Samsung unveils the new 12MP sensor that lets Galaxy S9 do its Super Slow Motion magic


Samsung has a brand new camera sensor in the Galaxy S9 and S9+, and it just detailed all of its specs, putting to rest all speculation how does it do the Super Slow Motion capture that allows its new flagships to record 720p clips with 960fps.

Basically, the new 12MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L3, which is already in mass production (duh), has its own stack of fast DDR4 memory attached under the typical analog logic layer that processes the electric signal coming from the pixel array layer above it, into digital code. The 3-stack setup is needed because recording 960fps slow-motion video results in a gigantic amount of frames that have to be stored and process quickly, and sending them to the chipset to process, and storing them in the phone's regular RAM would gum up the speed required to record the Super Slow Motion footage that the S9 is capable of. 

Sony uses a very similar solution for its own slow-motion solution since the Xperia XZ Premium, and does have the option in its new XZ2 and its Compact version, too. Samsung, however, is taking advantage of the third memory layer stacked directly onto the CMOS sensor further, by using it to also store imagery of fast-moving objects, avoiding the typical blur and jello effects that come with such capture. 

In addition, the ultrafast sensor storage allows for 3-Dimensional Noise Reduction (3DNR) for brighter, noise-free pictures in low-light, and enhanced real-time HDR imaging, all aided by the record wide f/1.5 aperture on the Galaxy S9 and S9+, which on top of that is of a variable type, and can be shrunk to f/2.4 when there is enough light around. We already previewed the S9 camera with some samples from the MWC, and the results from Samsung's newest ISOCELL Fast 2L3 sensor are very encouraging.

source: Samsung

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21 Comments

1. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

lol the Emoji-stuff looks so cheap - everything else seems nice though.

2. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I thought it all looked good (except for the purple phone).

9. yalokiy

Posts: 923; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Their purple is closer to pink, wish it was more like dark purple or even dark violet.

20. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

you gotta see it in person, colors shifts a lot. Also The putple shouldn't be pink in person.

10. japkoslav

Posts: 1465; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

To be honest, the whole "emoji" category is pretty useless, no matter how you put it. BTW: This adaptation has hand and fingers ... I wonder, can you make "middle finger" emoji? I'd buy that for a dollar!

21. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

let the kids have fun. At least they ain't advertising it as a lead or one of the main features

14. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

No cheaper then on that other phone. But I don't really care what it looks like on either phone, not my thing.

3. TerryD

Posts: 540; Member since: May 09, 2017

The variable aperture mechanism is external?

4. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

PA, Sony's Motion Eye can also reduce the jello effect. It's called "Anti-Distortion Shutter" and was introduced with the XZ Premium one year ago...

6. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

PA seems so excited now about this feature.. Cant even imagine the joy if iphone 15 brings it...

7. adecvat

Posts: 630; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Already pwned by Sony.

8. shield

Posts: 824; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Sony 960fps in FHD R.I.P Samung is old.

13. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Sony only works for 0.1 second, Samsung works for 0.2 at 720p. S9 does capture 4k 120 fps and 1080p 480 fps though.

15. worldpeace

Posts: 3106; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And the most important thing, that slow motion can be automatically triggered, because it's almost impossible to manually capture something in that split second (i.e balloon pooping)

16. adibuyono

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Sony also work for 0.2 second in 720p mode. And Samsung Galaxy S9 can't capture 4k in 120 fps yet (I knew you are going to argue that Exynos 9810 has such feature, but sadly, Samsung just disabled it in their S9). I do agree Samsung has implement a better way in slow motion compared to Sony by granting the feature with smart A.I to automatically captured the slow motion.

17. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Yes, sony can do 0.2 seconds on 720p too. My comment just meant that the two phones are comparable in slow-mo capture and it's not a slam dunk by the Xperia. I would personally prefer 0.2 sec 720p over 0.1 second 1080p. The Anandtech article says that it does indeed do 4k 120. https://www.anandtech.com/show/12460/samsung-announces-the-galaxy-s9 Not sure whether it does have it or not, but pretty positive. Since it's saved as 4x slowed down 4k 30 fps, so it's not necessary for the SoC to support 4k 120 fps encoding or decoding.

18. adecvat

Posts: 630; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Nope, S845 lacks of support 4k120fps, so Samsung disabled it on Exynos version.

19. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

They are not saving it as 4k 120. They are saving it as 4k 30 fps, 4x slowed down. And the 845 supports that.

22. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Meanwhile on ZX2 1920x1080 (1080p HD) (960 fps)

23. hellhr

Posts: 37; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

Not happy with Emoji. Three people tried, no emoji looks alike at all...

24. rsiders

Posts: 1899; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

The rest of the stuff(ARE Emoji and Super slow motion) probably be used very sparingly if at all by me. I'm more excited about shooting 4k@60fps and being able to slow that footage down in post for the highest quality slow motion videos along with regular 4k footage. That's the real gem here.

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