March 7, 2011 weblog
You could be taking color pictures in the dark by the end of the year
(PhysOrg.com) -- Any photographer will tell you that having good lighting is essential to the success of a shot. It is one of the most basic elements of composition, and hours can be spent on getting this one element right. Unless, that is, you buy your camera from The Nanosystem Research Division of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, or AIST for short. They are showing off a camera that can take full color photos in the dark.
Night vision technology itself is nothing new. Anyone who has seen a James Bond movie is familiar with the black and green screen that is synonymous with the see-in-the-dark technology that is used by branches of the military around the world. What is new with this camera is the fact that the night vision will create a color image similar to the ones you take on a standard digital camera during the day. It is also capable of taking color video.
The camera works something like this. After taking a scan of the room it uses a highly sensitive infrared technology to capture the surroundings and get a digital lay of the land. Once it has the image an advanced algorithm takes over the photo process. By analyzing the reflected wavelengths from objects of various colors, the camera takes a best guess at what color the item is, and fills that color into the image. The system seems to have a high degree of accuracy, but some minor issues with shade could occur.
The camera is expected to go on sale to the public by the end of 2011. No word has been give on price at this point, as the device still needs to be made small enough for hand use.
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