Recently, several RGB-White (RGBW) color filter arrays (CFAs) have been proposed, which have extra white (W) pixels in the filter array that are highly sensitive. Due to the high sensitivity, the W pixels have better SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) characteristics than other color pixels in the filter array, especially, in low light conditions. However, most of the RGBW CFAs are designed so that the acquired RGBW pattern image can be converted into the conventional Bayer pattern image, which is then again converted into the final color image by using conventional demosaicing methods, i.e., color interpolation techniques. In this paper, we propose a new RGBW color filter array based on a totally different color interpolation technique, the colorization algorithm. The colorization algorithm was initially proposed for colorizing a gray image into a color image using a small number of color seeds. Here, we adopt this algorithm as a color interpolation technique, so that the RGBW color filter array can be designed with a very large number of W pixels to make the most of the highly sensitive characteristics of the W channel. The resulting RGBW color filter array has a pattern with a large proportion of W pixels, while the small-numbered RGB pixels are randomly distributed over the array. The colorization algorithm makes it possible to reconstruct the colors from such a small number of RGB values. Due to the large proportion of W pixels, the reconstructed color image has a high SNR value, especially higher than those of conventional CFAs in low light condition. Experimental results show that many important information which are not perceived in color images reconstructed with conventional CFAs are perceived in the images reconstructed with the proposed method.
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