Some of the most popular devices today are already capable of recording slow-motion videos with their built-in cameras. Apple says its iPhone 5s is able to record 120fps slo-mo at 720p quality, and Samsung’s top-shelf phones like the Note 3 have three slow motion options (1/2, 1/4, and 1/8x regular speeds), but the maximum effect is also reached at 120fps and 720p. None current smartphone or tablet is capable of capturing slow motion footage at a full 1080p resolution. That's where the just-unveiled Toshiba 240fps at 1080p Bright Mode comes in, as this should be not only the first sensor to offer such high quality, but also - to bring it at super slow motion speeds.
Bright Mode also increases the electrical charge of each pixel two-fold, and this allows it to arrive at a four times brighter image output compared to regular CMOS sensors. The technology also promises to reduce the number of dropped frames in interlaced capture.
“Bright Mode technology contributes to a wide variety of movie applications, such as high-speed recording, slow-motion movie, and fast-action cameras. It improves video viewing, especially in slow motion, which is timely given the explosion of mobile applications where the exchange of short movie clips is gaining in popularity,” Toshiba’s TAEC image sensor VP Andrew Burt said.
The first Bright Mode sample sensors will start arriving in the first quarter of 2014, but it will take a little more until (and if) we see actual devices with the new sensor.
+- Press Release
CONSUMER ELECTONRICS SHOW (CES) LAS VEGAS, Nev., January 7, 2014 — Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., (TAEC)*, a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, today announces its Bright Mode technology. The Bright Mode CMOS image sensor technology allows smartphones and tablet PCs to record Full-HD video at 240 frames per second (fps), the industry's highest frame rate1. Additionally, Bright Mode realizes high quality, slow motion video playback at one-eighth the standard speed2 offering new dimensions in camera imaging during high-speed video.
"Bright Mode technology continues the Toshiba track record of delivering best-in-class image quality through continuous innovation," says Andrew Burt, vice president of the Image Sensor Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC. "Bright Mode technology contributes to a wide variety of movie applications, such as high-speed recording, slow-motion movie, and fast-action cameras. It improves video viewing, especially in slow motion, which is timely given the explosion of mobile applications where the exchange of short movie clips is gaining in popularity."
High-speed video recording requires a high-frame rate with short exposure time, which results in underexposed images. Bright Mode technology doubles the exposure time by adopting interlaced3 video output, not the progressive4 output that standard CMOS sensors use. Bright Mode also employs charge binning5, which doubles the electrical charge of each pixel, resulting in an image four times brighter than that from a CMOS sensor without Bright Mode. Toshiba will also provide an interlace-progressive conversion program that enables users to offer high quality progressive video with low deterioration, without changing frame rate.
Sample sensors incorporating Bright Mode will be available in Q1 2014.