Kodak' s New Panchromatic Pixel Blaster

Kodak is one of those companies that had problems adapting to changing technologies. The death of film cameras- you remember film cameras, don't you? -sorely tested Kodak's reason to exist. Now researchers from Kodak have made a 2 - 4 times improvement in the light sensitivity of the image sensor in any digital camera using what they call "panchromatic" technology.

When the shutter opens on a digital camera, an image is projected onto the sensor, which converts light into an electric charge. Most sensors use the Bayer mask: Half of the millions of cells on a checkerboard grid are filtered to collect green light and a quarter each are filtered to let through red and blue light. A computer chip then reconstructs a full color signal for each pixel in the final image.

The new method, which has been under development for more than five years, adds "panchromatic" cells that are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light and collect a larger amount of light striking the sensor. Tailoring software algorithms to this unique new pattern enables faster shutter speeds, which reduces blurring when capturing a moving subject, McNiffe said.

They'll finally be children in your birthday photos, instead of just candle flare. Expected out in the market in various cameras first quarter 2008.
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