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New Sony sensor captures color photos on moonless nights

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New Sony sensor captures color photos on moonless nights

Sony has revealed a new CMOS image sensor, dubbed as IMX224MQV, which is offering the highest sensitivity when it comes to 1/3-inch-type sensors and is capable of capturing colors photos in 0.005-lux lighting conditions.

One of the leading innovators of the digital imaging industry, Sony, has introduced a new sensor. The Japan-based company has unveiled the IMX224MQV CMOS image sensor, which has been designed for automotive purposes.

The new sensor is a 1/3-inch model and it offers the highest-sensitivity ever in its category, as it can capture colors images even in extremely-low lighting conditions of 0.005-lux.

Sony IMX224MQV sensor
This is the new Sony IMX224MQV image sensor. It can capture color photos at 0.005-lux.

New Sony sensor is capable of capturing color photos at 0.005-lux lighting conditions

The manufacturer states that the demand of automotive cameras is expected to grow exponentially in the following years. In order to meet these demands, Sony has developed the IMX224MQV CMOS-based image sensor.

It consists of a 1/3-inch-type sensor that can capture photos at 1.27 megapixels. This may not sound really impressive, but automotive cameras have different purposes. This sensor will allow cars to distinguish colors, not just shapes and objects in low-light conditions.

The highlight of this sensor is that it will provide the world’s highest sensitivity in a 1/3-inch-type sensor. According to its official press release, the IMX224MQV sensor will be able to capture color photos at 0.005-lux.

Sony high-sensitivity photos
A color photo captured with the Sony IMX224MQV sensor. The exposure settings used by Sony are f/1.4, 16.7-msec exposure time, and 72dB maximum gain.

Mass-production is expected to being as of December 2015

Sony will begin mass-producing the 1.27-megapixel IMX224MQV sensor as of December 2015. The PlayStation maker is claiming that its sensor will be able to identify people and objects at 0.005-lux.

This is the equivalent of a moonless night, which means that the performance of the sensor is expected to be even better when the lighting conditions are better.

The technology employed by Sony is based on extended exposure times instead of multiple exposures. This Wide Dynamic Range system leads to a higher image quality in darker environments.

Sony IMX224MQV sensor offers improved near-infrared sensitivity

Innovation does not end here. Sony has revealed that the IMX224MQV image sensor comes with an improved pixel structure that will deliver a higher sensitivity in the near-infrared spectrum.

The new pixel structure provides better accuracy for recognizing objects, which is also useful in poorly-lit conditions.

Although this technology is aimed at the automotive industry, Sony could apply some of the things it learned from this technology into the digital camera industry.

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New Sony sensor captures color photos on moonless nights