Sony's new camera sensor can shoot stunning slow motion videos, four times faster than before

Sony's new camera sensor can shoot stunning slow motion videos, four times faster than before
We all know that slow motion can make everything look epic. That's not an opinion, it's a fact, and you know it. But shooting slow-mo videos with your smartphone can prove quite challenging. Smartphones are just not designed with high-speed video capturing in mind, and the latest flagships, such as the iPhone 7 Plus, can achieve speed of merely 240 frames per second.

Well, Sony is here to change that. The company has been supplying camera modules for a variety of smartphone manufacturer for years and it's widely regarded as one of the best camera makers in the industry, so it's only natural for it to try and one-up itself and the competition. Said “one-up” comes in the form of a new CMOS sensor that packs its own dedicated DRAM.

Up until now, the conventional CMOS sensors consisted of two layers – one being the image sensor itself, and the other being a circuit section for processing the signals that the image sensor produces. Now Sony added a third component, creating the industry's first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor, packing its own DRAM. The added memory allows Sony's new sensor to process a still image of 19.3 MP in only 1/120 of a second. That's approximately four times faster than Sony's previous model with the same pixel count. The higher speed of reading each pixel line should result in less distortion when taking photos of fast moving objects.

Additionally, Sony's new sensor will be able to shoot slow motion videos with a speed of up to 1,000 frames per second, provided the software controlling it can handle such speeds. Right now, the flagship smartphones reach speeds that are more than four times slower than that, with the maximum being 240 frames per second. And Sony's new camera module can actually shoot the mind-boggling slow-mo in 1920x1080 pixels, making for a full HD slow motion goodness.

The slow motion capture can be set to start automatically when a fast-moving object is detected, and since it's stored in the sensor's own DRAM, it shouldn't affect camera performance at all. This means that you should get the same smooth experience with both the slow motion video, and regular one.

We, for one, can't wait for the new camera module to hit some commercial smartphones. We'd love to see it in action ourselves.

source: Sony



1. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Thats great and all but Sony usually gets crushed when it comes to final sample reviews or comparisons. Thats a shame too because they make great sensors.

6. nh1402

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Sony's own phones do, yes. But most Smartphones still use their sensors.

7. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Oh please. The XZ's camera performs the same, if not better than other flagships. A quote from AA's review: "So, there you have it for this in-depth review of the Sony Xperia XZ! It has to be admitted that I do really like this phone, and it has been a long time since a Sony smartphone has truly impressed me. The Xperia XZ has got a refreshing, new, and beautiful design which is still true to Sony, and also features a beautiful display, excellent performance, and a really great camera."

9. nh1402

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

I agree that the XZ should put Sony's camera woes behind it for their own phones, but not many of the big reviewers out there review the Sony phones, and if they do they're bias towards iPhones *cough* phonearena and MKBHD *cough*

18. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

mkhbd is ALWAYS against the Apple products.

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5810; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

What are you talking about? MKBHD always carries an iPhone along with an Android And he's has been using macOS over Windows for 5+ years too

20. Jason2k13

Posts: 1478; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

When it comes to auto-mode, Sony is still below other flagships. It's very inconsistent, you either get a good or bad shot.

14. peace247 unregistered

Sony is the king when it comes to sensor. Every professional mirrorless use sony sensor. Even the super high end medium formats such as hasselblad and fuji gfx 50s use Bayer sensors that are sony.

27. dimas

Posts: 3446; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Try xperia xz and x compact if there's a sony showroom near you. Don't always rely on reviews, you've got to see the real thing.

29. Remmy

Posts: 189; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Remember when GSMArena made a blind comparison between the Galaxy S6, iPhone 6s and the Z5? The Z5 won by a mile in daylight shots, but their own review says otherwise - the Z5 came in last. I honestly wouldn't solely base the camera performance on reviews since we all have our own preferences in how a picture should look like.

2. phonester

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 27, 2016

And Sony won't use it itself.

3. dnomadic

Posts: 449; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Well at least it will be great in all other than Sony devices.

8. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Here a comparison against the Pixel. Can we now quit this "Xperia cameras suck" bs? They have made a lot of improvements since the Z5, X performance and XZ.

10. dnomadic

Posts: 449; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Xperia camera have traditionally been trash. This coming from one that actually likes Sony and their phone designs. I watched the video and yes the manual mode is good (as it is with any camera with manual mode) but the algorithms used for the auto mode (mode most often used) is still below par when comparing to other mainstream phones and some of the cheap-o Chinese devices. They do not provide the most appealing shots. They are improved but they still have work to do. GREAT SENSORS!!

13. dnomadic

Posts: 449; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Not to mention DR... DR on the Pixel as well as Samung and LG top tier devices well beyond what is provided by the auto mode on Sony devices.

4. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Shame that Sony's image processing algorithm is trash and other companies can utilize it better.

15. peace247 unregistered

Hey plastic i see that u are not stupid as others but why so hate on samsung articles?

22. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Because they deserve it and their s-sheep fans made me hate Samsung more. They are the worst.

23. peace247 unregistered

ikr ....i feel same...but sometimes it's fun to act as catalyst in their fight lol

24. peace247 unregistered

I hate both isheep and ssheep

30. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It's true that their s-sheep fanboys are horrible, but they sure aren't the worst fanboys out there, they're close thought. All that said, haters are equally as bad.

31. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

If I had to choose between iSheep and Ssheep i.e. Mxy & Techie, I'd choose Mxy just because his comments are at least funny.

32. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'd choose anyone over that techie guy LOL.

5. surethom

Posts: 1748; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Very nice finally 1080p slow mo, just a pity every other companys software is superior to Sonys phone division.

11. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

This is the kind of development we need and not such like edge displays, second ticker displays, big displays getting even bigger each year, modular phones, absence of 3,5mm jack... Now what we badly need is a breakthrough in battery technology.

16. peace247 unregistered

And that edge display, bigger display brand will use the same sensor and will put all the others to shame. Even sony itself.

12. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Also note: Max of 4 seconds in 15fps playback and 2 seconds in 30 fps playback. It has limited DRAM (at the moment). Notice how it only has 4 seconds of 15 fps playback.

17. peace247 unregistered slow mo even a 4 sec video takes as much memory as a full length video. Even high end consumer cameras can't record much in slowmo. Only 4-5 secs.

19. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Seeing how they put 960fps at quite high resolution in the latest rx100 V this is no surprise. Sony makes amazing camera tech and they keep innovating in that department.

21. Abdbaas

Posts: 163; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

I hope Samsung is going to use these in the Note 8 since they decided not to upgrade the camera on the S8. Idiots..

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