Sony's new camera sensor can shoot 1080p video at 1000fps

While Sony's smartphone division isn't doing so hot on the sales front, Japanese company is continuing to innovate behind the scenes. Today, Sony they've developed the industry's first 3-Layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones, which is capable of capturing images of faster moving object as well as shooting 1080p video at up to 1000 frames per second.

Currently, the best specs for slow motion video available on smartphones is 720p at 240fps, which you'll find on the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7. Sony has more than quadrupled those figures — shooting at 1080p no less — which is quite frankly amazing.

Check out this sample footage of what this new sensor is capable of:

While the video capabilities are amazing, the new tech will also vastly improve the ability to shoot fast-moving objects with your smartphone while minimizing focal plane distortion. From the blog post:

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.

While Sony didn't offer any timelines or info as to when we'll see this new sensor implemented in a new phone, you can read the full nitty-gritty details behind the tech here and then start dreaming about the super cool footage you'll be able to record when this, eventually, comes to future smartphones.

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.

  • I want one!!
  • OOOH. MY.... YESSSSSSS!!!!
  • Also, just realized...I've been to that 'campus'! :O
  • Is that Japan somewhere? Cool xD
  • Great. They'll put those sensors in every other phone camera but their own.
  • They will make more money doing so.
  • That's how you generate revenue.
  • remind myself to never go near your business strategy
  • Excellent, I can't wait for this to show up in some phones.
  • Sure hope this ends up in the Note 8!
  • I guess expandable storage is going to be mandatory. File sizes are going to be enormous.
  • I think extra internal storage would be better in this case, since I'm not sure external storage would be able to be written to that fast
  • I didn't know the Pixel and S7 could shoot 240 in hd. I'm way behind :)
    Still, burst mode was good enough for me on an X Pure. i would like this though.
    Is this taking more features from a DSLR while not fully replacing it. This will be a reason for flagships to charge over a 1000 again. There will always be a must have feature I guess.
  • DSLRs does not have slomo capability beyond 60fps or 120 fps HD. So it's not actually replacing DSLRs. I can say it's making the phone camera do more what DSLRs can't... super slomo.
  • Seriously? 1080p and not 8k resolution? Get with the times Sony!
  • Why would you want to record in 8k if you don't have an 8k display to view it on?
  • Me thinks 'twas in jest!
  • This is so funny.. i'd rather have super slowmo than a stuttering 8k video when i play it on my video players coz it hs too much resolution. Also imagine, 8k will be a very huge videos of cats.
  • This sounds great
  • What are the chances this tech will find it's way in other manufacturers phones- lg, Samsung etc..? Thanks for any information Oh and how long till we could expect to see it implicated? Would this require a special or latest and greatest processor or are the current ones capable, but just lacking the actual camera hardware?
  • Pretty good. The camera sensors in the Samsung and LG phones are Sony. Probably the Pixel and iPhone too.
  • Definitely the Pixel.
  • "Sony didn't offer any timelines or info as to when we'll see this new sensor implemented in a new phone"
  • Very high considering they do it already
  • LG V40 I'm planning for the future.
  • Wow another Sony breakthrough...
    ...that everyone will forget about tomorrow.
  • Including Sony. They'll sell it to everybody else and forget to put it on their phone.
  • So they seem to have interpolated 15fps footage to 60fps for the youtube video, am I understanding that correctly? Isn't that representative of a hardware limitation of sorts? The raw output won't look smooth until you copy it off your phone and interpolate and re-encode the video to something like 30 or 60fps in video editing software. If the hardware was capable of creating 30 or 60fps footage at that kind of capture rate, they wouldn't have said "960fps capture --> 15fps playback" right? They would have said nothing about the playback rate specifically and only mentioned the capture rate.
  • What? :D
  • Phones using that hardware aren't going to produce video that looks that smooth at that super high capture rate on their own. It's going to be Super slow mo footage, but it will look considerably choppier until you run the video through editing software outside of your phone. If the hardware itself was capable of producing 60fps video like you see in the youtube video while capturing at 960fps, they wouldn't have mentioned "15fps" playback in the upper left hand corner of the video.
  • Ok thanks for the clarification. Sounds reasonable enough.
  • Obviously the slomo 960fps will be in 15fps since it was said in the video. They maybe uploaded it in 60fps to make the non slomo part as smooth as possible. In turn, it will interpolate during post the 15fps part into a 60fps as well... Obviously again it will still look like 15fps on super slomo part even if there are 60 frames, since only 15 unique frames are still being shown. This is all normal since you cannot actually upload multiple cuts of video on one yt video with different framerates. I'm guessing you dont process videos that much. Nothing sinister here at all. It does not make sense if you want to match the 15fps slomo to all parts of the video and i'm not sure if you can do a variable fps on a youtube video.
  • Plz put this in the Pixel 2 + water resistance & I could gaf less about the bezels
  • I'd be willing to pay well over 1k for phones
  • I used to feel like that but I'm starting to change.
    Maybe on another note, outside of that, nah. There's a lot of great devices today for > $1000
  • < $1000
  • That is amazing.
  • All I know for sure is that guy is a horrible pitcher. Just absolutely terrible.
  • I want this now. Kinda hope they make a 12.3MP version of it for dem 1.55 microns. :) Though 1.22 microns with a 21MP resolution is pretty darn good too.
  • Bad ass!
  • Can any current phone storage write data at that sort of speed?