Monday, February 11, 2008

Kodak Rethinks Digital

Up until now the convenience of camera phones seems to have outweighed their inability to produce sharp high quality digital photographs. Aggravating and disappointing users even further, these ‘cameras’ perform especially poorly in low-light situations, and often come with paltry LED 'flashes' if any supplemental light is offered at all. They even have garnished their own "Krappy Kamera" category in art competitions.

Kodak, quite unexpectedly, has made huge advancements in changing this dirty little fact of life for camera phone users. Not to say Kodak doesn't have a history of innovation. Come on, their new roll film was all the rage in the 1930’s and the Brownie, fergetaboutit.

Now, the engineers at Kodak were directed to rethink the CMOS image sensor (the small image sensor used in camera phones), and instead of producing weak efforts, they ‘flipped the script’ completely by reversing the way the image sensor reacts to light.

Instead of reacting solely to the light that hits the sensor, Kodak’s new 5-megapixal sensor reacts to the absence of light, a first of its kind. This reversal creates much less noise in the darker areas of photos, while increasing the overall image quality to something closer to a standalone digital camera with a larger CCD sensor.

Before this announcement they were tinkering with the CMOS sensor’s sensitivity or low light capabilities. Kodak has increased this to about 3200 ISO, or faster than the fastest film, unheard of in a camera phone.

This is achieved by adding a panchromatic/clear pixel, in other words, these new pixels register all colors of light in addition to the traditional red, green, and blue (RGB) pixels that are present on every digital camera image sensor. This addition is what allows the sensor to gather more information from lower light scenes.

This all bodes well for camera phone users. These image making phones are usually whipped out in less than optimal lighting conditions; like at bars, cafes, clubs; you know indoors. Now that they are no longer a "Krappy Kamera" who knows, maybe the next Sport Illustrated swimsuit edition with be shot on a camera phone, by me.
<..Via Press Release..>

Related Products

Canon PowerShot A570 IS 7.1 Megapixel Digital Camera (USA) + Extended Warranty
Samsung D820 Unlocked GSM Quadband Bluetooth
Samsung i320N Unlocked GSM Triband Bluetooth Phone
Motorola RIZR Z3 Unlocked Quad-Band GSM Phone (Black)
Lenmar ACF3 3V Digital Camera AC Adapter