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Thursday, 09 November 2023


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I think one major "trickle down" feature that will help future lower level cameras is the increased processing power.

Most cameras can't process images quickly enough to have a high sustained rate before the buffer has to slow down everything.

I rarely take bursts of photos, but many would probably benefit from faster processing. Plus, camera makers would have a second tier of "non-global" shutters with lesser specs at a lower price.

Of course, taking indoor sports shots at reasonable ISO speeds and high shutter speeds would require fast lenses. Another opportunity for camera makers to keep the cell phones from totally taking over.

The RAW sample photos don't look all that great at an ISO speed of 1,600: (https://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/sony_a9_iii_review#sample_images)

So, if you need a large photo, it looks like ISO 400 may be the limit (although there were no photos at ISO 400 or 800 at the above link).

Maybe the release date of Spring 2024 is also necessary to make software adjustments to lessen the noise in the files.

I know what you mean about shutter sync speed, at 12.5 microseconds, the actual response time of the flash comes into play. The shutter could be over and done before the flash begins to fire.

Bob Atkins measured the duration of a flash at about 1000 microseconds. But I don't know the time between when the flash is triggered and it fires.


As K. Tanaka noted in the previous "Global Shutter" post, that flash sync speed and other specs may have more application for sci/tech research than for everyday photography.

I digress, but the term "global shutter" keeps reminding me of those proposals to cool our warming planet with some kind of artificial shade, whether space-based parasols or artificial clouds or something else. (It's a crazy notion for a number of reasons, but then, so is a 1/80,000 second flash sync speed.)

If memory serves, the tech to build a sensor with practically unlimited dynamic range is fairly straight forward, but will never come to be.

This is because there is a company (who's name I won't mention for fear of legal action), that routinely patents ideas it has no resources to bring to fruition. It's business model is to register these patents and they sell them for truly epic amounts of money.

In this case, the patent covers resetting the wells once they hit saturation, then counting the number of times the wells have been saturated, to determine how much light they measured in total. So, no burnt out pixels in your image. Ever.

This model was working well enough, until there was a directive from tech companies from 'on high' to never engage with the company. I'd like to say, on principle. But I think it was just the outrageous amount of money and the percentage of royalties that they demand that did the trick.

I know it sounds very conspiracy minded. But it's not. And it's a shame. I'd love to have images and movies with zero unrecoverable pixels.

The comment by Kye Wood is quite a condemnation of current patent law. To my mind, writing down that idea should not be patentable. It probably occurred to every engineer at every camera manufacturer. The idea itself is of practically no value, implementing it so it actually works has real value.

Good thing no one ever patented the idea of space travel. How about patenting the idea of heating a house using fire. Maybe someone should patent the idea that humans have ideas, then collect on every thought.

Allowing patent trolling is a bug in the culture. No one sane would want this. Why is no one fixing this bug? It's as if we have all forgotten why we're here.

Patents don't last forever. They generally have a 20 year term, which in some cases can be extended. So a sensor with unlimited dynamic range can occur without patent induced inhibitions, if we wait a bit.

This is precisely why, for so many years, "ideas" couldn't be patented, just actual implementations. It leaked in sort-of via computer implementations, which arguably ought to be patentable (the arguments against that I know center around how new and fast-moving the field is, rather than any claim that the algorithms aren't significant inventions).

Nobody "patents ideas" and then sells them "for truly epic amounts of money."

Ideas are not patentable, and there's no reason Kye Wood or anyone should fear "legal action" for citing patents just because the assignee is a non-practicing entity, sometimes referred to as a "patent troll."

Patents are public documents.

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