Sony’s latest smartphone camera sensor can shoot slow-mo at 1,000fps

Sony's new mobile imaging sensor is definitely on steroids

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Highlights

    • New sensor can shoot full HD 1000fps slow-mo
    • Capable of capturing 19MP images at 30fps
    • No word on availability yet

There was a time when the only way to record slow-motion video was to either rent or buy one of those super expensive cameras that often cost more than a nice car. However, that started to change when we started seeing smartphones capture slow motion footage, starting with a measly 60 fps (if you can even call that slow motion) and now, frame rates as high as 240fps. Sony has now announced that they have successfully developed a mobile processor capable of capturing frame rates as high as 1000fps.

Sony has managed to achieve such high numbers by adding a layer of DRAM (1GB) between the top and bottom layers of the sensor. The three-layer CMOS sensor will be capable of pushing up to 1000fps in 1080p. Additionally, the sensor is also capable of shooting a 19.3 megapixel image every 1/120th of second, which Sony claims is four times faster than any of the mobile imaging sensors out there. The 1GB of RAM sandwiched into the sensor itself acts as a buffer for the sensor, taking the load off external ISP considerably.

sony-sensor-stack
Image Courtesy: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation

The sensor (which is yet to get a commercial name) has an effective resolution of 21.2 megapixels and falls under the 1/2.3 inch size category. Sony states that the sensor can capture photos at 30 frames per second in a resolution of 19.3 megapixels and 4K video at 60fps (currently 3 inch size category. Sony states that the sensor can capture photos at 30 frames per second in a resolution of 19.3 megapixels and 4K video at 60fps (currently 3 inch size category. Sony states that the sensor can capture photos at 30 frames per second in a resolution of 19.3 megapixels and 4K video at 60fps (currently even the IMX 318 can only shoot 4K video at 30fps) and full HD video at 120fps. The new sensor will be capable of shooting full HD video at a blistering 1000fps.

sony-specs

The good news is that most of the flagship devices use Sony’s imaging sensors (Apple’s iPhone, the Google Pixel, OnePlus 3T to name a few) it would be exciting to see true slow-motion make its way into the next generation of flagships. The bad news is that while Sony has announced the development of the sensor, it has not yet made public any timeline on the commercial availability of the sensor. The IMX 318 sensor was announced in February 2016, but didn’t make its way into phones till the end of the year (with the Google Pixel and the Apple iPhone 7) so it could be that the first devices with this new sensor will also follow a similar release timeline. You can view the video that Sony released to demo the power of this new sensor below.