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The new sensor will enable clearly luminated images from atmospheres as dark as a movie theater. (Source: Korea Electronic Technology Institute)
Researchers don't want you to worry about bright flashes in dimly-lit scenes anymore

Our eyes will possibly get some relief from the blinding flash of cameras in low-light scenarios.  South Korea's Electronic Technology Institute announced the development of a new image sensor chip that allows digital cameras to capture vibrant images without a flash in dark spaces.

The digital camera equipped with the chip will be able to take high-resolution photos or video-recordings at 1 lux.  The camera will be able to snap pictures in places such as theaters, underground traffic tunnels, or dark-lit bars and clubs.  The chip promises clear pictures with light as bright as the lighting from a candle 1 meter away in a dark room and is said to be 2,000 times more light sensitive than other sensor types.  The will initially be used for camera phones, CCTV cameras and vehicle rear-view cameras.

Institute officials stated that state-run Korea Electronics Technology Institute has developed the single carrier modulation photo detector (SMPD) chip using nanotechnology.

The institute already spent roughly 11 billion won ($10.5 million USD) on the development of the SMPD chip over the past four years.  The expected earnings from the chip exportation is about 2 trillion won ($2.2 billion USD) annually

No news has been released yet about the production details of the chip, nor has there been any pricing estimates on the chip.

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Wow I cant wait.
By Mitch101 on 5/22/2007 5:49:47 PM , Rating: 3
Wow I was just about to upgrade my digital and now hearing about this I will put it off.

If there is one thing that is bad about digitals is low light conditions. I also hope it improves low light video capture which I assume it does since it improves pictures in low light conditions.

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By tehfire on 5/22/2007 6:12:12 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, same here.

I doubt it'll be cheap or practical anytime the applications it is designed for (cell phone cameras, car cameras, etc.) I get the feeling like it's a pretty low-resolution sensor for now...

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By tdawg on 5/22/2007 6:15:22 PM , Rating: 3
When compared to film, many digital slrs produce cleaner images than their film counterparts at equivalent isos. P&S digital cameras are worse off, of course.

If you're going to hold out for this, I'm thinking you may be waiting quite a while and will have to pay a pretty penny once this comes out.

Also, besides security uses, do we really need ISO 130000?

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By ira176 on 5/22/2007 11:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
I could be wrong, but I thought that you would want a lower ISO for dimmer situations, not higher.

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By tdawg on 5/23/2007 12:27:23 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the lower the ISO, the more light you need to capture an image. More light can be obtained with a slower shutter speed (longer exposure to light) or larger apertures (f-stop).

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By TennesseeTony on 5/23/2007 7:19:51 PM , Rating: 3
do we really need ISO 130000?

Absolutely. ISO 3200 is inadequate for early evening sport shots, I'm getting lots of motion blur, due to the "slow" 1/60th to 1/100th shutter speeds.

Another area extreme ISO (without the noise) would be useful is in astrophotography. Those beautiful color shots of nebulas and galaxies take HOURS to expose. As you can imagine, it's a bit tricky to keep the telescope pointed precisely for an hour or three. A shorter exposure time in that area would be very appreciated.

Also, high ISO lets you use a faster shutter of course, so the need for expensive Image stablized lenes is then debatable.

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By Justin Case on 5/22/2007 6:32:28 PM , Rating: 3
The proposed uses (cell phones, security cameras) suggest that the quality isn't really good enough for digital cameras.

The article is very vague, with no links to sources, etc., so it's hard to say much more about it. I'm pretty sure the part about "vibrant images" and "replacing a camera flash" were added by the author of the article, not the chip manufacturer...

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By Roy2001 on 5/22/2007 10:02:34 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Wow I cant wait.
By gsellis on 5/23/2007 8:47:02 AM , Rating: 3
You may want to go ahead and buy your camera. The "to product" time may kill you. RED Cinema has taken a year and 1/2 to develop a product with a new chip. There task was harder, but still...

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