Originally Posted by Jedi2016
Coolscan: I have to disagree with you on the sensor resolution. A lot of camera makers these days are doing nothing but throwing more pixels at the problem, which doesn't actually help anything.
That has been the mantra for some years, most in reference to smaller pixel=more noise. Now with increasing better noise control, the big pixels=better isn't so true anymore.
They need the sensors to be able to capture full HDR images (at once, not the multi-frame thing they're doing now), something I'm fairly sure they can't do yet. Film will always have the advantage until they can get that sorted.. a piece of film will have detail in the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows, all captured in a single instant. Just because they crop most of that out during the digital process before we see it doesn't mean it's not important.
They would be able to do that today if they could record more data of the sensor faster, but there are still limits to sensor data capture speeds.
One solution is more and smaller pixels and let the RAW converter algorithms figure out where the extra pixels should be utilised. With increasing dynamic range of CMOS sensors (18-20 stops of DR) the problem will solve itself.
Other solutions in the development stages are RGB+White pixels. This makes it possible to have a black&white image part of the sensor solely for grayscale values.
Also some works on new non-Bayer patterns are being done.
Bigger pixels, more accurate pixels, not simply more pixels.
Sadly the big limit to big pixels are the limit to sensor size because of the limit to the coverage of lenses.
For digital film cameras that limit is reached before the stills/DSLR cameras because the lenses used have been developed for S-35mm cine film.
Or else I am shure companies like Red and Sony would have wanted to use larger sensor closer to Medium format/15perf.70mm/Imax size. But that would mean 100 years of optical development of Cine lenses would not have been possible to use on those cameras.
There are also a lot of work on different techs for better pixel accuracies. Here is one example; http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XPec2EaBSSM
One reason high quality stills look so good on our 2 megapixel HD displays are because high downsample rate, like image capture of 15-25 megapixel from DSLR downsampled to 2 megapixel and displayed.
Now when future display target will be 4K at 8 megapixel, the sensors pixel counts has to increase proportionally.
Lately some camera manufacturers have been able for the first time to play with really high megapixel sensors and find that an abundance of pixels has several benefits they haven't thought too much about previously, like being able to drop OLPF or make it very weak, and to have the full megapixel count for target display (like 4K display) for each color channel also has benefits.
8MP for each Red+2xGreen+Blue colorchannel would give 30-40MP for downsample to 4K/8MP and will give better image quality than 4K sensor for 4K display.
For digital film cameras it is not higher than 20MP for 4K delivery, at the moment.
With improved sensor technologies, many more and smaller pixels have great benefit over fewer and larger pixels. It just take some time before they reach the market.Edited by coolscan - 3/24/13 at 4:13pm