RAW Photo Capabilities Come to Cellphones Via OmniVision

Just when cameras like the S90 and others were making a strive forward, OmniVision has announced today at Mobile World Congress the introduction of a 1/4 inch 5MP sensor that will shoot RAW photos and will be available for cell phones. The sensor is also complete with backside illumination. If that wasn’t enough, it can also shoot 1080p HD video at 30p and 720p at 60p. Let’s also keep in mind that this is a much smaller sensor.

Showing ultimate megapixel restraint, it will allow photographers and users that always have a phone in their pocket to take better pictures and have more flexibility in the editing process. Next to the new sensor in the photo above is a Micro Four Thirds sensor.

While technology like this is great news, let’s keep in mind that most of America also doesn’t know that much about photography so something like this may hopefully encourage them to do more with their photos. It will also boost citizen journalism. Hopefully photo editing apps will be able to keep up, like those on Android. Let’s also keep in mind that processors need to keep up as well. More is available on the press release and technical specs are after the jump.

Via Wired

Features

* 1.4 x 1.4 μm pixel with OmniBSI technology for high performance (high sensitivity, low crosstalk, low noise)

* optical size of 1/4″

* automatic image control functions: automatic exposure control (AEC), automatic white balance (AWB), automatic band filter (ABF), automatic 50/60 Hz luminance detection, automatic black level calibration (ABLC)

* programmable controls for frame rate, AEC/AGC 16-zone size/position/weight control, mirror and flip, cropping, windowing, and panning

* image quality controls: lens correction, defective pixel canceling

* support for output formats: 8/10-bit raw RGB data

* support for video or snapshot operations

* support for LED and flash strobe mode

* support for internal and external frame synchronization for frame exposure mode

* support for 2×2 binning for better SNR in low light conditions

* post binning resampling filter to minimize spatial/aliasing artifacts on 2 x 2 binned image

* support for horizontal and vertical sub-sampling

* standard serial SCCB interface

* digital video port (DVP) parallel output interface

* MIPI interface (two lanes)

* 32 bytes of embedded one-time programmable (OTP) memory

* on-chip phase lock loop (PLL)

* embedded 1.5V regulator for core power

* programmable I/O drive capability, I/O tri-state configurability

* support for black sun cancellation

Taken from the product site.