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10-25-2017, 06:47 AM   #1
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Pixel shift appears in the new Sony A7riii

Looks like other manufacturers see the value in pixel shift as it is a feature in the new Sony A7riii. For those with better knowledge of pixel shift -- did Pentax have patents on this technology? -- just curious as to whether this is something Sony might have licensed hopefully providing Pentax with a revenue stream.


More importantly for the Pentax community I think this is a wonderful occurrence as I am sure this will spur all the software manufacturers to focus on improving their processing for these files. As far as I can tell Sony's pixel shift works in the same manner as Pentax's so hopefully only one software solution need be developed. I've made another comment on the On1 site for future pixel shift development -- if you are also interested please add your voice there requesting pixel shift.

10-25-2017, 06:49 AM   #2
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Hasselblad and Olympus used pixel shift (called Multishot in the case of Hasselblad) years before Pentax.
10-25-2017, 06:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
Looks like other manufacturers see the value in pixel shift as it is a feature in the new Sony A7riii. For those with better knowledge of pixel shift -- did Pentax have patents on this technology? -- just curious as to whether this is something Sony might have licensed hopefully providing Pentax with a revenue stream.


More importantly for the Pentax community I think this is a wonderful occurrence as I am sure this will spur all the software manufacturers to focus on improving their processing for these files. As far as I can tell Sony's pixel shift works in the same manner as Pentax's so hopefully only one software solution need be developed. I've made another comment on the On1 site for future pixel shift development -- if you are also interested please add your voice there requesting pixel shift.
Sony's implementation based on the Sony Rumors site is problematic. It takes four images, but can not process them in camera and the images themselves have to be separated from each other by at least 0.5 seconds to "allow the sensor movement to settle." This is probably going to make it of relatively limited real world use since there is bound to be subject motion over a 2 second period.

My guess is that Sony is pretty limited due to patents that Olympus, Pentax and medium format makers have on their own implementation.
10-25-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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Since this isn't Pentax news, I've moved the thread to the "Non-Pentax" forum

10-25-2017, 03:50 PM   #5
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I see Rondec mentioned the difference between the Sony and Pentax implementation a couple posts back, but DPReview makes it sound even less likely to be worth much as a feature:


"...but unlike the system Pentax uses or the earlier, 8-shot process used by Olympus, the a7R III cannot assemble the final images in-camera. Instead four Raw files must be processed using a freely downloadable image processing application for PCs that Sony will offer. The camera must also wait between 1 and 30 seconds between shots for the sensor to settle, which is likely to exacerbate the problems of subject movement between the first and last shot."

is it really between 1 and 30 seconds?? If true that's crazy.
10-26-2017, 01:06 AM   #6
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You can do it on any camera handheld using burst mode and photoshop, see:


A Practical Guide to Creating Superresolution Photos with Photoshop
10-26-2017, 02:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I see Rondec mentioned the difference between the Sony and Pentax implementation a couple posts back, but DPReview makes it sound even less likely to be worth much as a feature:


"...but unlike the system Pentax uses or the earlier, 8-shot process used by Olympus, the a7R III cannot assemble the final images in-camera. Instead four Raw files must be processed using a freely downloadable image processing application for PCs that Sony will offer. The camera must also wait between 1 and 30 seconds between shots for the sensor to settle, which is likely to exacerbate the problems of subject movement between the first and last shot."

is it really between 1 and 30 seconds?? If true that's crazy.
This is what Sony Rumors says about it (https://www.sonyrumors.co/sony-a7riii-officially-announced-price-3199/):

"New to the a7R III is a multi-shot resolution mode that, much like the system in recent Pentax DSLRs, shoots four images and moves the sensor between each shot, so that each pixel position in the final image is captured with a red, a blue and two green pixels. This cancels out the side-effects of the Bayer color filter array, meaning that full color information is captured for every pixel. This has a noise benefit both from capturing multiple shots of the same scene, which helps average out the noise, while also reducing the additional softness and noise that usually comes from the demosaicing process.

However, unlike the system Pentax uses or the earlier, 8-shot process used by Olympus, the a7R III cannot assemble the final images in-camera. Instead four Raw files must be processed using a freely downloadable image processing application for PCs that Sony will offer. The camera must also wait either 0.5, 1, or 2 seconds between shots for the sensor to settle, which is likely to exacerbate the problems of subject movement between the first and last shot."


QuoteOriginally posted by ElrondElensar Quote
You can do it on any camera handheld using burst mode and photoshop, see:


A Practical Guide to Creating Superresolution Photos with Photoshop
I think the thing is that the implementation on the Pentax cameras is different from what you will get with that. The idea is not to get more resolution, which you can get in a variety of fashions, but rather to get better color depth and have a single 36 megapixel image that is better for processing. Truthfully, if you want better resolution, you probably will have better results using a little longer lens and shooting multiple images and stitching. It is pretty easy to get a gigapixel image with a relatively static scene (all of these techniques require that), but I don't really think that is the point of pixel shift at all.

Sony mimics Pentax, but just does it more poorly based on the information that we have currently.
10-26-2017, 03:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Sony mimics Pentax, but just does it more poorly based on the information that we have currently.
Dunno if thats quite accurate?...$$$$ony do PS in a roundabout sort of way....4x 42.4 mp images aint guna be anywhere near poor,we cant really judge until its out amongst the consumers.

Specs and speculation ,this A7riii looks the goods to me.A better proposition than the Nikon D850(for what i'd use it for).A lot of good features,i wonder if its got a radiator?

10-26-2017, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Dunno if thats quite accurate?...$$$$ony do PS in a roundabout sort of way....4x 42.4 mp images aint guna be anywhere near poor,we cant really judge until its out amongst the consumers.

Specs and speculation ,this A7riii looks the goods to me.A better proposition than the Nikon D850(for what i'd use it for).A lot of good features,i wonder if its got a radiator?
I am speaking only about pixel shift, no other features on this camera.

The thing that I can tell you, pure and simple, is that pixel shift as done by Pentax (and it is stated in the article that Sony does it the same way) is completely useless for any part of the image that moves in any of the frames that are captured. You either get artifacts there or you have to mask in a single image for that part of the image. I just think if there is a half second pause between images it is less likely that they will be combinable in any real sense. This would be more useable in the studio for completely stationary subjects.

As to the camera itself, it will be fine. It won't be perfect for everyone (mainly due to price), but I think it will sell well.
10-26-2017, 07:08 AM   #10
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One of the pluses of this, of course, is that many of the you-tubers previewing the A7riii are giving Pentax a favourable mention
10-26-2017, 07:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It takes four images, but can not process them in camera and the images themselves have to be separated from each other by at least 0.5 seconds to "allow the sensor movement to settle."
They will add it later as a firmware upgrade and Sony users will enjoy the feature given to them by Sony for free.

---------- Post added 26-10-17 at 16:09 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
One of the pluses of this, of course, is that many of the you-tubers previewing the A7riii are giving Pentax a favourable mention
They can't because Pentax is omitted (by accident) LoL.
10-26-2017, 08:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
This is what Sony Rumors says about it (https://www.sonyrumors.co/sony-a7riii-officially-announced-price-3199/):

I think the thing is that the implementation on the Pentax cameras is different from what you will get with that. The idea is not to get more resolution, which you can get in a variety of fashions, but rather to get better color depth and have a single 36 megapixel image that is better for processing. .

You will get the same result as Pentax implementation once you downsample the image to original size. You will see improvement in resolution, more DR, and less noise. Try downsampling Olympus higher resolution image to original size.

There is no difference.

Or do it in photoshop with any camera. Same result.


Please go and see the results again (more resolution, less noise, moire reduction etc).

https://petapixel.com/2015/02/21/a-practical-guide-to-creating-superresoluti...ith-photoshop/

Last edited by ElrondElensar; 10-26-2017 at 09:12 AM.
10-26-2017, 09:22 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElrondElensar Quote
You can do it on any camera handheld using burst mode and photoshop, see:


A Practical Guide to Creating Superresolution Photos with Photoshop
That doesn't work worth a damned - trust me I've tried

The closest we ever had to free an independent pixel shift solution was a software called PhotoAcute which didn't seem to take hold. Likely due to the technical demands that came with using it - requiring lens profiling and extreme processing requirements; minimum of 6 RAW images + processing type thing. - Needless to say, it was quite tedious and the results were rather mixed

Whatever the case, it just doesn't seem like there's any viable stand-alone pixel shift method out there atm. Though I'm confident that many modern camera's using could easily support such a feature by combining internal and external functions to accomplish this.
10-26-2017, 06:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElrondElensar Quote
You will get the same result as Pentax implementation once you downsample the image to original size. You will see improvement in resolution, more DR, and less noise. Try downsampling Olympus higher resolution image to original size.

There is no difference.

Or do it in photoshop with any camera. Same result.


Please go and see the results again (more resolution, less noise, moire reduction etc).

A Practical Guide to Creating Superresolution Photos with Photoshop
Did you actually look at the samples on the link you posted? Because the difference is tiny between the "super-resolution" crops and the regular crops. This is shooting 20 images and stacking them. I'm sure the noise is less as it is averaged between the various images, but otherwise I am not seeing a major difference between the images.

Maybe they just used the wrong software to process them.

To my way of thinking stitching is a significantly better way to increase resolution and if, as you say, you resize the image, you get benefits in dynamic range and noise as well.
10-28-2017, 07:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
Looks like other manufacturers see the value in pixel shift as it is a feature in the new Sony A7riii. For those with better knowledge of pixel shift -- did Pentax have patents on this technology? -- just curious as to whether this is something Sony might have licensed hopefully providing Pentax with a revenue stream.


More importantly for the Pentax community I think this is a wonderful occurrence as I am sure this will spur all the software manufacturers to focus on improving their processing for these files. As far as I can tell Sony's pixel shift works in the same manner as Pentax's so hopefully only one software solution need be developed. I've made another comment on the On1 site for future pixel shift development -- if you are also interested please add your voice there requesting pixel shift.
In it's current form(on any body) this comes across as a novelty more than anything at this point. And so my guess is that Sony is doing whatever it can to try and remain competitive on paper.
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