, come to the conclusion that fully sharp 1080p is all you really need for the optimum movie experience. Going to resolutions beyond that would be a waste for video.

Nonetheless, most of that is just a hypothetical excercise as the REAL point of sensors that high in resolution (as others have pointed out) are things like satellite imaging and other scientific uses.

Re:Film (1)

cmowire (254489) | about 8 years ago | (#15565344)

You forget one thing.

These are static images. A static image can be printed huge and the viewer can concentrate on small portions of the image by getting up close to it.

Re:Film (1)

Vandilizer (201798) | about 8 years ago | (#15565272)

Call me a noob, but does anyone have any idea how much resolution the human eye can detect (per some unit of area, of course)?

That would depend completely on the person, magazines are printed on average from 72 to 150 dpi (dots per square inch for those who are not familiar with that) high quality photo are generally printed between 300 and 600 dpi (note a quick search showed this as a resolution for a really high quality printer 5760 x 1440 dpi (note that the number of dotes across the page is almost always larger then the number down, (same with you TV) this is just due the problems of mechanically moving the paper down. This is used for better blending even if you photo dose not have that resolution)

As all printer print in individual dotes of CMYK, the problem that though you cannot see the dots at a low resolution but the quality of the blending or gradients that you are able to achieve are not nearly as good (take a magnifier glass to a color photo on a newspaper). This is why in magazines images look grainier when they are being blended (technical term is dithering). Photos do not have this problem since each dote there is an exact representation of the color.

So in its' simplest forum you have the person, how far the person is from the image, the image dpi, and the number of colors used in the printing of the image (if you want to get picky lighting and the room also play a role and other things).

Resolution has no baring on its' own the reason most artist and other professions want it is that you can blow up the image with out pixelilization occurring.

Well no answer just some more random information.

Re:Film (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 years ago | (#15565118)

The problems that prevent digital sensors from blowing away film are that pixel densities that approach film resolution are too noisy, and digital sensors don't have the ability to handle as wide a range of light intensities as film does.

Re:Film (1)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565212)

well the noise problem is also based on the size of the sensor, so cameras with larger sensors can usually produce very clean hi res images. i don' think they are still as high as film, but for most uses, i don't think it will make noticable difference. I do agree on the dynamic range problem of digital sensors. the trick for now, is to think of it like shooting slide film (which is close to a digital sensor in capturing about 5 stops of light). I am really hoping they get this problem solved before i buy my next body.

Re:Film (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565346)

wrong, big time. I've seen this camera in action. it kicks ass.

The biggest problem they're going to have in digital cinema is the fact that the beautiful babe actress
actually has a more than noticable moustache. She's going to need a lot of time to be ready for her closeup, Mr DeMille.

http://www.dalsa.com/dc/index.asp [dalsa.com]

Re:Film (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565351)

Actually, slide film has higher dynamic range than print film (in addition to having superior grain and vastly superior tonal range), however slide film is much more sensitive to exposure (you can be off by a full stop or two with print film and most people won't even know). A result of this is that many more modern cameras which are designed for print film don't meter for crap when using slide film, while my 1982 Contax RTS II meters beautifully with Kodak E100 or Provia 100F. In fact, I've given up bracketing for all but critical shots because 95% or more of the time the default metering gives a beautiful exposure.

Re:Film (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | about 8 years ago | (#15565368)

no. the size of the sensor has nothing to do with noise. the grandparent poster was correct -- it's the DENSITY of the sensor that affects the amount noise you get.

DSLRs have the advantage, not because their sensors are necessarily larger, but because the pixels aren't packed so tightly together. You could hypothetically use the same processes they use to make those tiny 8MP compact-camera CCDs to make an APS-C sized CCD for a DSLR. You'd have tons of (hypothetical) resolution, but the noise would make it useless, and it'd be painfully expensive.

Film still wins in this arena. We're only approaching the point where huge large-format sensors like this one can challenge high-quality 35mm film. We need to get to the point where we can match 35mm resolution in a 35mm (or more likely, APS-C) sensor.

We're pretty close to conquering the noise issue, and even compact cameras are beginning to perform well at ISO 800 and 1600, whilst full-frame 35mm DSLRs can produce virtually noiseless prints at ISO 1600 and 3200. Improving dynamic range and pixel-density will be the next big technological hurdle to leap over.

Personally, the idea of a high dynamic range CCD excites me. Imagine the possibilities.....

Re:Film (1)

sploxx (622853) | about 8 years ago | (#15565463)


no. the size of the sensor has nothing to do with noise. the grandparent poster was correct -- it's the DENSITY of the sensor that affects the amount noise you get.

DSLRs have the advantage, not because their sensors are necessarily larger, but because the pixels aren't packed so tightly together.


Well, 'size of the sensor' is misleading. Size of a single sensor element (pixel) would be better.

But still, he is right. At least for the fundamental limit of CCDs, the photon shot noise. This quantity is inversely proportional to the diameter of a pixel.

Re:Film (2, Interesting)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565477)

given the same number of pixels, larger sensor = lower density. if you used the same process to make a sensor liek you described, you just get more pixels, rather than better pixels. i guess i should not have assumed i mean for the same number of pixels a bigger sensor will produce a cleaner image, but i thought it was aobvious. also, if you really want to get technical, it's not even the density, but the size of the individual pixels that makes the difference.

I do think it's neat to have this kind of technology, but i would be much more excited about a CCD or CMOS sensor that can capture 11 stops of light or some other type of technology that would get around the problem of high contrast scenes, than more megapixels. i just feel the mega pixel race has gone the way of the MHz race, in CPUs. sure it's bigger, badder, better, but after a certain point it won't make a noticeable difference on the end result, for most people.

Re:Film (5, Insightful)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15565432)

I have used a film scanner to scan all film I have ever shot in my life. I now use a Digital SLR for all of my photography. I can tell you a few things that I have observed. First, my film scanner has a scan resolution of 2700DPI. For a 35mm film frame, that is roughly 51MB for an uncompressed 16bit color channel frame. I believe in terms of megapixels it's just over 10Megapixels. One thing I noticed is even my 100 speed film has very observable film grain at this dot pitch. My Digital SLR has some distortion when I look at the raw high res image but it's not nearly the same. So my conclusion is that even older DSLRs CCDs have better grain resolution than traditional film. As a note, I used relatively cheap color film. More expensive, black and white, or slide film may be so much better than SLRs of today. I once thought of shooting all slide film for better color depth and resolution, but felt it was too much of a PITA to scan it all by hand.

Next note. The are odd color aberations with SLRs that I still see today that do not exist even in the crappiest of color film that I scanned. There's a look that all digitals have that a trained eye can see. I haven't received any shots taken from truly high end professional DSLRs to see if they have solved this problem but even D30s have it.

Final comment is regarding color depth, undersaturation, and over saturation. Since they are all related/same. Film is still by far superior in this regard. DSLRs still undersaturate long before standard color film. Oversaturation is still a problem. Look at the full res pixels of anything shiny. It stands out pretty bad. Skin tones have always been a huge problem. I have no clue why since skin tones are typically in the mid range. Color depth and saturation/undersaturation still has a lot of room for improvement with DSLRs.

So I guess all I really needed to say is that I've observed that grain seems to be mostly solved with DLSRs.. but none of the other issues have yet.

Oh yah.. film speed is another big one. When I crank up my DSLR to 1600ISO it really sucks. Much worse than 1600ISO film. Maybe this is where the film grain comment comes from?

Re:Film (1)

bloosqr (33593) | about 8 years ago | (#15565474)

Out of curiosity what DSLR do you have? I have a film slr and a digital point and shoot and am thinking of buying one of the cheap rebel 350 xts as they are now cheap enough to intrigue me (and really as cheap as a high end digi point and shoot) I was going to wait until the full frame dropped but I have a feeling it will be 3 years before they drop $1000.

-best,
-avi

Re:Film (1)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15565519)

I have the Digital Rebel original! Yah.. I know.. it's already outdated. :-(

A friend just bought the D30. I need to take some comparison shots to see how the performance has changed. Although... I'm fairly certain I do NOT want to see the results. ;)

Re:Film (1)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565528)

I used to have the original DR and i think it was a great camera, but i would never have set it for 800 or 1600 ISO... the noise was too much for my tastes. I understand the XT is better about noise.

Re:Film (1)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565502)

Interesting are you taking about the D30 at 1600ISO? IF so, i'd really be currious to see a comparison with the current generation of Cameras, because as i udnerstand it, the 20D's Generation of sensors and newer have greatly improved noise/signal ratios. On saturation, isn't that at peast partially an issue with the software/firmware?

Re:Film (1)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15565539)

I have the Digital Rebel original. You are probably right it is related to firmware. I have the most recent version. But at the end of the day when I compare my film scans to my digitals... I get my observations above.

So your point is that it's not necessarily the CCD to blame, but possibly software. Point well noted.

As another point of merit. I have found that Canon is by far the leader in this area. My wife's now nearing four year old Canon P&S takes better pictures than a lot of brand new P&S cameras with significanly higher resolutions. When I say better, on all of the same merits I discussed above comparing digital to film. Nikon is good.. but when I compared the Digital Rebel to the D70 before buying I noticed the Nikon had more aberations. I also noted more saturation artificats in the Digital Rebel so it was a hard call which I actually preferred. I choose the Canon becuase I already owned some good Canon glass.

Re:Film (2, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | about 8 years ago | (#15565549)

Oh yah.. film speed is another big one. When I crank up my DSLR to 1600ISO it really sucks. Much worse than 1600ISO film. Maybe this is where the film grain comment comes from?


This is because of the difference in how high ISO speeds work in digital vs film. High-ISO film is more sensitive to light because the photosensitive grains are larger -- the digital equivalent would be bigger pixel sensors. Digital cameras implement high-ISO mode by increasing the amplification on the pixel sensors, which makes them more sensitive to light, but also more sensitive to noise. If you were to average adjacent pixels in your digital image, you'd have the effect of high-ISO film: less noise, but lower effective resolution.

Re:Film (1)

mattkime (8466) | about 8 years ago | (#15565401)

>>and digital sensors don't have the ability to handle as wide a range of light intensities as film does.

Yes, but that is easily overcome with double exposure. Do the rest in software.

Re:Film (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565456)

>> >> and digital sensors don't have the ability to handle as wide a range of light intensities as film does.

>> Yes, but that is easily overcome with double exposure. Do the rest in software.

Yes, because rather than take the picture once and develop it, I'd much rather spend my time in front of a computer monitor and muck about in photoshop. Sorry, but if you have to manipulate the image to any large degree after you've taken it, you've f-ed up somewhere.

Re:Film (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565483)

Current digital sensors in high end DSLRs have better usable dynamic range than slide or print film. The difference is that digital sensors are linear capture devices while film is a logrithmatic capture medium. What this means is that when you exceed the upper bounds of a digital sensor, you are finished. There is no way to regain any of that data once the sensor has been overloaded. With film, you can saturate the crystals, but it is much harder to do as film rolls off before it reaches its saturation point. This produces more pleasing highlights, but not more usable dynamic range. And as has been said, Adobe Photoshop CS2's HDR 32bit/channel image merge and a tripod can give you more dynamic range and lower shadow noise than you can even come close to producing with film.

In terms of pixel density with low noise, the Canon 1DsMkII is already pushing the limit of most wide angle lenses edge resolution abilities. While Canon's super teles (which are some of the finest lenses ever produced) have more resolution than can be capture by even the 1Ds, lenses are quickly becoming a bigger problem than sensors at the high end.

Also, I take it you never shot high ISO film. Even my 5 year+ old 1D performs better at ISO1600 than any ISO1600 film does, and the MarkII offers about 1-2 stops better high ISO performance.

Consumer version already available, kinda (4, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 8 years ago | (#15565156)

Well sure sounds like that'll BLOW AWAY 35mm film and definitely be about comprable to 4x5 film.

I was actually looking for a funny link, but this guy [kenrockwell.com] makes a great point -- a good scanner and a roll of that 4x5 film [kenrockwell.com] -- yes, four inches by five inches, absolutely huge compared to a 35mm roll -- will get you 100 megapixels of resolution for a couple thousand bucks.

It reminds me of a story I saw (on PBS or Discovery Channel) about modern medicine in developing countries. People will pay extra for a "digital X-Ray", even though the cheap equipment produces a digital image that has far less resolution than a plain old film X-Ray. But it's "digital", so it must be better.

And don't even get me started about overpriced digital stereo cable [sears.com] !

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (5, Informative)

dabraun (626287) | about 8 years ago | (#15565192)

Digital X-Rays involve several orders of magnitude less radiation exposure than film X-Rays. That, and the instant development allowing you to know right away if you need to take another shot, are what make digital X-Rays worthwhile. The resolution is more than adequate for either digital or film X-Rays.

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 8 years ago | (#15565258)

Oh really? Okay, next time you get an X-ray, if you're concerned about your radiation exposure, compensate by:

a. Not worshipping the sun for a few days (okay, so you're a geek and don't remember what the sun looks like, so see b. below)
and
b. (if you're a geek outside of work) stop sitting 6" away from your monitor or television for a few days

That should offset any radiation dose of a typical routine dental X-ray. Now, if you had an X-ray done for more serious issues (injuries, etc.) then I would think that the miniscule dose is far less of a concern than the reason you're getting the X-ray done in the first place.

Yeah, I realize the dose of an X-ray is slightly higher, but come on, unless you're working around X-ray equipment all day long or work in a nuclear plant and are close to your exposure limit already, it's not something the normal person should really be concerned about.

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (3, Interesting)

wolenczak (517857) | about 8 years ago | (#15565354)

The concern on X-Ray radiation is not the radiation the patient gets, but the one the radiologist is exposed to on a daily basis

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (1)

damian cosmas (853143) | about 8 years ago | (#15565488)

Digital X-Rays involve several orders of magnitude less radiation exposure than film X-Rays.

Film X-Rays do that too, since the inside of the film cartridge is coated with a phosphorescent compound that emits visible light upon xray irradiation. Ever wonder why your xrays are all blue? It ain't 'cause of the xrays or your bones.

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about 8 years ago | (#15565222)

[bquote]It reminds me of a story I saw (on PBS or Discovery Channel) about modern medicine in developing countries. People will pay extra for a "digital X-Ray", even though the cheap equipment produces a digital image that has far less resolution than a plain old film X-Ray. But it's "digital", so it must be better.[/bquote]The advantage of "digital x-ray" is that you don't have all those wonderful film processing chemicals around, the results are near instant, and it requires less radiation compared to traditional film x-rays, and convienence. The hospital near my house is 100% digital. As soon as the image is taken it is uploaded to a server where both the radiologist and doctor can look at it, whether they are at the hospital, at the doctor's office next door, the hospital across town, or half way around the world if need be.

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (3, Interesting)

jpatters (883) | about 8 years ago | (#15565301)

4x5 film doesn't come in rolls, it comes in sheets that you load into a holder, one to a side. You have to load the film in complete darkness, and hope that the holders won't leak. When taking the picture, you focus with a groundglass that is situated where the film will be, then close the lens, insert the holder into the camera, and pull out the dark-slide, and then take your exposure, and you should be taking lots of notes. Because there is so much manual labor that you have to do for each exposure, there is a whole different mindset to Large Format Photography, you will go out and expect to take a half dozen exposures, while the digital camera encourages the practice of just shooting anything and everything, and then sifting through the thousand or so exposures for the good ones.

The owner of a camera shop near where I live once had the opportunity to use a Large Format Polaroid camera [polaroid.com] , which exposes Polaroid fim that is 20 by 24 inches. He described it this way: "Take your megapixels and shove them up your ass!"

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 8 years ago | (#15565382)

Actually they look like decent cables for the money.. gold plated connectors with heavy shielding, although 3' is a bit short. They probably used "digital" to attract the attention of people connecting S/PDIF components, but it doesn't look like they're trying to price gouge based on imaginary features. At least not more than the usual Sears markup. Now these guys [thecablepro.com] , on the other hand...

Re:Consumer version already available, kinda (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 8 years ago | (#15565495)

Now these guys [thecablepro.com] , on the other hand...

Oh. My. [expletive & blasphemy removed].

You just raised the bar on "ridiculous". And you made my day. Thanks!

Re:Film (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 8 years ago | (#15565216)

Well sure sounds like that'll BLOW AWAY 35mm film and definitely be about comprable to 4x5 film.

ISO100 film has a grain size of approximately 5 microns, which corresponds to a resolution of 36MP. Standard 4k scanning (12.5MP) captures all the detail in anthing short of the pro-est of the pro, and 8k scanning (54MP) all but guarantees that even future advances in scanner technology won't have the ability to extract any further detail from a 35mm negative.

You would need godlike optics, bright light, and a perfectly still subject and camera to come anywhere near that 36MP with ISO100 35mm film, but it represents a sort of upper limit at that speed. 4x5in film therefore has an effective resolution (at something comparable to ISO100) of 500MP.


So, this can effectively replace 35mm film in terms of resolution. It falls a bit short of replacing truly professional-quality film, however. But then, how often do you need to print out your personal pics at literally bilboard size?

Re:Film (1)

colmore (56499) | about 8 years ago | (#15565551)

So, this can effectively replace 35mm film in terms of resolution. It falls a bit short of replacing truly professional-quality film, however. But then, how often do you need to print out your personal pics at literally bilboard size?

Maybe my grinning face is the ONE YOU NEED TO CALL IF YOU'VE BEEN INJURED!

Great... (5, Funny)

MudButt (853616) | about 8 years ago | (#15565077)

I can't wait to get 10560x10560 resolution family photos named IMG_1000.jpg as attachments in my inbox...

Wow your family is smart... (4, Funny)

nacs (658138) | about 8 years ago | (#15565163)

... My family sends IMG_1000.BMP to my inbox. I think they like the lossless (non-)compression.

Re:Wow your family is smart... (1)

AsmCoder8088 (745645) | about 8 years ago | (#15565462)

Hmm, I should tell my family to quit using TIFF.

At least... (1)

jd (1658) | about 8 years ago | (#15565497)

...it's not UUencoded or BOOd first... (Does anyone know if a BOO decoder still exists outside of the museum of neandethal technology?)

Re:Great... (3, Insightful)

MoxFulder (159829) | about 8 years ago | (#15565349)

the 10560x10560 format will probably get professional digital camera users drooling. ... I imagine the memory card vendors, hard drive vendors, backpack vendors, and chiropractors will be drooling at this as well :-)

Photographers drooling? (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | about 8 years ago | (#15565080)

Not as much as the Internet masses wanting 100Mpixel pr0n....

So detailed... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565157)

...you can see the Neisseria gonorrhoeae crawling around.

Not for pros (3, Informative)

rockhome (97505) | about 8 years ago | (#15565083)

I'd doubt many professional photographers are drooling over this. The market, at least in terms of commercial photograpgy, is about at its limit of need, in terms of the 32+ megapixel cameras. Manufacturers are now pushing the envelope for satelite and other advanced imaging. In most commercial applications, the current state of the art in terms of cameras combined with transfer and storage requirements is more than sufficient.

Re:Not for pros (3, Insightful)

Nico3d3 (930755) | about 8 years ago | (#15565115)

It may be at its limit for the number of megapixels but, there's still a lot of things to improve like the maximum color range a digital camera can record. With 16 bits color channel, we would be able to record a lot more informations so we wouldn't be limited as much when we try to capture a high dynamic range picture. There's tools like in Photoshop CS2 to give you the abilities to have high dynamic range but it would be a lot better to have it directly in the camera.

Re:Not for pros (4, Informative)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | about 8 years ago | (#15565214)

It may be at its limit for the number of megapixels but, there's still a lot of things to improve like the maximum color range a digital camera can record. With 16 bits color channel, we would be able to record a lot more informations so we wouldn't be limited as much when we try to capture a high dynamic range picture. There's tools like in Photoshop CS2 to give you the abilities to have high dynamic range but it would be a lot better to have it directly in the camera.

The CCD cameras [sbig.com] used by astronomers routinely produce 16 bits per pixel. Most of these are monochrome devices: to shoot a colour picture you must shoot pictures through red, green and blue filters, then combine them.

The key advantages for astronomy are zero reciprocity failure (film loses sensitivity in long exposures; CCDs don't), high quantum efficiency (almost all the photons intercepted by the sensor are noticed) and excellent linearity (you can digitally subtract extraneous light, like city lights).

However, even in astronomy, there is a hard core who still do film. There are many reasons: some people just like the look, others enjoy the craft of wet darkroom work, and so on.

My favourite camera is a 4x5 press camera, a Crown Graphic [graflex.org] . It takes perfect 1950s newspaper photographer pictures. And I develop and print them myself.

...laura

Re:Not for pros (2, Informative)

holdenholden (961300) | about 8 years ago | (#15565241)

I may be misunderstanding your point, but we currently DO have the ability to capture 12 bits per chanel. Of course, if you are shooting JPEGs then you already limit the bits to 8 per chanel. If shoot RAW the camera stores 12 bits/chanel and if you convert to TIFF it embeds them in 16 bits/chanel for a true 36 bit image (inside 48-bit space).

Going up to 16 would be a nice thing, but as far as I am concerned, 12 is more than enough. Sure, there are situations when I can see posterization or other nasty artifacts that would be ameliorated if I had more information to work with, but these are few and with careful shooting technique could be avoided. On the other hand, what I would like to see is an improvement in the dynamic range (currently 8-9 stops, almost on par with slide film) and in the noise/sensitivity department (currently 3200 ISO on the 20D gives very little noise if exposed properly).

However, personally as a photographer I am quite happy with 8MP and don't really care for more than, say, 20 MP. After that we start hitting the resolution limit of the lenses and going further will be too expensive for little or no benefit.

Re:Not for pros (2, Insightful)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15565275)

That's not entirely true. I have an uncle that shoots large format and pays $50 a scan for images about this size. The CCD size in this article is about the same size as his large frame film. So it's really not out of the question. Although highly unlikely and rare need for sure. So in general I completely agree with you, but there are a sick few that would actually use it and be able to justify it for the work they do.

I don't expect to see anything remotely close to this in a large format camera any time soon. Although we might see it in frame cameras. Hmm... I totally see it showing up there. Although the CCD and resolution would need to get a lot large to support the needs for frame cameras. But it would probably be too expensive. Hmm.. nevermind.. already found one that exists: http://www.vexcel.com/products/photogram/ultracam/ index.html [vexcel.com] Guess the demand is there already.

Blade Runner is here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565427)

From a 10560x10560 photo you can get a 32Mb High Quality crop. So you could get the nearly infinite digital zoom without loss of detail that you could see in movies like Blade Runner.

More mega-pixels is better, whatever.

Re:Not for pros (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 8 years ago | (#15565438)

you'd be surprized who could take advantage of this single chip design.

previous 120 megapixel CCD cameras were based on multiple sensor array systems, and while i don't know where they were used most, I can think of a number of uses EG: no flash indirect light photogaphic archiving of ancient documents, maps and tapistries. as well as advertising photography for use in billboards and other large posters.

True, you don't need 120 megapixels to take a high school prom photo, but there are probabbly enough profesional uses for this camera to find a place in the market. what the size of that market is is going to take some research, which no doubt they already did.

This comment was insightful, or informative, the parent was overrated so long as his post exceeds 3 points.

Yeah, yeah... (1)

jd (1658) | about 8 years ago | (#15565530)

Tell that to the Gigapixl project. :) Seriously, professionals will have geeks amongst them, and geeks love anything that's new, sparkly and does cool stuff. Furthermore, "serious" professionals are subject to market forces, and the market is more likely to buy bigger, better, flashier photograps - even if they can't tell the difference - simply because the adverts look more impressive. Impressions, even when illusions, sell. And photographers know that.


Finally, there are markets for extreme detail - surverying for construction, surveying for archaeology, etc. The latter is perhaps the most interesting, as these photographs are aimed at finding uber-faint, large-scale (but very thin) features from overhead photographs. Standard photographs will work and do work, but they invariably miss a lot. These new cameras might reduce how much they miss (by a little) and might increase other information they have to work with (by a little).


To generalize and say that professionals won't be interested, therefore, is unlikely to hold up to scrutiny. What will be interesting is what WILL professionals do, when this is more widely available?

That's a big sensor. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565084)

Here's a pic of the sensor itself: http://www.dalsa.com/shared/content/images/STA1600 _1_1200w.jpg [dalsa.com] . (Too bad there aren't any pics from the sensor...)

Re:That's a big sensor. (1)

holdenholden (961300) | about 8 years ago | (#15565262)

Oh, come on. Look at the reflection (upper left corner).

They used a freaking point-and-shoot to take a picture of the beast. The least they could have done is bring out a 1Ds MkII if not a Hassie or a Mamya.

That's a big sensor (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 years ago | (#15565087)

At what point is it more sensible to use a tiling of smaller sensors instead?

Re:That's a big sensor (1)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565257)

it depends. do you need a smaller camera that usues less power? The basic physics is the more pixels you cram into the same space, the greater your noise to signal ratio. That's why a 6MP DSLR will produce cleaner images than an 8MP points and Shoot.

Obligatory tongue twister (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565089)

if a cheap ship ships cheap chips, how much cheap chips shall the cheap ship ship?

Where's my cray? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 8 years ago | (#15565090)

That's huge, but now I need a computer that can actually handle opening the file. It takes long enough opening a 8MP RAW file on my computer as is.

Re:Where's my cray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565328)

There are alot of commecial software packages designed for opening large photos... mostly these are used for raster data for Geospatial applications though. RemoteView does an excellent job though.

pr0n! (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 years ago | (#15565109)

No, just kidding... but that would make for one real cool digital "Medium Format" cameras :)

/P

There's more than just pixel count . . . (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 8 years ago | (#15565119)

For actual consumer devices, higher pixel count doesn't always mean better pictures. Color quality, optics, processing, etc. can make a huge difference. We're limited largely by what our eyes can perceive and our display devices actually represent. I guess such huge resolutions might be helpful for "zooming" without needing the lens assemblies . . . but there's still atmospheric distortion to contend with . . . It's a shame TFA doesn't mention what this CCD is actually supposed to be used for.

Re:There's more than just pixel count . . . (1)

Kamineko (851857) | about 8 years ago | (#15565335)

Or they could stop bloody wrecking all our pictures by automatically encoding with the JPG format!


Where's the linux based cameras with the flashable firmware, eh? >:(

Re:There's more than just pixel count . . . (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 8 years ago | (#15565505)

One would hope that if you were going to use a camera with a 111 megapixel sensor that it would be equipped with the best image processor and literally jaw dropping optics. You would need a lens that could actually resolve images to that resolution but considering the sensor size that might not be very hard. On the other hand such a lens might be so heavy you would have to mount it on a Hummer just to be able to use it.

And how many bad pixels? (5, Funny)

dlleigh (313922) | about 8 years ago | (#15565120)

How many bad pixels before the unit is considered faulty and can be returned?

Capture rate. (4, Insightful)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 years ago | (#15565128)

Is this only for still images, or can it be used for moving images? (over time, like a movie, not emotionally, like a childs tear)

Obviously you'd need a heck of a data transfer rate for motion, but how fast could this pump data out, clear, and capture the next image?

Re:Capture rate. (1)

LuckyStarr (12445) | about 8 years ago | (#15565347)

At 24 bit color-depth, a movie at 25 frames/second using this device, would require approximately 70 Gigabits/second. The question is how you move (cough, cough) a CPU to move the bits fast enough.

Yeah, I know. Not funny.

Re:Capture rate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565426)

It's a scientific CCD, it's not got a colour filter. It's not got a color bit-depth. In fact it's an analogue device, it doesn't have a bit depth.

If it has enough analogue readout ports then you can take movies with it, given enough ADCs and storage. Why you'd want to take high speed movies on a device intended for long exposure imaging in astronomical situations is beyond me.

Why I'm bothering to post actual relevant stuff in the midst of a ./ crudfest is also beyond me.

Pixies, the lot of you...

CCD, as opposed to CMOS (1)

pikine (771084) | about 8 years ago | (#15565428)

If used with a really expensive, high-speed analog-digital converter (ADC) capable of digitizing ~2700 million pixels per second, then it could reach a good 24 fps speed, but that's about 40 times what is needed by a HDTV camera CCD (1920x1080 interlaced at 60 fps). Normally this conversion speed is only available with a specialized high frame rate set.

Image sensors work by converting light to electric charges. More light in an area makes the pixel hold more charges.

Images captured by CCD are converted to digital by having the ADC scan electric charges across pixels of a line, and line by line across the sensor, so a big CCD would take longer to scan because scanning has to be done sequentially.

If they made it CMOS, then each pixel can convert its electric charge to a digital value at the same time, so digitization is done parallelly. At least in terms of the rate an image sensor can pump data out, CCD has a bottleneck that, theoretically, CMOS doesn't have.

my calculations... (2, Interesting)

laxcat (600727) | about 8 years ago | (#15565132)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that's just shy of a 3 by 3 foot image at 300 dpi !

Re:my calculations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565484)

The calculations I did are as follows:

35" x35" at 300 dpi. This would create a JPG file 23mb in size, a tiff at 230mb and a raw between 600 and 900mb.

wow.

It's spinal tap all over again.... (5, Funny)

dmjones500 (781144) | about 8 years ago | (#15565146)

You can imagine the developers on the phone to their competition...

What?? That camera's rubbish.... ours goes up to one-hundred and eleven!!

Resolution ain't everything (5, Insightful)

brownsteve (673529) | about 8 years ago | (#15565154)

the 10560x10560 format will probably get professional digital camera users drooling.
Megapixels are nice, but I would trade high-res for a high-quality lens any day of the week. For example, NASA's Spirit rover took those stunning photos (that we all drooled over) with only a one-megapixel image sensor. [space.com]

Re:Resolution ain't everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565198)

Content also beats resolution, so people who don't want to see pictures of your cat at 3MP aren't going to be more impressed at 111MP.

Find a seat and get comfortable folks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565167)

Let the battle begin! [slashdot.org]

Is there any blue ray for digicam? (1)

pangoo (703296) | about 8 years ago | (#15565206)

I thought my 1GB SD card is enough to hold 200-300 photos but now I need a blue ray mini card and drive for my digicam. On the other hand one of my friend said they are making something as there PhD research which will enable us to store pictures using a single pixel. I couldn't understand much. Doesn't anybody else have some idea?

Re:Is there any blue ray for digicam? (1)

pangoo (703296) | about 8 years ago | (#15565299)

I mean, Does anyone else have any idea?

Re:Is there any blue ray for digicam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565385)

no.

Re:Is there any blue ray for digicam? (2, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | about 8 years ago | (#15565423)

You can already store image data represented by one pixel. The resolution is exactly 1x1. ;)

CCD sensors this size have been around for a while (3, Insightful)

LordByronStyrofoam (587954) | about 8 years ago | (#15565213)

They're used in the larger optical telescopes. Very expensive, and often only greyscale, they offer huge dynamic range.

This could create a new market for photoshopers... (1)

ryusen (245792) | about 8 years ago | (#15565224)

Considering the detail that current high end cameras can capture, can you imagine the amount of airbrushing that might need to go into portraits with such a camera?

what's really exciting about this (5, Informative)

spirit_fingers (777604) | about 8 years ago | (#15565243)

The best part about this announcement isn't the 100 megapixel size. Photographers can already buy large format digital backs for view cameras with 300 megapixel resolution (albeit for a hefty price). But they use multiple CCDs and require external power supplies and HDDs. This new chip opens up intruiging possibilities for a self-contained high resolution camera that requires much less power to operate. Still, a CCD of that resolution will generate raw image files of about 350 megabytes each, so portability will necessarily be compromised to a degree by storage requirements.

How long to write this to SSD Card? (1)

unborracho (108756) | about 8 years ago | (#15565255)

How long would it take to write one of those images to a SSD card??

Transfer rate? (1)

Dadoo (899435) | about 8 years ago | (#15565407)

How long would it take to write one of those images to a SSD card??

Forget that. I'd be more concerned about the transfer rate.

If you assume 24 bpp, or 3 bytes per pixel, that'll be 333Mb per raw image. With a 333MBps transfer rate, it will take a full second to retrieve an image from the device. That's way too long. If you consider minimal photography requirements - say, 1/30th of a second - you'll need a transfer rate of 9990MBps. That's pretty high, even for current electronics.

Bad Link. (2, Informative)

iamlucky13 (795185) | about 8 years ago | (#15565276)

The link to the SBIR page appears to be defunct due to bookmarking data called from a session. I wasn't about to ask the submitter to give me his cookie and I tried finding info about the Dalsa project on the SBIR site, but wasn't having any luck, so here's a press release [dalsa.com] from the company that built it.

It sounds like the interest for the navy is along the lines of astro-navigation, but I'm not really sure. It's definitely not something general photographers need or even want. It's kind of pointless if your lenses aren't comparably impressive, or if you're not printing it out at a couple feet in size and to be displayed in a way that someone would get close enough to appreciate the quality. Plus once you take all that data, then you have to store it. I'm not sure how RAW images are stored, but if my math serves, a 24 bit BMP at that size would take about 300 MB per image.

Re:Bad Link. (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | about 8 years ago | (#15565513)

Huh. I checked a couple of times to make sure it was persistent, across a couple of computers, but I guess it was anyways and expired. My apologies to the readers. Control Number for the contract is: N043-226-0074 You can SBIR search for that control number at: DOD SBIR/STTR AWARDS - Custom Search [dodsbir.net]

Dalsa is who you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565295)

to get your high performance imaging chips from. Someone working at Dalsa told me about a chip they were working on. I said that it didn't sound like much. Not many pixels at all. Not much depth. It turns out that speed was the issue. It was intended to inspect products whizzing down a production line and was capable of about a zillion frames per second. The resulting bits per second would very definitely produce frequencies in the microwave range.

FYI (1)

merdaccia (695940) | about 8 years ago | (#15565298)

At 24bpp, a raw image from the CCD without file format overhead would be about 320MB.

In other news, Flickr hires Bram Cohen.

Wow... She has a great set of... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 8 years ago | (#15565316)

...DNA.

Will we be able to check her blood cell count with this?

Surveillance uses (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 8 years ago | (#15565321)

With a camera not much larger than an old Speed Graphic, you could take one picture of a crowd and get ID-quality pictures of everyone in the crowd.

wait for the 112MPx (1)

lateralus_1024 (583730) | about 8 years ago | (#15565358)

this 111MPx looks like crap next to upcoming 112. Trust me.

New and Improved!! (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | about 8 years ago | (#15565373)

Friends,

Are you trying to get good look at that hottie upstairs in her bedroom?!
Wanna see every blemish on Paris Hilton?!
Get the new **Insert Favorite Camera Company** 111-Megapixel Ultra CCD!!!

Be the envy of Peeping Toms, Paparazzi, EVERYWHERE!!!


Disclaimer: Band-aids, and lawsuit protection not included.

MBC1977
(US Marine, College Student, and Good Guy!)

How many sensors would a CCD chip ship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15565420)

111-Megapixel CCD Chip Ships

How many sensors would a CCD chip ship? A CCD chip would ship as many sensors as a CCD chip could ship if a CCD chip could ship sensors.

Off the chart costs. (3, Informative)

Snuffub (173401) | about 8 years ago | (#15565429)

That thing must cost an arm and a leg. The failure rate of chips goes up exponentially with size and at 4 inches across yields must be next to nothing.

Limit? (1)

doublebackslash (702979) | about 8 years ago | (#15565446)

Okay, why do they say things like "100 megapixel *limit*" (emphasis mine). The sound barrier was a limit, it was a point on the spedometer that seemed impossible to go past. Things changed at that point and a whole different school of thought was nessary to overcome the limit.
a 100 Megapixel sensor, while an unholy and awsome creature, is nothing more than the latest and greatest CCD sensor. they broke hte 100 Megapixel mark.
Having said that, bravo for them.

Cost? (3, Funny)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | about 8 years ago | (#15565522)

I wonder how much that bad boy will cost after they send in the mail-in rebate.
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