Qualcomm on Nokia 9 Image Fusion

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Qualcomm article gives some details on Nokia-Light Co. 5-camera smartphone image processing:

"The Nokia 9 powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is a major achievement in computational photography. Thanks to a collaboration with HMD, Light, and Qualcomm Technologies, the Nokia 9 is the world’s first smartphone to feature a five-camera array. Every time you take a photo, the cameras collectively capture and process up to 240 megapixels of data, which is then used to create one stunning 12-megapixel photo and a corresponding 12-megapxiel depth map. This is the largest amount of photography data ever captured and processed by a Snapdragon 845 device.

The five-camera modules that make this possible are nearly the same. They contain the same image sensors, which have 1.2μm size pixels, and lenses, which have 28mm focal length with bright f/1.8 apertures. The only difference among the cameras is that two of the image sensors can collect color via the color filter, while the other three cameras use the same sensors without color filters. These are typically called “monochrome” image sensors and are capable of capturing 3X more light. So each camera captures the same image, but at varying exposures so you can shoot both very bright and dark imagery. These images are then merged with color images to build one master photo containing contrasting bright, dark, and color details.

the Qualcomm Adreno GPU is inspecting the 240 megapixels of data to render a 12-megapixel depth map. Most smartphones create a depth map that is a megapixel or less containing three to seven focal planes, but the Adreno GPU creates a massive 12-megapixel depth map filled with up to 1,500 focal planes. This level of depth enables photos with extremely realistic looking Bokeh and massive control over the blur-intensity of the Bokeh in the background and foreground. It also provides an astounding number of regions to shift focus to, so you can shoot now and focus later.

The depth maps are created as “Gdepth” files – Google’s official file format for depth maps, which can be used and stored in Google Photos.
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