Toshiba is taking mobile photography to professional levels with a new module designed for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. An industry first, the Toshiba TCM9518MD boasts of technology that will give software and users better control over depth and focus.
This Toshiba camera module has an output of 13 megapixels, which sounds common nowadays. What makes it unique is that it is the first module to sport twin 1/4-inch 5-megapixel CMOS sensors. These twin senors are able to not only output image but also output depth data at the same time. It also possesses dedicated image processing LSI (Large-Scale Ingeration) chip that is capable of measuring that depth data and append it to objects in the image.
While these sound like technobabble, the applications of these features are quite important, especially in mobile photography. For one, it gives better control over focusing and defocusing. For more practical uses, the depth information assigned to each object in the image can be used to tell one object from another, allowing those further in the background to be erased or extracted easily, provided, of course, the camera or photo editing software supports such features.
Astounding as it may sound, it will take some time before any of these lands on consumer devices. Toshiba will only start sample shipments of this TCM9518MD dual-camera module at the end of January 2014.