It has been a great year for smartphone photography and the Android herd can take credit for this with smartphones that deliver great low-light photography like the LG G4, Moto X Style, Nexus 6P and many more. Even our low-light photo faceoff revealed that the competition has led to manufacturers tweaking things down to the last bits, both with custom camera modules and software; leading to very minute differences in image quality between different smartphone brands.
Qualcomm recently revealed how it took up low-light photography challenge as well, and this it accomplished with the just the processor. This is stuff that already exists in your LG G4or the OnePlus 2. It understands that manufacturers for now can only go as far as tweaking the camera module like LG and Samsung did with their flagships this year.
Which is why Qualcomm worked to push a better ISP with noise reduction technologies built in. The Image Signal Processor or ISP is a really important component in an SoC or a System on Chip. It helps process images and can do more depending on how much a chipset manufacturer can push it.
In Qualcomm’s case, with its recent Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810, the ISP indeed does a great deal of work. Qualcomm’s newer ISPs are not only fast but work to reduce noise as well. This is possible with technologies like wavelet noise reduction (WNR) and temporal noise reduction (TNR).
As Qualcomm revealed both WNR and TNR work together to select the frame both before and after the shot to clean up the noise while local tone mapping (LTM) brightens up the image keeping the lighting conditions in mind. And the results of course are justifiable like in case of LG’s G4.