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03-24-2015, 08:05 AM   #1
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Imaging Resource Article on Ricoh Pixel-Shifting

I didn't see this posted yet, but Imaging Resource has a nice explanatory article on the pixel-shifting technology being developed by Ricoh to increase resolution. While they anticipate that it will be featured on the new FF camera, there is even the suggestion that it could be implemented in existing cameras via firmware updates. Now that would be something!
Article is HERE.
More info too on the lens coating technologies.

03-24-2015, 08:11 AM   #2
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It would be good if they could introduce it on the K-3 and work the bugs out of the system in time for the FF release.
03-24-2015, 08:22 AM   #3
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IR quote: Unlike Olympus' approach, which grabs 8 frames and uses a half-pixel shift between two groups of four to interpolate additional pixels, Ricoh's method uses just four shots, to bring the four pixels of each Bayer color filter array cell into alignment with each other. The resulting file has the same number of pixels as conventional shots, but each pixel contains full, uninterpolated RGB data. (Reminiscent in that sense of Sigma's Foveon sensors.)

So will we see pixel-shift resolution technology coming to some existing Pentax SLRs via firmware updates? While far from giving a definitive answer, it seems clear that Ricoh is looking in that direction. Pretty exciting news, I think!

This is plain awesome...

Last edited by Stavri; 03-24-2015 at 08:27 AM.
03-24-2015, 08:26 AM   #4
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It's nice to see that IR is doing quite a bit of work to bring Ricoh products to their front pages.

03-24-2015, 08:50 AM   #5
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I have to admit, if they make this available to existing users with older models, then that would be freaking awesome. Awesome enough for some to head back to Pentax even. They could easily sell me the firmware that would enable my K5IIs to do this.

Last edited by Clavius; 03-24-2015 at 02:38 PM.
03-24-2015, 08:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I have to admit, if they make this available to existing users with older models, then that would be freaking awesome. Awesome enough for some to head back to Pentax even.
In the video game industry this would be the equivalent of free downloadable content with game purchases. Gamers love companies who don't charge for additional content, it would be really amazing if cool things like pixel-shifting would come to existing dslr via firmware.
03-24-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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And now we begin to see the bones of the Plan and understand the benefit of the Ricoh culture.

Referring to the spatial frequency 'clarity' feature apparently released with the K-S2, of all cameras:
What's particularly significant about this development is that my host pointed out it was developed within Ricoh's R&D organization. He cited it as an example of Ricoh's R&D horsepower translating into new capabilities for their camera products. In their previous incarnations as an independent company and then under Hoya's auspices, Pentax never had this sort of engineering depth to call upon.
I rest my case.
03-24-2015, 11:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
In the video game industry this would be the equivalent of free downloadable content with game purchases. Gamers love companies who don't charge for additional content, it would be really amazing if cool things like pixel-shifting would come to existing dslr via firmware.
Fuji is making a good name for itself doing this. Now that sensors are getting good enough that the consumer upgrade cycle may slow down. A very solid and reliable body with good customer support will go a long way in promoting repeat purchases.

03-24-2015, 03:45 PM   #9
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Before getting too excited about firmware updates for old cameras, I'd urge a bit of caution. The K-3, K-S1 and K-S2 are using a different sensor shift mechanism and a newer generation processor than previous models. My guess is that the firmware update would most likely be applied to those models.

In the discussion with Kawauchi-san that I had at CP+, he talked about the difficulties they face with firmware updates. He said one of the main factors was memory space, and cited the K20D as a camera where they had been limited from adding features by memory constraints. So even adding something as simple as the warning message you get when you don't extend the DAL 18-50 lens would not be possible on that model.

I really hope they can add this feature to the K-5 IIs, because I just bought one, but I'm not counting my chickens.
03-25-2015, 01:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Before getting too excited about firmware updates for old cameras, I'd urge a bit of caution. The K-3, K-S1 and K-S2 are using a different sensor shift mechanism and a newer generation processor than previous models. My guess is that the firmware update would most likely be applied to those models.
If that were the case, then this "Ricoh takes care of its customers."-statement would be very very unfortunate indeed. Especially when considering they are so reluctant with such statements, clearly highly aware of what such information does to their small user community.



QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
In the discussion with Kawauchi-san that I had at CP+, he talked about the difficulties they face with firmware updates. He said one of the main factors was memory space, and cited the K20D as a camera where they had been limited from adding features by memory constraints. So even adding something as simple as the warning message you get when you don't extend the DAL 18-50 lens would not be possible on that model.
I'm obviously no engineer, but that really sounds bizarre when I take into account that memory was already super-mega-uber-cheap during the introduction of the K20D.

Last edited by Clavius; 03-25-2015 at 04:29 AM.
03-25-2015, 09:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
...I'm obviously no engineer, but that really sounds bizarre when I take into account that memory was already super-mega-uber-cheap during the introduction of the K20D.
Backward feature compatibility is often difficult regardless of how cheap memory might have been in 2008. What is in the camera is what is in the camera. That being said, I believe Kawauchi-san's comment was in regard to the size of the memory address space available to the processor.


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03-25-2015, 10:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
If that were the case, then this "Ricoh takes care of its customers."-statement would be very very unfortunate indeed. Especially when considering they are so reluctant with such statements, clearly highly aware of what such information does to their small user community.





I'm obviously no engineer, but that really sounds bizarre when I take into account that memory was already super-mega-uber-cheap during the introduction of the K20D.
With regard to hardware, it is entirely possible that (a) the processor in older cameras and (b) the shake reduction in older cameras are just not up to the task. The shake reduction in the K5 IIs can not be used to simulate an AA filter, while it can on newer cameras. I wouldn't blame Pentax for that. It probably just is what it is.

Beyond which, I don't know that I would pay extra for this. It is something that will increase color depth, but not resolution in situations where you have a static scene.
03-25-2015, 10:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
With regard to hardware, it is entirely possible that (a) the processor in older cameras and (b) the shake reduction in older cameras are just not up to the task. The shake reduction in the K5 IIs can not be used to simulate an AA filter, while it can on newer cameras. I wouldn't blame Pentax for that. It probably just is what it is.

Beyond which, I don't know that I would pay extra for this. It is something that will increase color depth, but not resolution in situations where you have a static scene.
It is not a question of hardware/ processing power

Every camera on the market has a buffer size capable of holding at least 4 raw images and therefore an implementation could be done for a single frame regardless of camera providing shake reduction exists, or even , considering the movements of a single sensor pitch of perhaps 10 microns on an *istD 6MP camera, using the sensor cleaning shift which has always been present.

The bigger issue is more related I think to the shutter. Are we discussing here 4 separate frames, combined in a post processing form like HDR, or are we discussing performing the shift during the exposure?

To me, regardless of the method, there will be a big amount of blind faith involved with respect to image sharpness because nothing is ever that still.

How much real use will this give, compared to, for example, to adding luminance only sensors between the present GRGB pattern? Food for thought?
03-25-2015, 11:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
It is not a question of hardware/ processing power

Every camera on the market has a buffer size capable of holding at least 4 raw images and therefore an implementation could be done for a single frame regardless of camera providing shake reduction exists, or even , considering the movements of a single sensor pitch of perhaps 10 microns on an *istD 6MP camera, using the sensor cleaning shift which has always been present.

The bigger issue is more related I think to the shutter. Are we discussing here 4 separate frames, combined in a post processing form like HDR, or are we discussing performing the shift during the exposure?

To me, regardless of the method, there will be a big amount of blind faith involved with respect to image sharpness because nothing is ever that still.

How much real use will this give, compared to, for example, to adding luminance only sensors between the present GRGB pattern? Food for thought?
My understanding is that this would use an electronic shutter and that the SR would perform a small shift between each exposure -- one pixel shift in different directions. The four exposures would be done very quickly.
03-25-2015, 11:13 AM   #15
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All i care to hear is ...."pixel-shift"....."Foevon"......"firmware update"............"coming soon"
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