Not so long ago, we told you Sony might be working on a new sensor that can capture color photos in pitch black. But as it turns out, this is not all the company is developing in terms of sensors.
If information leaked in a document by Chinese website Cnbeta turns out to be accurate, Sony might end up revolutionizing the sensor world with the first Active Pixel Color Sampling sensor (as seen at Sony Alpha Rumors).
So what does this mean for the world of photography? Well, for starters you will kiss the classic RGB Bayer sensors goodbye and say hello to the new “Active-Pixel Color Sampling sensor” (APC-S).
The leaked documents show a few specs including the fact that the 1.5-inch sensor will take advantage of 4.8 million pixels. We know what you’re thinking, but before you say anything, it doesn't look like much.
But what’s revolutionizing about the tech is that every pixel will be able to take in the full color info by virtue of an electrified moving filter.
How exactly this is achieved we’re not told in the documents, but as time passes by, we guess more details about the technology will become available.
However, the underlying idea is that instead of having four pixels “RGBG” included into one single pixel info as it’s the case of Bayer sensors, the pixels inside the APCS sensor will be able to snatch the full color info.
The upcoming Sony sensor tech will be more advanced than Sigma’s Foevon sensor which made its way into DP cameras. The company uses three different, vertically ordered R-G-B layers, but ultimately the system still has to merge info coming from three different pixels into one.
On top of that, the system struggles with the rising noise level due to the fact that electrons get lost on each layer.
On the other hand, Sony’s sensor will be able to sample all three colors in one pixel thanks to the electronic filter that moves across the sensor. This has a number of important implications due to the sensor’s ability to produce an image out of fewer photo-sites.
In theory, the data load will be much lower, which means a faster processing and the ability to deliver higher frame rates. The documents actually mention the sensor’s capability of shooting 2K video at 16,000 fps (!)
Furthermore, the pixels will be larger, entailing better low-light performance. To conclude, the sensor will be devoid of a global shutter system, which annuls the jello distortion that comes about when one moves the camera quickly from side to side.
At this point, we have no idea what products this new sensor system will go into, but there’s some speculation it will be implemented in Sony’s upcoming Xperia smartphones.
Another theory would be the PlayStation maker’s high-end compact cameras. Not to mention that other manufacturers are also known for using Sony’s sensors.