Quad Bayer sensors: what they are and what they are not

09 June 2019
Marketing departments are trying to sell you on the wrong thing - resolution isn't why these sensors are good, it's the better image processing.

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  • Krish

Please post a video so we can easily understand

YUKI93, 11 Aug 2019It might look good, until you pixel peep those photos. When... moreIn night You either get more noise or less detail, they went for second option. But its what is night mode all about, you can use other mode or app if you don't like, most important you get it all(modes).

YUKI93, 11 Aug 2019Are you sure it's 5x64MP camera?No i am not its just my personal thoughts.

CptPower, 09 Jun 2019Well having this in Upcomming Nokia 9 pureview with SD855 a... moreAre you sure it's 5x64MP camera?

vrvly, 09 Jun 2019Honor 20 pro 12mp shots surely feel great. No noise, plenty... moreIt might look good, until you pixel peep those photos. When they showed off some photo samples of the Honor 20 Pro, I was aghast by the painting-like post processing when doing pixel peeping. It's just SO WRONG!


Luxor, 09 Jun 2019Ask an average person to read this. They don't understand a... moreAverage person only care about social media and mobile gaming, that's all.

[deleted post]It might be a brick because of its camera bump, but I would be more than happy to have a smartphone with an absolute superior camera capability. One could say about buying a proper DSLR camera instead, but would I bring that heavy bulk alongside my lens all the time? No, not a chance!

  • Anonymous

kmcmurtrie, 10 Jun 2019Quad pixels doesn't reduce noise. 1/4 size pixels means th... moreIt's not that direct of math in reality.

  • kmcmurtrie

Quad pixels doesn't reduce noise. 1/4 size pixels means they have 4x the noise. You blend the 4 pixels together and then you're back at 1x noise where you started. The added overhead of complexity might even mean that you're worse off.

Cameras that have 40M+ high quality pixels are enormous. Nothing will make them smaller until there's a way to focus light without large glass lenses.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 10 Jun 2019"We won’t get into the details, but such high resolution ca... moreThere is no 48mp phone out there that captures as much detail as the iPhones telephoto lense??????

Please refrain from ever thinking you know something or need to inform people with your garbage ever again.

  • Anonymous

i dont care, 10 Jun 2019i am programmer and i dont care what you phone is. i can cr... moreThen please create me this app.
Also create me a more advanced camera app for my Nokia 808.
I have a tripod which I imagine that or being about to keep it extremely still one way or another is a basic necessity of such a feature.

  • Anonymous

Moj, 10 Jun 2019I bet you have a crapple! aren't you? It was and kinda is ... moreThe iPhone has never once had the best camera on a phone

  • Anonymous

Nick Tagataka, 10 Jun 2019Except when you have overexposed highlights on DSLR's image... moreDang I missed that last part. There s10 is one of the best with HDR. Among the top performers. Even the s9 and note 9 are way up there. Of course no phone is perfect. Even the new Nokia for some reason only squeezes out around 12 stops. Maybe that just described auto. However that's still great and can be worked with.

But the thing with samsung is that auto exposure is always a bit high. Better now but still high. However that's super easily adjusted. You just tap the lighter or darker area and exposure adjusted according plus gives a slider for further control.

Also I found that auto HDR rather than on produces far more superior stops of dynamic range. Although I think with the new 9.0 update its an option to use HDR or not when needed. Not on, auto, or off as it was.

Bracketing is great with my 808 but clearly limited so perfectly static and stabilized settings. And you don't even get a bracketing option now. At least not built in. Which not only should we but it should be much more advanced now too.

  • Anonymous

Nick Tagataka, 10 Jun 2019Except when you have overexposed highlights on DSLR's image... moreEven a DSLR raw can only do so much. If it's too over exposed then it's too over exposed.
Of course though you can do much more with a DSLR. And sometimes they can do some HDR things too

  • Anonymous

What the article is saying is obviously clear. However these sensors have proven that at least at times there is definitely a detail gain compared to standard 12mp sensors.
Even with the Nokia 808's 41mp regular Bayer sensor not every situation showed perfect focus, iso levels, stabilization due to lacking ois, etc. So not every photo showed this astounding level of pure detailed shots. Though usually good enough due to resolution and natural processing.
And when it's good it's amazing.

So maybe because it's interpolation and not always perfect in every situation it won't be worth it or magnificent detail. But in good settings it can definitely squeeze out something. Especially in a raw.

I often have a tripod with me to use my 808. And let me tell you the level of beautiful detailed and accurate photos I can get blow any phone and many decent cameras right out of the water.

Anonymous, 10 Jun 2019Phones get rid of overexposed scene when even Full Frame on... moreExcept when you have overexposed highlights on DSLR's images you usually edit the raw files on Lightroom to recover the details in those area, unless you want a contrast in your image for an artistic reason. Phones have to resort to HDR because a single raw file from a tiny sensor can only contain a little information compared to one coming out from a larger sensor found inside DSLR. As I said before, if you want more contrasty image, just turn off HDR or use the manual mode(or just stop looking at smartphone cameras and consider buying a dedicated camera instead). The majority of smartphone users prefer HDR'ed photos including myself, but the options are there for those who like more traditional approach.

"phone actually make this light disappear"
My S10 and P30 don't, tell me what phones actually do such a thing?

  • Anonymous

Nick Tagataka, 10 Jun 2019When you look at the high contrast scene with your own eyes... morePhones get rid of overexposed scene when even Full Frame on auto mode would not do it.

Typical situation of light hits a wall, too much light that you can barely see what colour wall is, but phone actually make this light disappear.

I saw blind test with few phones and A6400 was used as reference. Pixel was very different from the camera, the most different. And anyone knows APSC are far better than cellphones.

Samath N8 808 owner, 10 Jun 2019I've already mentioned single shot HDR, along with its majo... moreWith one-shot HDR you definitely lose the advantage in sensitivity(=large sensor size) but you gain far higher dynamic range per single frame instead. What this means is:

-In broad daylight the camera only needs a single frame to produce HDR photo since ISO can be kept low, and this ensures both good details in high contrast scene and minimal ghosting effect. Conventional HDR requires more sophisticated algorithms to stack multiple frames without alignment errors and remove ghosting, and it's a lot harder to show the effect in real time in the viewfinder.

-As I already stated in my previous comment, In scenes with extreme contrast, 2-3 frames of one-shot HDR images can be stacked together to extend the dynamic range even further. While you can increase the dynamic range with the conventional method as well by stacking even more frames, this makes it even harder to align frames and remove blur, so details are more likely to be lost through the process.

-In lower lighting conditions the camera can perform multi-frame NR using several HDR frames to achieve both well preserved highlight/shadow details and low noise, while, again, showing you the effect in real time. If extra sensitivity is really necessary then the sensor can fall back to its default pixel binning mode to regain the advantage of a large sensor size.

-It also allows for HDR video and it can be theoretically done in higher frame rate like 4K60, since the HDR processing doesn't involve multiple frames. Apple's Smart HDR, for example, is only limited to 30fps in video due to ISP's lack of processing power and probably the readout speed of the sensor not being fast enough.

"I don't see the big point why you'd design the entire sensor around it"
It's actually designed around 3 things - Higher light sensitivity in pixel binning mode, greater details in full resolution mode, and live HDR capability. So one-shot HDR is not the only advantage it has over the smaller sensors with the traditional filter structure used on many of current flagship phones.

  • Anonymous

Great explanations, very consumable, thanks. Wish more phones used OIS too.
HDR using a single shot is a fantastic feature. Quadbayer also allows clean HDR video, let's not forget.
Hoping to see more phones with SDM 730s that can take great HDR 1080p60 in complex or low light conditions!

  • Anonymous

i dont care, 10 Jun 2019i am programmer and i dont care what you phone is. i can cr... moreI think you replied to the wrong person