BenQ has just announced what may be the world’s first High Dynamic Range camera. The BenQ E1260 is a 12 megapixel point and shoot camera, it’s compact and capable of 720p video recording.
Software within the camera, BenQ calls “HDR image enhancement technology” generates an image with the finest details, showing the darkest and lightest portions of an image automatically. Traditionally this is done by post-production software like Photomatix Pro. Typically, three images are captured using a range of white balance and exposure settings. The final image is a blend of the three captured images tonal range showing much greater detail. You can see an example of this process here. BenQ did not release any samples of the in-camera HDR processing technology, so we are unsure how it will compare to post-production methods.
The E1260 is due out in May, however, BenQ’s VP of Digital Media, Jy Hu said “This camera is for asian markets, we have no plans to release it to the USA.” In a telephone conversation with Mobile Magazine.