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  • Alexander Nachev

How amazing are the eyes ?

"And every color illuminates" as it is written in a song called Spectrum by Florence.

I'll talk in camera specs to illustrate what an amazing achievement in evolution is human eye... Human technological marvels have to achieve allot more before we can meet this specs

Dynamic range of the human eye (when is adapted to light conditions) is at least about 1 000 000 : 1 = 120 dB ~20 f-stops and this is quite far from the theoretical maximum of 46.5 f-stops. Best cameras nowadays achieve 14, 5 stops. This in practice means that at it's optimal function eye can distinguish at the same time dark and bright area with ratio of 1 000 000.

Even if your eye hasn't adapted it can distinguish in any moment of time at least 6.7 f-stops or 100 times difference between brightest and darkest parts. Resolution

If we have to choose a sensor by megapixels that can represent what human eyes can see we'll need at least ~74 Megapixels. This is for a static picture where nothing moves - like a printed picture 20 x 13.3-inch print viewed at 20 inches.

In reality human eye is more like video stream that is constantly feeding frames by very small movements. Similar to what super resolution modes in Hasselblad h5d and Olympus OM-5 II are, combining a many frames with slight shift between them to achieve higher resolving power. Additionally human eye has very wide field of view.

As a result mathematics show that eye equivelency is at around 576 MPx. Focal length Image focal length of the eye = 22.3 mm, and the frontal field of view of the eyes is 180 % To get this you'll need quite an large format camera sensor: 4×5 inches (102×127 mm) or larger for comparison "medium format", is 55×45 mm. Colors

There will be no "WOW" here because in terms of colors modern display monitors have overshadowed human eye capabilities:

Standard 24 bit display can show approximately 16 milion colors while human eye can distinguish between 7-10 milion.

This can be misguiding because most displays cannot show accurate colors outside narower color gamut. Also displays are able show subtle and smaller nuances in colors that human eye cannot distinguish, while still not reproducing accurate color representation for a color that is perfectly okay for a human vision to identify precisely.

For those who want to do additional research below are the sources I've used:

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