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12-26-2019, 11:37 AM   #1
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Do ccd sensors have better color than cmos?

Hear this often. If it is true, why?
Thanks,
barondla

12-26-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Hear this often. If it is true, why?
Thanks,
barondla
Do a bit of research on it for an explanation, but I can tell you from my experience that they do.
My K10''s render the colours differently than the newer K50 and K3.amd my old Oly E1 has a silky smooth Kodak CCD sensor that I just love.
12-26-2019, 12:32 PM   #3
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Some technical explanations of the sources of difference are explained in this paper: https://www.stemmer-imaging.com/media/uploads/cameras/avt/12/120483-Allied_V...CD_vs_CMOS.pdf.

Whether colours are better or otherwise is partially a subjective judgment, but both CCD and CMOS are sensitive over a greater range than that of visible light. Each technology is based on the same physical property of silicon, but each also has its own limitations and advantages. From my reading of the literature, CMOS has gained the upper hand on account of cost and speed of readout.
12-26-2019, 01:17 PM   #4
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I like the colors on my K-50 and K-10 better than the colors on my K-10 or istD, but I don't like the factory preset colors on the k-50/k-3 either. It is personal preference.

12-26-2019, 02:04 PM   #5
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CCD is for me closer to slide film than typical CMOS files. Is it better or worse - this is another question...
12-26-2019, 02:44 PM - 3 Likes   #6
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At base ISO CCD tech is more sensitive to small color variations and tonality. There is a difference. CMOS is far better at high ISO.

Camera's went CMOS because CCD tech was more expensive, consumed more power, and didn't perform as well at high ISO.

I have taken my K10D out and shot it alongside my K1 with the exact same lens and found there were colors in the K10D file that I could not replicate in the K1 image no matter how much editing I did; the colors simply weren't captured by the K1
12-26-2019, 05:49 PM   #7
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I've read that the difference in colour rendition between CCD and CMOS sensors is just a myth. Apparently, the visible differences comes down to a change in the colour filters, which happened to coincide with the emergence of CMOS sensors. Basically, the Red, Green, and Blue filters used to be more separate (less overlap of light wavelengths), which caused the primary colours to already appear very saturated in raw images. With CMOS sensors, in an attempt to better approximate our own cone cells, and perhaps to improve low-light performance, filter arrays were updated for each colour filter to cover a wider range of wavelengths that overlap with each other. This has had the effect of causing raw images to appear less saturated, though probably more natural and in-line with our own vision.

I don't believe there's any inherent difference between CCD and CMOS tech that could cause a difference in colour rendition, as the fundamental difference between the two has only to do with the way the captured electron charge is read out, but there isn't any difference in the actual photosensitive element. In theory, placing a modern colour filter array over a CCD sensor should provide an equivalent rendition to the same array over a CMOS sensor.

Edit: Maybe there has also been advancements in photodiode technology that could explain rendition differences, but I doubt it since photodiodes simply are effectively monochrome and unbiased in what they capture. Regardless of what photosensitive element is used, it will still only capture whatever wavelength is allowed to reach it, which means that the only way to change an image is to transform the light before it is captured, or to process the captured image afterward. The sensor itself doesn't have a say.

Last edited by StarTroop; 12-26-2019 at 05:54 PM.
12-26-2019, 06:44 PM   #8
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I don't have anything with a CCD sensor currently but I have often heard there is a difference (with many preferring CCD it would seem).
I have not seen conclusive examples as yet (if someone has some samples of the same scene with CCD versus CMOS - please post!).
While I'm curious too, the much better high ISO capability of CMOS is a significant benefit (for my typical use cases) that I'm not sure I would want to forgo.

12-26-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by StarTroop Quote
I've read that the difference in colour rendition between CCD and CMOS sensors is just a myth. Apparently, the visible differences comes down to a change in the colour filters, which happened to coincide with the emergence of CMOS sensors. Basically, the Red, Green, and Blue filters used to be more separate (less overlap of light wavelengths), which caused the primary colours to already appear very saturated in raw images. With CMOS sensors, in an attempt to better approximate our own cone cells, and perhaps to improve low-light performance, filter arrays were updated for each colour filter to cover a wider range of wavelengths that overlap with each other. This has had the effect of causing raw images to appear less saturated, though probably more natural and in-line with our own vision.

I don't believe there's any inherent difference between CCD and CMOS tech that could cause a difference in colour rendition, as the fundamental difference between the two has only to do with the way the captured electron charge is read out, but there isn't any difference in the actual photosensitive element. In theory, placing a modern colour filter array over a CCD sensor should provide an equivalent rendition to the same array over a CMOS sensor.

Edit: Maybe there has also been advancements in photodiode technology that could explain rendition differences, but I doubt it since photodiodes simply are effectively monochrome and unbiased in what they capture. Regardless of what photosensitive element is used, it will still only capture whatever wavelength is allowed to reach it, which means that the only way to change an image is to transform the light before it is captured, or to process the captured image afterward. The sensor itself doesn't have a say.
There is a difference. CCD and CMOS are not interchangeable as far as color fidelity are concerned. CCD is still used almost exclusively in many high-end applications for various reasons. My own testing confirmed a difference. Read the link above that was posted....that's got some info.

---------- Post added 12-26-19 at 08:53 PM ----------

This is one of the long exposures captured on my K10D recently. Took the exact same pic with the K1 in crop mode using the same lens. There was almost no color in the sky on the K1 version, no matter how much editing I did. Maybe using a 10-stop ND brings out these differences more; who knows.









12-26-2019, 07:56 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
the colors simply weren't captured by the K1
were these tonal differences or were they in a certain region of color space?
12-26-2019, 08:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
were these tonal differences or were they in a certain region of color space?
In this case just missing entirely.
12-26-2019, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
There is a difference. CCD and CMOS are not interchangeable as far as color fidelity are concerned. CCD is still used almost exclusively in many high-end applications for various reasons. My own testing confirmed a difference. Read the link above that was posted....that's got some info.

---------- Post added 12-26-19 at 08:53 PM ----------

This is one of the long exposures captured on my K10D recently. Took the exact same pic with the K1 in crop mode using the same lens. There was almost no color in the sky on the K1 version, no matter how much editing I did. Maybe using a 10-stop ND brings out these differences more; who knows.
Again, this isn't an inherent feature of CCD sensors, it's the filter array that makes the difference. The photodiodes behind the filters don't know and don't care about the difference in wavelengths being filtered, they just capture photons. Modern filter arrays have more overlap between the red, green, and blue filters, so whatever wavelengths were in the sky in that scene probably just happened to be passed through both the red and blue filters on the K1. That's an unfortunate side effect of having overlap, but the benefit is that every diode captures more photons overall, thus improving low-light performance. Also, at a sunset like that the lighting can easily change very quickly during the time that it takes to switch cameras. I'm not saying that the K10D didn't produce the more vividly saturated image, but there are a lot of factors that go into how vibrant an image appears, and the use of either CCD or CMOS sensors isn't one of them.

There just isn't a logical reason why a CCD would produce different colours than a CMOS sensor when neither of them are capable of differentiating colour in the first place. They only see what the filter allows them to see, and the final image can only be processed by interpolating whatever data each channel of information provides. I grant you that the overlap of modern filter arrays means that it's harder to separate each of the primary colour channels due to the wavelength overlap, but its usually not a big deal, and it isn't a quality inherent to CMOS sensors themselves.
12-26-2019, 09:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
There is a difference. CCD and CMOS are not interchangeable as far as color fidelity are concerned. CCD is still used almost exclusively in many high-end applications for various reasons. My own testing confirmed a difference. Read the link above that was posted....that's got some info.

---------- Post added 12-26-19 at 08:53 PM ----------

This is one of the long exposures captured on my K10D recently. Took the exact same pic with the K1 in crop mode using the same lens. There was almost no color in the sky on the K1 version, no matter how much editing I did. Maybe using a 10-stop ND brings out these differences more; who knows.








My dream camera is a 645D... so that tells what I think of this subject to me, CCD is king.

But in your test, unless you took the picture at the same time with both cameras, I'm not sure you can draw too much of a conclusion. The light just changes so quickly in those sunset or sunrise moments, especially where clouds are concerned.
12-26-2019, 09:39 PM   #14
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Get "that CCD look" with the K-3 / K-3II and Lightroom - PentaxForums.com
12-26-2019, 11:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
My dream camera is a 645D... so that tells what I think of this subject to me, CCD is king.

But in your test, unless you took the picture at the same time with both cameras, I'm not sure you can draw too much of a conclusion. The light just changes so quickly in those sunset or sunrise moments, especially where clouds are concerned.
There were multiple shots taken. before and after. K10D still had the same color in the sky

Last edited by Leumas; 12-26-2019 at 11:55 PM.
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