As we all know individual cells in CMOS sensors are essentially identical. The only thing that differentiates them from each other is the thin filter layer (turning them into R, G, B sensor cells). The most standard pattern for that "coloring" is the RGGB "Bayer filter".

In essence those individual cells produce grey-scale image which is then turned into color by the process called demosaicing.

Here's my question:
Is there a recognized (standard?) video format for streaming/storing that kind of video stream?

Please note that a naïve answer "this is grey-scale!" doesn't work since a simple parameter like windowing will affect the image, completely changing its colors. Also there's definitely a need for "sensor sensitivity" information to be able to properly reconstruct the original color. And so on and so forth...

1 Answer 1


Turns out the answer is yes. Such format is called CinemaDNG and is used for professional video production since 2009.

Here's the spec for the format: http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/cinemadng/cinemadng_p1_spec_091009.pdf

Among other things it supports:

  1. Integer sensor values of any bit depth from 8 to 32 bits
  2. Arbitrary size color filter arrays with up to seven color channels
  3. Black level, white level, and linearization parameters for scaling of sensor values
  4. Color-processing parameters for mapping camera RGB to CIE XYZ color space

Adobe's Creative Suite supports CinemaDNG on both Windows and Mac OS platforms since version 4 and the codec (at least for Windows) is available from Adobe's website: http://supportdownloads.adobe.com/product.jsp?product=194&platform=Windows

There are other products out there that process video in CinemaDNG format, some even with GPU (CUDA) support.

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