Samsung has patented new technology that could go a long way in improving a camera’s low light performance. The idea is to improve color reproduction and reduce noise by adding a color splitter to improve the sensitivity of the image sensor. Conventional digital sensors make use of colored filters to transmit wavelengths that develop color inside an image, the patent says that this results in a significant loss of light energy because the filters only absorb light in all but one wavelength.
The patent details that by splitting the light into two separate beams that loss of light can be prevented as the sensor is not immediately hit with all wavelengths. This would help with color reproduction as the light will be separated into red and blue sub-pixels and the reds, greens, and blues of RGB will be treated separately. This could bring about a major improvement in camera performance as the color splitter will help the image sensor perform better in dim environments and reduce noise at higher ISOs. Samsung has only patented this technology right now and it’s unclear when it will make its way to the company’s smartphones and cameras. It could be a while before that happens.