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Thread: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

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    Default Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera



    Nikon DSLR cameras can be set up "in camera" to shoot in "Black and White" mode......I am rather certain Canon and most other DSLR's can do the same. Here is my question - can you select this B/W mode and add a filter wheel to the optical train and get the same effect as when using with a mono camera? My logic says yes....but the science (what little I have) says there is more to a color sensor than my logic can take in.
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    should be, ive shot in BW mode but not used any filters. Essentially it is a Mono camera in BW mode (not to be confused with BW effect options).
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    you can do it but I cant see any benefit to it

    Each sensor on a color DSLR has a color filter in front of it already, either red, green or blue, with normally, twice as many green as red or blue in what is called a bayer array

    the black and white image on the DSLR is sort of a fake monochrome image
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    Telling the camera's computer to display B&W is not the same as removing the R, G and B filters that are physically present on every pixel in your camera. Adding an R filter will disable the G and B pixels, etcetera, so your picture will take 3 times longer to take (or more because you now have 2 filters, etcetera) and will not increase the resolution. A mono camera has no filters on its pixels.
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    To get a B&W image, the camera has to average out colour pixels four at a time (red, 2x green, and blue) to get four B&W pixels. It does a similar interpolation for colour pixels, so there is no loss of resolution there. But the point is that it is still viewing the scene through the Bayer mask.

    If you put a colour filter in front of the camera - let's say a red Ha filter - only the red pixels will respond. The green and blue pixels will give pure noise. But the camera doesn't know that, so it will happily average the noise into the image data for the B&W pixels. Once the noise is in there, you cannot get it out.

    You would be better off leaving the camera in colour mode. It is still only the red pixels that record data and just noise in the green and blue pixels. But, because the raw image keeps the colour channels separate, you can separate the red data from the green and blue noise.
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    The best results i've got out of a DSLR is to shoot in RAW format, and then do all the processing and modifications on your computer with a much more powerful software than what is built in in the DSLR itself...

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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    Gotcha.....thanks to all! That makes sense!
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    I am not sure, but Nikon Shooter may have been wondering if he could shoot in black and white, and then use color filters for instance to bring out the red in nebula, like Orion. I have wondered that myself, but from the answers he has already gotten here, my guess is that that won't work. I am not willing (nor able to afford) to have my dSLR modified to pick up that red, however much I wish I could.

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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    I don't know about other cameras, but in Nikons B&W mode (and all the other "creative" modes) just control how the camera cooks the jpg. It has 0 impact on the raw file -- and if you are not shooting raw, run to your camera right now and change it to raw (and don't ever change it back). As has been said, shooting Ha, for example, gives signal in the red channel, and nothing in the 2 green and 1 blue channel. So, when normal software debayers the pixels they are making things worse than if you could just extract the red channel. I have not gotten around to looking at this, but I'd be very surprised if someone (like the creator and maintainer of dcraw for instance) has not made a program to extract only a given pixel sub array. So, if your camera were 6000x4000 px native, you could extract a 3000x2000 pure red channel. It is on my long list to look at this at some point, but so far I have not found the time. There is at least one pure monochrome camera (Leica Monochrom IIRC), but as I recall it was frightfully expensive (as is everything badged Leica). There have also been some conversions including a bold amateur who literally ground the bayer mask off his sensor --- you could not pay me enough to try that. I think Nasim at PhotographyLife.com got a loan of one done be a real conversion company and I think they broke a number of them before succeeding. SO, I don't think you can just go get one at a rational price Better to get a mono purpose built astro ccd.
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    Default Re: Can you do this......? With a DSLR camera

    Just a follow up (since I hate leaving things dangling). Sure enough dcraw with ImageMagick have no trouble extracting specific pixel submatrices. Found this example with a quick google search. Only scanned it quickly, just to establish that they will do it. The code snippet below may not be exactly what we want. Of course the roll parameter will be a function of the geometry of your bayer pattern.

    dcraw -4 -T -D -c <raw file> | convert - -evaluate multiply 16 -gamma 2.2 <matrix file>
    convert <matrix file> -roll +0+0 -sample 50% <matrix file>_blue.png
    convert <matrix file> -roll +0+1 -sample 50% <matrix file>_green1.png
    convert <matrix file> -roll +1+0 -sample 50% <matrix file>_green2.png
    convert <matrix file> -roll +1+1 -sample 50% <matrix file>_red.png
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