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Precision in scene recognition with the RGB sensor

Cameras are equipped with advanced systems that help users capture any moment with increased accuracy, even under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. In order to find the optimal amount of exposure for each scene, the camera performs a crucial evaluation of the light intensity with the help of the RGB sensor.

What is the RGB sensor?

The RGB sensor is the metering sensor that helps the camera analyse the scene being captured and determines the amount of light needed to produce a well-exposed image. The sensor gathers data on the brightness of the subject, then optimises exposure by adjusting the shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity accordingly. By analysing each and every pixel in the frame, this very technology creates an overall image that has been meticulously crafted.

To capture a high quality image even in scenes with poor lighting, the RGB sensor works together with a diffractive optical element, a special filter that separates light into different wavelengths and projects a clear image onto the sensor.

How does the RGB sensor work within the Scene Recognition system?

The Scene Recognition system is an intelligent ‘brain’ in the camera that performs advanced information processing by recognising and integrating various types of data captured by the RGB sensor and image sensor. It identifies the different image elements of the subject and scene using a combination of autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance.

Especially important in ensuring that subjects are in sharp focus even when a photographer does not have the time to select focus points, the RGB sensor helps to improve subject tracking and identification, through highlight analysis and light source identification, to produce incredibly detailed pictures.

How has the RGB sensor evolved over the years?

Different camera models incorporate different RGB sensors, such as the 420-, 1005-, 2016-, and 91K-pixel RGB sensors. The number reflects the number of pixels being used to analyse the scene’s information.

The higher the number of pixels, the greater the amount of details analysed.

Nikon’s Advanced Scene Recognition system incorporates a 180K-pixel RGB sensor, which uses 180,000 pixels to measure the scene’s colour information and brightness, then analyses the data against the camera’s built-in image database to realise even more accurate exposure and colour in visuals.

Face detection is enabled even when shooting through the viewfinder, allowing the camera to deliver more desirable auto exposures for portraits. This is because the RGB sensor can access incredibly detailed scene information, capable of analysing data of human faces which are prominent in the viewfinder.

In addition, it allows for Live View exposure control, making it more convenient to adjust and tailor different elements easily. Together, they function much like a thinking machine to enable the photographer to focus on portraying the subject the way he or she wishes.