Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Huawei P8 Smartphone Features "World’s First Four-Color RGBW Sensor"

Huawei P8 flagship smartphone announced today features "a new philosophy for camera design leveraging a combination of hardware, software and proprietary algorithms to help users capture beautiful photographs, even in the worst lighting conditions."

P8 camera sensor is claimed "The world’s first four-color RGBW sensor enhances brightness by 32 percent in high contrast lighting situations, reduces it by 78 percent in low light environments. DSLR-level independent image processor enabling noise reduction when shooting and intelligent detection of a high-contrast lighting environment." It's not clear what exactly makes Huawei camera "world's first RGBW," as other smartphones on the market already use sensors with white pixels in the array.

The camera also features "Industry-leading Optical Image Stabilizer technology up to 1.2°, enabling high-quality photos and videos, and managing camera shake so images are consistently sharp." For a very good image stabilizer one needs to have about 2-2.5deg range, but 1.2deg is not bad too.

About a half of Huawei P8 presentation is devoted to the camera (Youtube presentation is here):


Thanks to TS for the pointer!

20 comments:

  1. They are claiming the world's first 13MP RGBW. With that 13MP qualifier, they are correct.

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    1. Their PR official PR, linked and quoted in the post, does not mention 13MP. They only state "the world's first four-color RGBW sensor." The 32% and 78% explanation part is too messed in the PR, but appear correctly in the slides.

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    2. Of course, it is not the first 13MP RGBW sensor. And Samsung in 2013, and Sony later do it. But as i think they refused of it. As I think, really RGBW sensor have not benefits.

      Yes, this sensor can get more light. But you CAN NOT receive from this extra light the color information.

      I really think of it :) And it is impossible in my opinion)

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    3. May be the PR means it is using the FIRST 13MP RGBW sensor Samsung used in 2013? :-)

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    4. I think this RGBW sensor would be useful especially in low light combined with super resolution processing algorythms, such as Almalence's BetterCamera SUPER mode. (Incidentally Omnivision has a collaboration agreement with Almalence)
      Yet we don´t know which sensor this is, it would be interesting if it was a large pixel sensor such as OV13860 1.3um pixels, but I doubt it, pixel size isn´t mentionned so probably it is the habitual 1.1um

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  2. whose sensor is this?

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    1. It is SONY IMX278.
      http://news.91.com/android/1504/21818568.html

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  3. "For a very good image stabilizer one needs to have about 2-2.5deg range" Why?

    In such small camera modules does not apply the principle of the DSLR. Even slight hand movement can destroy and optical image stabilization and digital. This movement is about 0.5 centimeters

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    1. I agree that 150 gram handheld devices are more sensitive to high frequency shaking then a 500 gram handheld device, especially those with three natural points of support (two hands and a chin/eye). Shake reduction in phones should be better in terms of degrees then shake reduction in dslrs.

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    2. It's not just the three points of support. 2 degrees in the DSLR is equivalent to the motion of the camera such as a centimeter, for example. 2 degrees in the smartphone (according to the size of the matrix and optics) is equivalent to the motion of less than 1 millimeter:)

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  4. The images of the horse are generated from one image,

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    1. Photoshop probably...unless they tied down the horse or waited for the exact event to happens twice, the probablity of the latter being one in a trillion trillion trillion.....

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    2. This is a poster. The text underneath says it's shot under 5 lux. Certainly not a sunny day.

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  5. Didn't Kodak publish on RGBW patterns back in 2009 and even earlier? 2007?

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    1. RGBW goes back (at least) to US 2,755,334 by Banning, filed in 1951, and referenced by Bayer as prior art.

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  6. How would the white pixel impact dynamic range in a bright scene? There is mention of high contrast but only low light images are shown? Would white pixel saturate faster than green and cause lower dynamic range overall compared to RGB sensor?

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  7. The white pixel will saturate faster but pick up more light in the shadows, improving shadows. RGB will keep highlights almost as good as usual because they don't saturate that fast.

    Actually i would prefer an array where some of the pixels are white and some are dimmed by darker filters. Maby a 8 filter pattern rather then 4 filter (RGGB or RGBW) pattern. That will improve highlights at the cost of noise. Maby another pattern having more sparely spread darker pixels. Sensors operating close to or beyond the diffraction limit and optical limit may improve dynamic range this way without sacrificing much in terms of resolution and noise.

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    1. If you are going to negate the low light sensitivity advantage of clear (white) pixels by making some darker, then you might as well switch to green. I don't see any advantage of "neutral density" filters in the array for most, if not all applications.

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  8. Having first hand experience with all the commercial RGBC sensors, I have yet to see improvement in low light given the common rolling shutter speed between pixels as being the main disadvantage. In fact most achieved poorer low light given the higher crosstalk out of the clear channel. The only good architecture here is a separate monochrome module with a lens with higher nyquist frequency than the sensor. This achieves superior low light and true super resolution.

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  9. Who manufactures a 8 filter camera chip rather then 4 filter (RGGB or RGBW) camera chip? What is the price?

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