A group of engineers from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering have been hard at work creating a new imaging technology that could change videography and photography forever.

The Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) is already being called the “next generation” of light sensing tech; it’s a sensor that could quite possibly improve the quality of low light images. In fact, the co-inventor of the QIS is Eric R. Fossum, inventor of the CMOS image sensor that is in pretty much every camera and smartphone today. Fossum says that the QIS “enables highly sensitive, more easily manipulated and higher quality digital imaging than is currently available, even in low light situations.”

QIS is reported to have the ability to capture and count the lowest level of light (single photons) with a resolution that goes up to one megapixel and can capture thousands of frames per second. Before the QIS, to achieve these results, you had to have large pixels and/or low temperatures, but now all of it can be done in low light at room temperatures.

Phsy.org says the cinematographers will benefit from the QIS because it will “enable IMAX-quality video in an easily edited digital format while still providing many of the same characteristics of film.”

Fossum says that making this new technology inexpensive and commercially accessible is very important to them, so they’ve tried to make compatible with the cost and mass production of today’s CMOS image sensors. They also have said that they’ve made it readily scalable for higher resolutions that can go up to hundreds of megapixels per chip.

You can learn more about the QIS at Phys.org, and you can see the published research paper published about the technology on Optica.

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Sean Berry
Sean Berry is a blogger and Videomaker Contributing Editor.