Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kodak Combines W-RGB Filter with CCD

DCViews: The first public demonstration of CCD-based Kodak Truesense technology integration will be shown at Kodak's exhibit at the Vision 2009 trade show held November 3 - 5 in Stuttgart, Germany. The demonstration is based on the currently available 1080p format KAI-02150 Image Sensor combined with TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern adding panchromatic, or “clear“ pixels to the red, green, and blue elements that form the image sensor array. Kodak claims a 2x to 4x increase in light sensitivity (from one to two photographic stops) compared to a standard Bayer color sensor.

Update: Here is the official Kodak PR.


  1. It is odd to me that Kodak would choose "Truesense" for a color filter pattern that, in fact, has worse color MTF than their previous Bayer pattern.
    Aside from the misnomer, I wonder if it is because the CCD is for video that they feel it is a worthwhile to trade sensitivity for color MTF. RGBW is certainly worse for color reproduction, especially for edges and color aliasing. One can see how this might be a reasonable trade in small pixel, low cost, high resolution cell phone sensors. But surely Kodak should be focused on premium image quality at this point in time.
    It is also possible Kodak continues to lose its direction after failing in the CMOS image sensor business.

  2. Good observations. They are probably looking for a fit. Years ago Kodak claimed that complementary color filters were far superior to RGB and also gave that a similar misnomer as if it fit every application.

  3. How is RGBW a win? If you expose for the white pixels, the color pixel signal levels and SNR are suboptimal. Expose for the color pixels and the whites are over-exposed, inevitably creating crosstalk issues in the neighboring color pixels.

    You get high color noise in low light and bad highlight rendering in bright light. Where's the benefit?

  4. Greens in the Bayer pattern are replaced with white pixels for higher sensitivity. (White is approx for luminance, just as greens are in Bayer. So luminance resolution is the same, but more sensitivity is achieved.)

    Exposure is for white, then indvidual colors are binned for speed matching. (Lower color sampling results, but the eye is less sensitive to color resolution.)

    Colors are the same (spectra responses) as with Bayer, so color-correction matrix is the same. So no difference in noise from CCM operation. But higher signal in luminance gives higher luminance SNR.

    Traffic cam pictures on their web site (link given above) shows the results of a side-by-side comparison at identical exposures.

  5. Someone needs to learn something about photography and how pixels are used in digital imaging. Kodak is right on the money in what it does. That is why NASA(LRO), Leica and the Motion Picture Industry uses their products.

  6. It is amazing how people who do not understand the nuances of photographic imaging and its relationship to pixilization make comments that have no factual bearing. Kodak is number one in the NASA scientific arena because they have proven what they are doing and have done for more than forty years. I wish more people would become more educated as to the fundamentals of photography before making such uninformed coments. Jack Kinner,NASA


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