Color Interpolation or Demosaicing the Bayer Pattern

This is the single most important step in the RAW conversion process for cameras that work on the Bayer pattern principle.** With only few exceptions, this means all digital cameras. The Foveon sensors used in Sigma SD series DSLRs capture three colors of image data per pixel. There are large numbers of demosaicing algorithms available for interpolating Bayer pattern image data, and they produce results of widely differing quality. Generally, algorithm quality - and consequently image quality - is constantly improving.

Figure 5-5: Typical DSLR tone curve

The balancing act between preserving image detail and reducing noise is a difficult one, and no single RAW converter has the ideal solution. We are prepared to let fine details go for the sake of producing clean, sharp images shot at moderate ISO speeds. Most RAW converters on today's market are capable of producing acceptable results.

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