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Get an idea on the spectral sensitivity and quantum efficiency of your camera. The data are provided by the camera manufacturer and/or chip manufacturer. It's easier for monochrome cameras as there is no colour filter (bayer pattern) involved. They are also more light sensitive. CCDs are more sensitive than CMOS and CCD is also more linear. (Your Canon ...


I'm worried that there are some settings on the camera that will skew the RGB pixel intensities for example like white balance. Oh, not just white balance. The translation from RAW to what you see on a preview is a proprietary translation utilizing more than a few unknown processes in tandem with user defined preferences (like vibrance, sharpness, contrast.....


You should get a device meant to do that. Cameras are sold as tools for making visual art. Since cameras meant to take photographs are optimized for that purpose, they do not make good scientific instruments.


There are no camera settings that will create pixel intensities that correspond linearly to the number of photons. The conversion from raw camera sensor data to an image is non-linear. To get something proportional to photons, you will need to access the raw file directly. This is non-trivial, the file format is complicated, and some of the processing steps ...


If you do not reformat it could lead to problems, but if you reformat when moving to a different camera there should be no issues (assuming you have already copied the content that gets erased when you reformat).

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