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Glossary: Light Funnel

Light Funnel is the term given to a feature found in Sony’s new Megapixel range of cameras (Sony SNC-DM110, Sony SNC-DM160).


Designed for security surveillance and monitoring in low-light environments, Light Funnel provides brighter than average images in low light environments using a technique based on the 1.3 megapixel sensor found in the camera.

How it works

Sensor drawing to help illustrate the Light Funnel procedure

It works first by reducing the maximum resolution of the camera to 640×480 VGA. This is effectively 1/4 of the image size the sensor can produce. Using the sensitivity data from the other 3/4s of the sensor provides a complete VGA image which is 3x brighter than average.


Normally to increase the brightness of an image the shutter speed would be lowered to let more light through to the sensor. The downside of slowing the shutter speed of the camera is that moving objects appear blurred. A blurred, unrecognisable subject is no good for security applications. The benefit of Light Funnel is that by using the imaging sensor in such a unique way the shutter speed of the camera remains unaffected. This means bright detailed images at night with no blurring.

Published on September 15th, 2008 by Greg

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