Jarred Land announced the Epic-M Monochrome over at Reduser.net yesterday. I quote:
- Newly Developed Mysterium-X Monochrome Sensor.
- Native ASA 2000.
- Increased net resolution (removal of the debayer process, so every single individual pixel is used for luminance/image data )
- New Low Pass Filter...to accomodate the reduced pixel pitch (1x1 vs. 2x2 Bayer)
- $42,000 (brain only) includes upgrade to Dragon Monochrome Sensor, spring 2013.
- David Fincher [link ours —Ed.] is shooting his current project solely on Epic-M Monochrome cameras as we speak.
- Pre-orders open on red.com Monday...ships October 1st.
End quote. I'll take two.
I love the commenter who says, "Hmmm...trying to grasp the significance of this. Does this somehow mean that all color will be added in post? Even as I say that it sounds weird but otherwise...what? Just B&W images?" Sometimes I really feel like I am living in some sort of weird parallel Universe. (This has been an especially weird week.)
There are no sample images later in the post, as of now. Just in case you're tempted to go looking for them.
Re the price, memories are growing dim already, but this was the way it was in the early days of digital in the 1990s. Six-megapixel digital SLRs the size of fat books (most of which said "Kodak" on them...again, what happened there?) cost $25,000. It looked in those days like only newsrooms and top pros were ever going to be able to afford them. The story of the next decade was in part the story of trickle-down, as digital technology entered the realm of the affordable (for various definitions of "affordable") from the top.
I hope I live long enough to see the same migration in monochrome digital that we saw between a mid-1990s Kodak/Nikon or Kodak/Canon digital SLR versus, say, the Sony RX100 I shot with last Thursday. Somehow I'm pessimistic, but hey, "could happen."
(Thanks to Nico Burns)
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Stan B.: "Mine's a cheaper, smaller, albeit less advanced but better looking version...."
Featured Comment by Daniel Evan Rodriguez: "Of all the current players, my guess is that Fuji will be the first with an 'attainable' monochrome camera. The X line may be the perfect platform for this, and considering the defining characteristics of the X-Series (viewfinder, manual controls, idiosyncratic sensor), a B&W-only option doesn't really seem like that much of a stretch."
Featured Comment by Kevin Purcell: "Note it has a optical low pass filter (unlike the Leica Monochrom). I've heard others say 'oh, it's monochrome so it's doesn't need a OLPF because there's no color moiré.' This has become another internet trope that photographers 'know' that isn't actually true. There isn't color moiré, of course, but that's not the only aliasing artifact that an OLPF supresses. There is luminance moiré, stairstepping, and much more. Sampling theory requires the any digitized signal to be 'band limited' for faithful reproduction (avoiding aliasing artifacts). Depending what you photograph you will see more or less of it (sometimes you'll see it when you least suspect it).
"One other point about monchrome cameras is they still need a filter on chip in the same place as the Bayer filters to flatten out spectral response . A raw silicon sensor doesn't have the color response that silver halide has. Leica have done that really well on the Leica Monochrom.
"Making a monochrome sensor is really down to asking the fab to make a custom sensor that changes the RGGB dyes for a single color dye. It's an almost trivial change (once you have the dye or dye mix you want) so there are no technical issues.
"The major issue is can you make a profit from a niche market for a monochrome camera? Of all the current camera makers I see Fuji being the most likely to do this."