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Digital cameras get color upgrade

29 Jul 2003

Images taken by digital cameras could soon be a closer match to what the eye actually sees thanks to a new color filter developed by Sony.

The Japanese electronics giant Sony has developed a filter for use in digital still cameras that contains four color-elements instead of the usual three. The new filter contains an emerald (E) element in addition to the red (R), green (G) and blue (B) elements that are usually present. Sony says that cameras incorporating the new filter produce images that are a closer match to colors seen by the eye.

The emerald element is said to have a blue-green appearance and covers a waveband slightly shorter than that of green. The company says that adding the emerald portion into the filter enhances the reproduction of blue-green and red colors.

To cope with the additional data, Sony has also developed a new image processor. “By combining the 4-color CCD filter and the new processor, color reproduction errors have been halved compared with Sony’s conventional 3-color filter,” said Sarah Bell, a spokesperson for Sony.

Bell says that Sony now plans to integrate the RGBE filter and image processor into a new range of digital cameras that will be introduced in the near future, although she was unable to give a precise date.

According to Bell, the cameras containing the RGBE filter will not come at any major additional cost and will consume 30% less power than today’s 3-color models.

Author
Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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