New image sensors capture colour in each pixel

Foveon Inc. has announced the introduction and immediate availability of its new Foveon X3 image sensor.

Foveon Inc, a technology leader in high quality digital photography has announced the introduction and immediate availability of its new Foveon X3 image sensor.

Foveon X3 image sensors improve photographs from digital cameras by capturing three times the colour resolution of comparable image sensors found in today’s digital cameras.

In addition to increased colour resolution, the new technology reportedly integrates high-resolution still photography with professional-quality full-motion video within a single image sensor enabling a new class of dual mode still/video digital cameras.

The Foveon X3 is said to be the world’s first colour image sensor that captures red, green and blue light at each pixel, resulting in sharper images, enhanced colour, and freedom from unwanted ‘colour rainbow’ artefacts common in photographs from today’s digital cameras.

Foveon X3 image sensors detect colour in a manner similar to that of colour film. With film, different colours of light penetrate to different layers of photosensitive material, with each layer detecting a specific colour. Using a similar concept, Foveon X3 image sensors consist of three layers of photo detectors embedded in silicon and are the first to detect three colours at every pixel location.

Today’s CCD and CMOS image sensors detect only one colour of the three required colours at each pixel and must mathematically estimate the remaining two colours not detected.

This is said to limit the range and accuracy of the colour captured thereby increasing the possibility of unwanted colour artefacts in the photograph. By capturing three colours at every pixel instead of just one, Foveon X3 based cameras have measured information for all three colours.

This results in high quality photographs with fewer numbers of pixels because the pixels are based on real measurements. Fewer pixels results in smaller file sizes allowing digital camera users to send a higher quality photograph more quickly through e-mail. It also means that more digital photos can be stored on a digital camera storage card.

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