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Sony Megapixel ExwavePRO and Light Funnel Technologies

With the launch of Sony’s first Megapixel IP CCTV security cameras last year came the introduction of their new sensor technology, ExwavePRO.


The ExwavePRO sensor is a new CCD imaging sensor which is designed specifically for IP cameras. It benefits from progressive scan technology which eliminates the blurring caused by moving objects you would find when using interlace sensors.  It also uses a CMYG complimentary colour filter which provides greater levels of sensitivity when compared to RGB primary colour filters.

Sony ExwavePRO example
Image on the left is taken from a Sony SNC-DS10 with an ExwavePRO sensor, image on the right is taken from a conventional camera (progressive scan sensor with RGB filter).  Both at 0.7 lux illumination.

Of course the sensor is 1.3 megapixel giving a resolution of 1280×960 pixels which is 4 times larger than the resolution you would get from a standard IP camera.  This delivers an image which incorporates more of the scene allowing you to cover an area with fewer cameras.  Megapixel images are also much more detailed.  By using more pixels in the sensor the resolution of the image is finer and more highly detailed.

Sony have designed their megapixel series with security in mind. The ExwavePRO is an ideal sensor for IP CCTV, it offers megapixel resolution and progressive scanning and is highly sensitive producing bright images in low light environments down to 0.8 lux.

Light Funnel

An interesting use of the new megapixel sensor is Sony’s Light Funnel feature.

This feature is designed for security surveillance in low-light environments by increasing the brightness of the image without decreasing the shutter speed. The benefit of not slowing down the shutter speed is that moving objects will not appear blurred, which can be the result of a slow shutter speed.

Sony Light Funnel example
Image on the right is taken using Light Funnel, image on the right is an example of an image taken with a slow shutter speed.

It works by making clever use of the megapixel sensor.  First the resolution is reduced to VGA (640×480) 1/4 of the sensor size and using the brightness data from the remaining 3/4’s of the sensor it produces a VGA image which is 3x brighter than the conventional image without the need for additional lighting.

Light funnel sensor usage

This is of obvious benefit when monitoring areas in low-light conditions as you can instantly increase the brightness of any area giving better clarity from the scene. The feature is also very discreet, providing brighter images without increasing any illumination which would alert potential intruders.

More information

More information can be found from the camera’s specifications for Sony’s new megapixel series:

Sony SNC-DM110 1.3 Megapixel Indoor Fixed Dome Network Camera

Sony SNC-DM160 1.3 Megapixel Outdoor Fixed Dome Network Camera

Other non-megapixel cameras from Sony with the new ExwavePRO sensor:

Sony SNC-DS10 Indoor Mini Dome Network Camera

Sony SNC-DS60 Outdoor Mini Dome Network Camera

Published on February 4th, 2009 by Greg

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