RIP: Bayer Filter Inventor Bryce Bayer Has Passed Away

Bryce Bayer, the Eastman Kodak research scientist who invented the Bayer Filter back in 1975, passed away on November 13th at the age of 83. Bayer filter mosaics are used by nearly every digital camera, allowing a single sensor to capture a full-color photograph with the help of some “mathemagic”.

Here’s an example showing what a digital camera’s sensor “sees” through a Bayer filter, and the resulting photo that emerges after demosaicing algorithms are used to interpolate the data (i.e. using math to figure out the actual color that should be at each pixel based on purely red, green, and blue readings):

Here’s the original patent that Bayer filed back in 1975. Titled, “Color imaging array,” the technology went on to become ubiquitous in the digital photography industry:

If you’d like an in-depth look at how digital sensors and Bayer filters work, check out this tutorial by Cambridge in Color.

(via Imaging Resource)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!

Image credits: Photo illustrations based on images by Cburnett and Anita Martinz