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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of primary and complementary color filters for CCD-based digital photography
Author(s): Richard L. Baer; William D. Holland; Jack M. Holm; Poorvi L. Vora
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a comparison between primary (RGB) and complementary (CYMG) CCD color filters arrays, as applied to digital photography. Our analysis is based upon the measured spectral characteristics of the primary and complementary color versions of the Matsushita MN3776 CCD. The important role of the color correction matrix on the quality of the image is considered both in terms of noise and color saturation. Our calculations show that there is a tradeoff between color saturation and ISO speed, when complementary filters are used. Complementary color filters only gain an ISO speed advantage when the color saturation is low. When the color correction matrix is chosen to make the ISO speeds of the two filter systems equivalent, the well capacity of the complementary CCD must be significantly higher because of the higher overall transmission of its color filters. Our comparison includes ISO speed calculations and plots of the color gamut for primary and complementary color filters with various color correction matrices. We conclude that primary color filters are superior for digital photography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 March 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3650, Sensors, Cameras, and Applications for Digital Photography, (22 March 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.342859
Show Author Affiliations
Richard L. Baer, Hewlett-Packard Co. (United States)
William D. Holland, Hewlett-Packard Co. (United States)
Jack M. Holm, Imaging Consultant (United States)
Poorvi L. Vora, Hewlett-Packard Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3650:
Sensors, Cameras, and Applications for Digital Photography
Nitin Sampat; Thomas Yeh, Editor(s)

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