Qualcomm announces Clear Sight dual camera tech for flagship devices

qualcomm-dual-camera-setup

Qualcomm processors have already supported a number of smartphones with dual camera technology. Today, they announced Qualcomm Clear Sight, powered by Spectra ISP that is designed to mimic the attributes of the human eye. This new tech offers improved dynamic range, sharpness, and less noise in low light.

Read the explanation from Qualcomm about this new technology,

The human eye is a great analogy because your eyes contain cells called “cones” and “rods.” 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. Clear Sight is designed to mimic cones and rods to give you the best of both worlds, producing an image that has optimal contrast and brightness.

Clear Sight features two cameras, each with its own lens and image sensor. Like your eyes, the lenses have identical focal length (meaning they see the same distance). But each camera has a different image sensor: one color image sensor (to mimic cones), and a separate black and white image sensor (which can absorb more light, to mimic rods).

With Clear Sight, the color sensor and black and white sensors are the same. But the black and white sensor can capture light 3x more than color sensor which is helpful with low-light environments. Clear Sight merges the information from both color and black and white sensors to create photos that have less noise and improved sharpness.  This dual camera tech is only supported on their flagship processors Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 821 processors.

Clear Sight consists of a single, fully integrated hardware module that contains two cameras, plus computational low light imaging algorithms that enable Qualcomm Spectra ISPs, designed to take photos at the exact same time and merge the two photos together, instantaneously, with outstanding image quality even in low lighting.

I’m sure that many upcoming Android flagship devices will come with Clear Sight as Dual Camera seems to be the trend going forward in smartphones. Not all Dual Camera implementations are same in smartphones. LG V20 for example uses one fisheye lens and one regular lens for capturing really wide-angle photos. Apple uses one telephoto lens and one wide-angle regular lens to offer improved zoom experience. Huawei devices comes with Dual Camera setup that is similar to Qualcomm’s Clear Sight. They use color and black & white lens setup for improved imaging.

I was expecting Nokia to release the first Dual Camera smartphone in the market when they invested in Pelican Imaging few years back, but as you all know it didn’t happen for many reasons. I hope Microsoft follows the current trend and includes a dual camera setup in their next flagship Windows mobile device.

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