I heard recently that there is a new version of the Millennium Bug on the way, but one that will affect digital camera sensors. It’s all to do with the ever decreasing pixel size in modern sensors, the new “backside illumination” technology, ever higher ISO sensitivity, and the fact that sensors have now reached what’s called the “defined limit of sensitivity”. According to Professor Prvi Budala, of the Croatian Advanced Imaging Technology Institute, (based in the University of Split) , the change is initially quite gradual, and reversible.
The first phase is that green stripes start appearing on the sensor, and they get stronger as each day passes. You can, initially at least, remove them by using pixel mapping in such programs as Photoshop, or the pixel mapping function of your camera if it has it – my Olympus OMD EM-10 has this. This is only a “quick fix” however, and after a while the sensor gets worse. Note: The red/pink area in the image above is an artefact of the centre-weighted metering system and should be ignored. I have no idea what the black dot is.
As the Bug progresses thick black stripes appear in your images, and they cannot be removed using the above techniques. According to Professor Pershe Kvitnya from the National University of Technology in Kiev, Ukraine, there are some extreme measures that MAY reduce the effect of the Bug. One is to photograph only objects that have equivalent white stripes in them, such as white picket fences or stripey deck chairs. These counteract the dark stripes.
Eventually the Bug enters its final phase. You then get images that consist of black stripes on a black background, (or vice versa), and it means that your sensor has failed utterly and you must buy a new camera. That’s no hardship though, as the new ones will not have this Bug in them, and you will be able to justify the cost by using the “W=X+1” equation, loved by gear-heads. Where “X” is the number of cameras you have, and “W” is the number of cameras you want.
The last word must go the Frau Professor Doktor A P R Ilscherz of the Technische Universität München, Germany. She says, “Es ist alles Unsinn”, and you can’t disagree with that.