Panasonic Corporation has developed unique "micro colour splitters", which separate the light that falls on image sensors by exploiting light's wavelike properties.
Panasonic recently had a breakthrough in low-light camera sensor technology. According to reports, it has developed micro colour splitters that split the light directed at image sensors to create bright images in low light situations. This is a type of filterless camera sensor which allows the sensor to gather much more light and aid low-light photography.
In this new sensor, instead of using an array of tiny microfilters like the traditional CFA (Colour Filter Array) which use a red, green, or blue light-transmitting filter placed above each sensor, Panasonic uses what they call “micro color splitters” that allow light to diffract so that various combinations of wavelengths hit different photosites. This solution gathers about 1.85 times more light in the sensor.
The traditional CFA technology filters block 50 - 70% of the incoming light before it even reaches the sensor. But the use of this new technology from Panasonic makes color filters unnecessary as the “micro color splitters” control the diffraction of light at a microscopic level and allow for more light. This can be seen in the test image comparison released by Panasonic below:
Difference between conventional method and the new developed method
Panasonic holds 21 Japanese patents and 16 overseas patents, including pending applications, for this development. This new technology from Panasonic can be applied to existing or future sensors to enable them to capture images in vivid colour.