Foveon has today announced a new, revolutionary image sensor called the X3. A traditional digital camera sensor works by capturing just one colour (red, green or blue) at each pixel location. These individual pixels are then combined in software to produce a full colour pixel. The X3 is the first sensor which is capable of capturing full colour for every pixel in its array. The X3 does so with a special photosite which is measures different colours at different 'depths' within the silicon. The first camera to use the new sensor will be the $3,000 Sigma SD9 D-SLR (Sigma lens mount), Kodak have also shown an interest in using the X3 technology.
As you can see the sensor's ability to capture detailed resolution, both in the grayscale and colour resolution goes way beyond what we could expect from even the best Bayer pattern sensors. Images from the new Foveon X3 sensor are more reminicent of super high quality slide scans, but go even beyond that with no trace of grain. Very impressive. This could be the first sensor to truly surpass film.