A Samsung patent devises a new method for capturing colors in-camera

samsung patents color splitter 6074320 ml
Aleksandr Volkov
A patent filed by Samsung shows the company is working on a new method for capturing more vivid colors inside digital cameras. While removing the optical low-pass filter from the sensor is now more common than not, the patent illustrates how adding to the sensor — instead of taking away layers — could potentially enhance the color reproduction and help cut back on noise even more.

Traditional digital sensors use colored filters to transmit the different wavelengths that create color inside the image. According to the patent, the sensor loses a significant amount of light energy because it absorbs light in all but one wavelength. That process means about 2/3 of the light is lost.

The patent instead proposes splitting the light into two separate beams, so the sensor is no longer hit with almost every wavelength, to prevent that loss of light and help create more vivid colors. The beam splitter would separate the light into both red and blue sub-pixels. The patent seems to suggest that the split light would either extend to green sub-pixels or that a third split would be used to separate the green light. While the method for capturing the green isn’t clear yet, the technology would treat the reds, greens and blues of RGB separately, helping to reduce the loss of light in current sensors.

The color or beam splitter is integrated into one of the sensor’s layers. Diagonal strips of highly refractive material work to split the light, which then hits the sensor that maintains the randomized array of RGB pixels.

The implications of the new sensor design could be pretty significant, since most photographers adjust the colors of their images in post processing, often because they weren’t quite true to the original scene. But besides the original intent of creating vivid colors, preventing the loss of light could also help the sensors perform better in dim environments, and cut back noise at higher ISOs. Since the technology currently only exists as a patent, it’s unclear when — or even if — the idea would make its way into Samsung cameras and smartphones.

Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Computing

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market today. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy…
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
Photography

Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.
Photography

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.
Photography

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.
Mobile

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.
Photography

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.