Sony's new HDR capture for mobile will blow creators' minds

Qualcomm and Sony collaborate to introduce QDOL4 HDR for video capture, which content creators are going to love

Sony IMX989
(Image credit: Sony)

The Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2022 is an event that keeps on giving: now it's the chip-maker's collaboration with Sony that's registering on the excitement-o-meter, particularly for creators who shoot video, because the tech giants have partnered to enhance the latest Sony camera sensors for mobile.

Hot off the heels of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor announcement, which we'll see in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, and a Bose announcement that will upgrade the QuietComfort Earbuds 2's audio prowess for free come early 2023, the Sony and Qualcomm collab is all about an all-new HDR (that's high dynamic range if you're unfamiliar) for video capture.

Back in 2021 it was announced that Sony and Qualcomm would open a joint lab. Following this, and mid-way through 2022, Sony revealed its latest camera sensors for mobile: the IMX989 (which is a larger-than-most 1-inch size) with its 50-megapixel resolution; and the Sony IMX800 with its 54MP resolution.

QDOL4 HDR Sony and Qualcomm at Snapdragon Summit 2022

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

But today it's the all-new computational HDR for video that's possible from these sensors that comes to the fore. Named QDLO4, this high dynamic range tech will capture four exposures simultaneously during video and combine them in real-time for an HDR depth that should be unrivalled – the best phones of 2023 are potentially going to be very exciting indeed (especially the best Android phones).

Qualcomm said this HDR technology will be "fine-tuned for Snapdragon", which given the computational headline power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is no surprise. But don't expect to find these Sony sensors in the Samsung Galaxy S23, as that job will almost certainly fall to the 200-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HP3.

It's exciting times in the camera space on mobile, that's for sure, but it could well be the next Sony Xperia that's the most interesting camera phone. We shall have to wait and see...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.