From the Sensor to the File

Lecture delivered at The Reel Thing XLVI technical symposium, during the AMIA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, on 13–16 November 2019.


What is the journey from the signals generated by a sensor to the data actually written into the file? This presentation focussed on the particularities of Bayer sensors. The wast majority of contemporary film scanners use Bayer sensors due to the many advantages they offer as capture devices at the interception of media workflows. The presentation adresses a method for using Bayer sensors to digitise at half resolution but full RGB. This scheme offers a way for archives with very limited funding to digitise economically but at high quality.


  • The presentation’s slides (PDF, 4.5 MB, MD5 = 3f7ebad474a1f2b026cbf2dcb8d192dc).
  • The article «From the Sensor to the File: Two Ways to Use Bayer Data» will be submitted very soon to the IASA Journal for consideration. Stay tuned!


Having graduated in mathematics and computer science, Reto Kromer became involved in audio-visual conservation and restoration 33 years ago. He has been running his own preservation company, AV Preservation by, and lecturing at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola in Donostia (San Sebastián). His current research includes colour spaces, look-up tables and codec programming and emulation. Previously he was head of preservation at the Cinémathèque suisse (the Swiss National Film Archive) and lecturer at the University of Lausanne. He served as an AMIA board member during two terms. His work has seen him honoured with an inaugural JTS Award.