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Tube Amp Camera

Non-linear.
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A very real problem with digital photography is handling highlights. With film, too much light means it gracefully tapers off into saturation. A digital sensor just stops hard at completely white.

The big companies have tackled this by improving dynamic range, auto exposure and giving you warnings about blown highlights. It works. But there could be another way: non-linear amplification at the sensor. Purposefully apply a distortion curve to give lots of gain at low intensity and smooth it off as it reaches the top.

Of course you could do this with silicon. But lo, there is another way of applying non-linear gain -- vacuum tubes!

A camera with exposed vacuum tubes. I am certain there is a market for this.

mitxela, May 01 2015

Something like this http://mitxela.com/...ads/ValveCamera.jpg
People will throw money at it [mitxela, May 01 2015]

[link]






       It would be pretty cool to take pictures of people lit only by the glow of the camera's tubes
hippo, May 01 2015
  

       Would you not require one such amplifier per pixel?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 01 2015
  

       Pah, more valves, even better! (But no, most sensors use only one ADC)
mitxela, May 01 2015
  

       I thought valve amps throw off harmonics as they reach saturation... hence the lovely tonal depth? Does that mean that a saturated blue pixel will start bleeding over to green output? how would that be wired? Point to point with EL-34s I hope.
bs0u0155, May 01 2015
  

       // into a 32 bit depth pixel // I'm feeling a bit inadequate with my 512x512 pixel 16 bit camera.
bs0u0155, May 01 2015
  

       Harmonic distortion can be pleasant with an audio signal, but with a picture aren't we just be talking about noise or graininess?   

       The idea of a tube camera does sound very steam- punk cool.
doctorremulac3, May 01 2015
  

       //Harmonic distortion can be pleasant with an audio signal, but with a picture aren't we just be talking about noise or graininess?//   

       Instagram have proven that point, no?   

       //The idea of a tube camera does sound very steam- punk cool.//   

       I propose a more direct solution, a massive grid of photo- multipliers. I reckon we can get a reasonable photograph out of something the size of a truck.
bs0u0155, May 01 2015
  

       camera power measured in megawatts, not megapixels.
FlyingToaster, May 02 2015
  
      
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