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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34,974
Default Progress in digital image processing.

CANON cameras users are used to the idea of a magic "Digic Processor". We're up to digic III. Without knowing what's inside, we appreciate that it somehow leads to great pictures with low noise even at high IOS.

PANASONIC Cameras have a "Venus Engine" which sounds more feminine than Digic! It gives great color but not the noise free range of the Canon technology.

"Venus Engine II LSI, an image-processing engine that offers dramatically improved vertical, horizontal and diagonal resolution. This new LSI also introduces new logic for all processing tasks related to image quality, such as colour rendering and noise reduction." The latter is rather a big question mark still, IMHO.

However, perhaps the most imaginative is from Texas Instruments, yes TI,v the calculator people!


"TI's Digital Media Processors Help New Cameras to Have Stunning Image Quality and Smooth Video

LAS VEGAS, (January 4, 2006) - Helping to enhance the consumer experience for digital shutterbugs, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today announced that its latest digital media processing technology is incorporated in three new Kodak EasyShare cameras that were announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Based on TI's semiconductor technology running Kodak's algorithms, the exclusive Kodak Color Science image processing chips in the EasyShare V570, C663 and Z650 cameras are each loaded with the cutting-edge features that have become synonymous with the EasyShare brand - effortless sharing and printing, stunning image quality, in-camera editing, as well as television-quality video and audio. Additionally, each camera possesses unique qualities, allowing consumers to choose the one that best fits their individual needs.

"TI's flexible digital media processor provides a differentiated platform that helps Kodak offer a range of EasyShare products," said Kanika Ferrell, digital camera marketing, TI. "By combining Kodak's state-of-the-art algorithms with TI's powerful, high-performance digital media processor, the Kodak Color Science image processing chip can be built into cameras that address multiple market segments while retaining the core functionalities that have become the hallmark of EasyShare products."

Kodak's three new cameras take advantage of TI's digital media processor, which uses digital signal processing (DSP) technology. By utilizing a DSP-based processor in the new EasyShare cameras, the cameras can implement many differentiated features such as scene balancing, tone scaling, flare correction, noise reduction, red-eye removal, TV-quality MPEG-4 video, in-camera editing and optimized JPEG compression." Read more here.

These advances will be coming up both internally from the R&D of the brand name camera compaines that we all swear by and at and then specialty companies like TI which only have to contrate of the design of these chips and by interfacing with the camera companies are able to glean all their technology for the next generations of chips which benefit anyone willing to buy from them.

What's happening is that digicams are becoming increasingly smart and the miniaturization, better compression algorithms, better processing will challenge the high proced low volume DSLR's.

I expect that a one piece DSLR-like camera will soon outclass most Pro cameras for the jobs it can do simply because the huge markets for the digicamsm can finance the latest technology to this sector and ever increasing speed. Not so with the flagship models! TI allows a well organized HP or Kodak to compete easily against Nikon and Canon and the like.

2007 will be an interesting year!

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