Advances in Digital Camera Technology – The Fujifilm Organic Sensor
The coming years will see the image capture technology change significantly. If you have been hiding under a rock, or are new to the world of cameras, here’s a taste of what is to come.
Super-High Dynamic Range (SHDR®)
Fujifilm, the creator of analogue film products knows a thing or two about what makes a good photograph, they also understand colour, and chemicals. Being a progressive company, Fuji is looking at the next sensor technology. Much as their X-Trans sensor array removes the requirement for an image dulling AA filter, the next sensor that comes out of Fuji – called an organic sensor, is likely to be even more film like in its ability to capture information. As well as improved definition, the organic sensor is also capable of phenomenal dynamic range.
Film has an inbuilt reciprocity failure, which means that the longer the film is exposed to light, the less sensitive it becomes to that light. Digital does not currently have the same characteristics. In a high dynamic range digital photo, the highlights get blown out to infinity, and the dark patches hold no detail. Of course, a bit of PP can lift the shadows and lower the highlights, but do we all want to spend hours in front of our computers twiddling? I’d rather be doing something more fun.
The next-gen Fujifilm Organic Sensor appears to incorporate an organic filter which will perform the effect of introducing reciprocity, thereby allowing the very bright light sources to not blow out the picture, and the very low light sources to allow some detail capture. It has the effect of reducing the contrast to a very flat scene, and then building it up into a normal looking photo (the human eye can perceive around 10-14 stops of dynamic range but we stitch our vision from many pictures taken with our eyes, and we adjust them for a dynamic range, much like an HDR photo).
With the Fuji/Panasonic sensor, we are talking about a potential 29.2 stops of dynamic range which could produce some pretty amazing images out of the box. Of course, don’t imagine that such a sensor will produce those pretty pictures without some clever software sitting behind it. This technology is being played with and fined tuned by Fujifilm/Panasonic at present, and knowing the Japanese and their rigorous testing prior to market release, it will be a number of years before you see this sensor technology in a camera in your local camera shop.
For a more detailed explanation of the Fuji Sensor have a look at the Fuji Website.
To Be Continued…..