High quality slow motion video has been one of the most elusive features for smartphone cameras due to their inability to capture and process a tremendously high amount of frames per second; the latest iPhone’s camera is only able to capture up to 240 frames per second. But a newly announced CMOS sensor by Sony may finally bring the feature to smartphones in the near future.
Conventional smartphone camera CMOS sensors usually consist of two layers — the image sensor itself and a circuit section for signal processing – but Sony’s new CMOS sensor adds a third layer for DRAM, making it the first three-layer stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones in the market. The additional layer gives the sensor the ability to process signals over four times faster than conventional CMOS sensors.
The new 3-layer stacked sensor is capable of processing a still image at 19.3-megapixels in only 1/120 seconds. One of the advantages of the new sensor’s speed is the reduction of what is called focal plane distortion which happens when shooting fast-moving objects with a smartphone camera as they lack a mechanical shutter for exposure control.
The new sensor is also capable of capturing up to 1,000 frames per second at Full HD which is eight times faster than Sony’s previous smartphone camera sensor.
Sony did not announce when we can expect the new sensor to show up on new smartphones or whether the company will be keeping the technology exclusive to their devices. But this new development definitely marks a big step forward for smartphone camera technology and it is possible that other camera sensor manufacturers could follow suit with their own take on the technology.