Sony has announced the development of two new CMOS image sensors designed for use in smartphones, and considering the Japanese giant already supplies the sensors for the iPhone 4S, it’s highly likely we’ll be seeing one of the new sensors in the iPhone 5 later this year.
The new images sensors, one 8 megapixel and one 13 megapixel, will feature a couple of unique functions for better still image quality as well as improved movie capture.
The first of these is Sony’s proprietary RGBW Coding function which aims to enable much clearer shooting in dark rooms or night-time conditions. As the name suggests, this features adds W (White) pixels to the conventional range of RGB (Red-Green-Blue) pixels for higher sensitivity.
One problem however is that the addition of white also degrades image quality but Sony claim to have circumvented this through its own device technology and signal processing.
The second headline feature of the new sensors is HDR Movie recording which aims to capture more colours even in bright light. Sony has achieved this by setting two different exposure conditions within a single screen shooting and conducts the appropriate signal processing for the captured image information under each optimal exposure condition.
But actions are better than words and Sony has released a video (below) highlighting the difference between normal shooting and HDR shooting.
Samples of the new 13 megapixel sensor with HDR Movie and RGBW Coding will be shipping in June with the 8 megapixel sensor coming in August, which could be a little bit late for the iPhone 5, but we suspect Apple could already have its hands on them by that stage.