One of the newest technologies on our consumer drone series is the RYYB color filter array. It’s a new upgrade on the camera sensors of the Nano+ and Lite models, and it’s a powerful tool that gives them an edge on similarly-sized cameras.
Digital Camera Filters
Digital cameras use colored pixels to filter light to capture photos. The most common type of filter is the RGGB filter. First introduced in the late 1970s, the RGGB filter has taken many forms, but it remains the most common because the three colors (red, green, and blue) most closely match what the human eye sees.
The tradeoff for RGGB, or any filter is that it filters light; it interprets the colors coming in, but it also decreases the light hitting the sensor. Light is information in photography, so the more light that can reach a sensor, the better.
Some cameras have experimented with different colors arrays to reduce the amount of light filtered out. The Cyan-Yellow-Yellow-Magenta filter is one example. CYYM filters allowed more light through, but these colors aren’t as intuitive to the human eye, so they required more complex algorithms to process the images.
Enter the RYYB filter. The most modern iteration was first introduced by Lecia-Huawei in the P30 phone. It lets in 40 percent more light than a standard RGGB filter, which boosts overall performance but is especially noticeable in low-light photography.
The Nano+ and Lite are some of the first drones to adopt RYYB color filters in their cameras. To help process the images, the cameras use an Artificial Intelligence program to convert the images into a format the human eye can easily process.
The end result is a camera that can capture more light for its size than similar and even larger cameras sensors.
The Big Deal
So what’s the big deal? In short, the RYYB filter allows for better-quality photos from a smaller camera sensor. RYYB photos are more complicated to process than conventional RGGB filters, which makes these filters less practical for larger sensors, but for smaller ones, like the 1/1.28” filter in the Nano+ and the Lite, it’s a game-changer.
In addition to higher-quality pictures and better lowlight performance, a smaller sensor allows for a smaller camera package and a lighter, longer-flying drone overall. It’s just one more way we at Autel are pushing to refine and develop the drone market for consumers and professionals.