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Foveon Sensor

The Foveon sensor utilizes an entirely different approach to capturing images. Unlike the traditional Bayer Pattern CMOS and CCD chips in which the Bayerarray blocks individual colors, the Foveon chip records all color quantities at each pixel location with no interpolation.
The chip uses 3 separate layers stacked on top of each other to record color. The top layer captures blue, the middle one green, and the bottom one red. The layers are arranged in this order because different light wavelengths penetrate silicon to different depths. This is a huge benefit as no interpolation, also know as demosaicing, is required. Colors are recorded more truthfully and the resulting images are more vibrant.

Using this chip has several drawbacks. Even though the chip has lets say 12 megapixels, the resulting image is only 4 megapixels in size. This is because each of the three chip layers has a third of the total pixels of the chip. To date, only Sigma uses this chip and it does not appear to be catching on. The lack of final image megapixels severely limits your editing options.


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