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.
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...