American semiconductor company Qualcomm has debuted its latest camera innovation.
Many current-generation premium handhelds have a dual-camera setup, from Apple's freshly released iPhone 7 down to Huawei's P9 and the LG V20. With all these releases, it is not far-fetched to say that dual-camera setups are becoming the standard for smartphones. Qualcomm looks to smoothen things out and make it easier for handheld manufacturers to incorporate a dual-camera setup with its debut of Clear Sight.
Clear Sight, which is powered by the Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor, mimics the properties of the human eye and gives photos better sharpness, as well as improved dynamic range and lesser noise in low-light conditions. The semiconductor company says that the results will astound people.
Qualcomm explains that a human eye contains cells called rods and cones.
"Cones are great at capturing color, but require well-lit environments, while rods excel in capturing light in low-light conditions, but don't capture as much color," says Qualcomm in a press release dated Sept. 15.
The company says that its new innovation is designed to mimic these rods and cones.
Clear Sight uses two cameras that are individually fitted with their own image sensors and lenses. The lenses' focal length is identical to that of the human eye and as such, they perceive the same distance. But while the lenses are the same, the image sensors are different for each of the two cameras. One has a black and white image sensor for absorbing more light and mimicking rods, while the other has a color image sensor that mimics cones.
Qualcomm explains that the only difference between the two sensors is a layer of color filter, which was kept for the color sensors and removed from the black and white sensors. With the color filter's absence, the sensor cannot capture color but in return, it captures as much as three times more light. This helps when capturing photos in environments with low light.
The company adds that with the color filter removed, the black and white photos taken have lesser noise, better contrast and enhanced sharpness. Combining the colored capture with the black and white one produces what Qualcomm calls a "fantastic image."
Note that Clear Sight is only currently supported by both the Snapdragon 821 and Snapdragon 820. The two processors have the Qualcomm Spectra technology, which processes and merges data from both sensors to produce high-quality photos, even when in low-light conditions.