Sony has been a big name when it comes to cameras and related products however the company hasn’t been clearly living up to its potential when it comes to smartphone cameras. That could possibly change in the near future however. Sony has now developed a new CMOS camera sensor for smartphones that could revolutionize smartphone photography (or videography if that was a thing).
With the stacked high-speed, low power consumption, high-capacity DRAM, the new sensor can read one still image of 19.3 million pixels in only 1/120 second (approximately 4x faster than conventional products), reducing the time lapse for reading each pixel line. This technology minimizes the focal plane distortion in still images that tends to occur when shooting fast-moving subjects on smartphones, which lack a mechanical shutter for controlling exposure time.
The new sensor is the industry’s first 3-Layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM which can shoot 1080p slow-motion video at a blistering 1,000 frames per second. To put it in normal english, Sony added RAM to the image sensor to enable high speed capture, eight times faster than the current competition. High end smartphone cameras such as the iPhone 7, Google Pixel or any other that you think is the best, cap out at 120fps at 1080p or 240fps at 720p so obviously, 1000fps at 1080p is a big deal.
The camera captures two streams one of which is at 1000fps and the other at a regular speed both of which are then stored onto the on-chip RAM (independent of your device RAM) for later processing. The connection between the camera and the smartphone’s chipset is slower and takes about 1/30th of a second to store images while the new sensor can do the same job in 1/120th of a second.
This means that the Sony sensor can capture stills of fast moving objects with less focal plane distortion. Here’s a 64x slow-mo demo – from 960fps to 15fps – captured with the new 3-layer image sensor.
The sensor itself has an effective pixel count of 5520 x 3840 (21.2-megapixels), but still images are shot at 19.3-megapixels in 4:3, 17.1-megapixels in 16:9. The Japanese giant hasn’t offered any timelines or info as to when we’ll see this new sensor implemented in an actual smartphone but I hope it is soon.
Source : Sony