Today, we have some interesting new information regarding Sony’s APCS (Active Pixel Color Sampling) sensor, which we first told you about earlier this week. This information significantly changes, for now, the outlook of this new technology in my mind.
According to a new post over on Mirrorless Rumors, which includes a diagram of the new sensor and how it will work, this new technology has one very big drawback. That drawback is that, unlike what was previously thought, this sensor must take three exposures in order to take one picture: a green exposure, a red exposure, and a blue exposure. It’s time to take those rumor goggles (that make everything sound amazing) off and look at this objectively.
The fact is, as you can imagine, this would severely limit the camera’s ability to shoot anything with motion or even long exposures. I can’t imagine Sony would invest heavily in technology that would be hampered by things as simple as motion or long exposures, so there must be something here that we are not aware of yet (almost a certainty). But as is, this tech is not all it was cracked up to be when the patents/rumors first came to light earlier this week.
Maybe since the sensor has a global shutter, it is able to take these RGB exposures in such quick succession that for shorter exposures, the time to take three exposures is negligible. But that still raises questions about longer exposures and motion, because any movement between exposures could really mess up an image if the sensor is really taking three separate exposures and merging them to get the final image. I can’t help but reiterate here that either something is going on here that we don’t know (a very likely situation), or this bit about taking three exposures is not entirely accurate. Either way, we will need to wait until the tech is released to find out.
The new APCS sensor technology is expected to debut in some new mobile phones in early 2015, with larger (APS-C and Full Frame sized) sensors coming in new camera models sometime after that.