Inside Story

So That More People Can Taste What Photographic Expression Is All About GX200 Digital Camera

How has software development achieved high picture quality and ease of use?

Our intentions were to develop a new model

"Because it looks like the GX100, people may think the GX200 is a just an 'improved version' of its predecessor, but actually there are so many added features and improvements that make it tantamount to a new model," opened Takashi Maki, leader of the software development team.

Takashi Maki
"We developed the software with the
spirit of developing a new model."
(Takashi Maki)

The big changes from the GX100 are a CCD (imaging device) with about 1.2x more pixels and the Smooth Imaging Engine III that serves as the camera's image processing engine. "The captured image data is higher resolution and the engine that processes that image was upgraded, so we developed the software to make images more beautiful," tells Maki.

An image processing engine is a purpose-specific semiconductor that could easily be called the heart of a digital camera because it processes the electric signals sent from the CCD and converts them into image data. How well that performance is brought out is seen in the skill of the software development staff.

The pursuit of high picture quality and low noise

Takuro Naito
"We pursued low noise picture quality
of high resolution through the peripheral
areas of the image." (Takuro Naito)

"We struggled considerably with how to set fundamental quality," tells Takuro Naito who was in charge of picture quality design. "As a result, picture quality maintains the resolution from the center to the peripheries and there is low noise on top of that," he adds.

However, there is always the risk of "expressionless image quality" because resolution is lost in a tradeoff with noise reduction. "The adjustment was hard," notes Naito. "With some subjects, you get a sense of texture with no more than the necessary level of noise processing. So, we incorporated a feature that lets users turn noise reduction on/off. And, it can be turned on/off automatically at user-selected ISO's." Incorporating these capabilities made it even more interesting as a digital camera.

More and more people are putting their hands on digital SLR cameras, which is driving up demand for picture quality. Naito said, "It is an honor to be compared to a digital SLR camera."

For image samples of the GX200, click here.

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