Apple May Enhance Image Quality By Using 3-Sensor Camera
Apple has filed a patent that explains its new camera technology which employs a prism that segregates incoming light in three colors and a different sensor is then used to capture each of the color components.
Apple’s U.S Patent No. 8,988,564 for a “Digital camera with light splitter” suggests that the Cupertino company has decided to maximize pixel resolution on its cameras through light splitting systems, which do not require color channel processing or demosaicing. Color channel processing involves process of pixel-wise separation of colors while demosaicing is reconstruction of channeled colors into a complete picture.
The new technology will make iPhone cameras produce more accurate colors and perform better in dim lights. According to the abstract of the patent:
A digital camera component is described that has a light splitter cube having an entrance face to receive incident light from a camera scene. The cube splits the incident light into first, second, and third color components that emerge from the cube through a first face, a second face, and a third face of the cube, respectively. First, second, and third image sensors are provided, each being positioned to receive a respective one of the color components that emerge from the first, second, and third faces of the cube. Other embodiments are also described and claimed.
As per the patent, Apple is going to integrate three-sensor prism based camera in its wireless devices. Currently single sensor cameras are being used in majority of the smartphones that require color splitting between red, green and blue colors. These colors are than reconstructed or demosaiced. This process sometimes generates blurry images.
But that is unlikely to happen with Apple’s new technology that can especially be helpful in video recording purposes.
Along with all these pros, as TechTimes notes, there will be certain cons too, if Apple includes this tech in its next iPhone iteration.
Firstly, the highly advanced camera technology is more than probable to cause an increase in the manufacturing costs that will obviously be converted into an increase in the market price of iPhone. Secondly, more space will be required for integration of above discussed technology in Apple devices. And Apple will not probably be comfortable with this fact because generally, the iPhone maker is known for creation of slim devices.