While we're on the subject of RAW camera images, I highly encourage you to try Lightzone
as an alternative to Photoshop for working with fine photographic images. Instead of wrestling with endless tutorials and tearing your hair out, you can focus on the art of it.
Foveon is a company trying to bring the world of digital cameras to the level of analog film ("kodachrome"). Currently digital still photography is held prisoner by an ageing, obsolete approach to capturing ("image sensor") light in the camera. Foveon has, over a period of some 20 years, produced a remarkable digital technology which rivals analog film in it's ability to capture light in the photographic process.
Currently, this technology is available in the following digital cameras that I am aware of: Polaroid X530 (also the least expensive RAW camera on the market), Sigma SD9 (digital SLR "pro camera"), Sigma SD10. Sigma has also recently announced two new cameras based on new image sensors from Foveon, the SD-14 and the Sigma DP1.
So prevalant is the use of "video camcorder imaging-style" image sensors in professional digital still cameras (by this I mean YCrCb image capture using a CCD and pixels captured with some kind of bayer mosaic arrangement), that Adobe refers only
only to this arrangement of pixels in it's DNG (digital negative) specification.
The photographs taken with cameras featuring the Foveon sensor are, in a word, stunning in their clarity and detail. Here's some quick links I dug up: http://www.pbase.com/mjmorrison/sigma_sd10http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd10
If you are interested in picture quality, and ESPECIALLY if you like to manipulate photos with Photoshop and want to get the state of the art, get a camera with a Foveon image sensor.
There is a great book about Foveon's quest. Along the lines of "Soul of a New Machine", "The Silicon Eye"
- I found it a fascinating read. I can't wait to try the video capabilities of the Sigma DP1 (30fps 640x480). We're looking at a camera that captures RGB at the sensor level.
Labels: foveon, lightzone, photoshop, sigma