The engineers at Digital Imaging Systems have come up with a very cool “high dynamic range” CMOS imager technology that pushes into new boundaries for capturing scenes with extreme intensity ranges. I’m told this was designed for the auto industry – applications such as blind spot cameras and backup cameras where the imager might be trying to see night images while being bombarded by headlights from other cars.
In the second photo, take a close look at the light bulb. You can read the wattage and other printing on the end of the bulb. Even your eyes will have a difficult time doing that with a lit 60W bulb. Also look at the coffee mug. While it’s a darker in the enhanced dynamic range photo, you can see the complete “Dialog” name, compared to just part of the name in the first photo. Again, this is the benefit of high dynamic range. The technology is based on sensing when charge storage starts to “top out” at each pixel’s storage well. When full, the sensor can reset that pixel and it can continue to store charge. As long as you know how many times you reset the pixel, you can generate an image of extreme dynamic range.