TRV950 stills.....8x10 looks great...why? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 31st, 2004, 02:57 AM   #1
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TRV950 stills.....8x10 looks great...why?

Punchline: 3CCD capture results in roughly 2X the resolution of a single CCD capture....and TRV-950 stills benefit from this. Details below....

I recently acquired a TRV-950. Prior to this acquisition my sources of image acquisition were excellent Canon bodies, lenses and mostly Fuji film along with a bit of video from an old Canon 8mm Camcorder. Used a film scanner to obtain digital images.

I went with 3CCD because color, reproduced with 3 CCD's, I hoped would be more accurate in reduced lighting and it is...but this is not my interesting issue.

I've read time and again about how poor stills are when using video cameras.....and......for the older single CCD 270,000 pixel cameras I would agree.

However, I have encountered something unexpected with the TRV-950 stills and I think that the results that Foveon is obtaining from their 3 layer capture explain what is happening.

With my, ostensibly, 1MP TRV-950 I am able, via bi-linear interpolation, to obtain really outstanding 8x10 prints at 250 dpi on thermal and inkjet printers. I have not tried larger yet, but, I suspect I can go a bit larger yet.

Why is this? Well, I think the answer resides in the recent series of reviews provided by dpreview.com on the Foveon sensor. The reviewer carefully examined the resolution of the Foveon sensor with the Canon 6.3MP single CCD.

Results indicated that when the image is formed from single pixel R, G, and B (like 3CCD or Foveon chip) the "effective" resolution (experimentally determined by comparing with the 6.3MP Canon single CCD) is roughly twice what the single CCD array is capable of with Beyer interpolation.

In other words, my TRV-950, at 1MP effective, is really 2MP effective because of the extra information associated with capturing all 3 RGB records completely rather than interpolating them from a 1MP array.

I find this a really fascinating and powerful benefit of the TRV-950 and unexpected as well.

Thought folks might be interested.

These results are partly mitigated in very low light without flash where, due to the CCD size and attendant lower light sensitivity, noise becomes an issue.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 11:39 AM   #2
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Interesting concept. I was wondering, could you post some of your shots (dont have to be full sized). I assume that you are capturing the stills directly to a memory stick, downloading the photos and then processing them in Photoshop. You wouldn't get the same result if you did a still capture form an avi. clip. To be quite frank, I've had a TRV-900 for two years and I have never even thrown a memory stick in there. In a pinch it's nice to know you can get nice stills that way. By the way, I have seen some amazing stills from the Canon 1D which I think has a 4.5 mgpixel sensor (not sure) blown up to 13X19, so although megapixels are important, glass, photographic techinique, etc also play an important role. Anyhow, I think I will give it a go this weekend and report back what I get.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 01:39 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Mintzer : To be quite frank, I've had a TRV-900 for two years and I have never even thrown a memory stick in there. -->>>

I wouldn't expect the same results from a TRV-900.... I think it does stills at 640x480 like the VX-2000, doesn't it? The TRV-950 has megapixel chips that offer much higher resolution.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 04:02 PM   #4
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David Mintzer,
For some interesting results at video resolution, try putting your 900 in progressive mode.

You now have a still camera shooting 900 stills per minute (NTSC) with shutter and aperature manually controllable.

While this is still going to be just at video resolution, you will come up with some good shots if your subjects are people or animals. This is a great way to get that perfect still for use in a video. (and no jpeg compression as with the memory stick). Pull the video into an NLE and scrub the timeline to find the "just right" still.

When shooting stills for inclusion in a video, I never bother with my digicam any more as the focusing and zoom of my camcorder are far superior to any still cam I can afford.
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