Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sony makes 8MP, 13MP image sensors with HDR and RGBW Coding

Everyone prefers their smartphone equipped with a good camera, be it for shooting in low-light or bright-light conditions. To meet these demands, Sony has developed sensors with ‘RGBW Coding’ functionality to enable capturing images with low noise and offer high image quality, even in low-light conditions. These sensors are also equipped with the company’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) Movie feature for efficient color capture, even during high brightness. The company has developed three CMOS image sensor models that will equip Sony’s new stacked CMOS image sensor technology for superior, high-quality images in a compact form – two 8MP (one with camera signal processing and other with RGBW Coding and HDR Movie) image sensors and one 13MP with RGBW and HDR Movie.
The 'old' and 'new'
The 'old' and 'new'

Needless to say, the RGBW Coding function adds W(White) pixels to the conventional RGB range to realize higher sensitivity and lower noise, even in dark rooms and night settings. The White pixel improves sensitivity, but at the cost of degrading image quality. However, Sony’s technology and signal processing helps it improve sensitivity without lowering the image quality. The coding has also helped Sony put higher resolution in a compact form factor. These new models also output signals through the conventional RGB method, which negates the need to change the signal processing adopted in existing devices.

The HDR Movie function claims to maintain brilliant colors in a wide range of light, which is inclusive of bright light. This function reduces the combination of low-light and bright-light, which has different optimal exposure conditions in the same shot. Basically, it sets two different exposure signals processing for the captured image under optimal exposure condition. The process outs an image with a broad dynamic range and touts shooting of both the background and subject matter with brilliant colors even in a bright environment.

Sample shipments of all three image sensor models will start this year. Samples of the 8MP with camera signal processing will begin in March, 13MP with RGBW Coding and HDR Movie in June and 8MP with RGBW and HDR in August.

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