Sony has developed a new CMOS camera sensor for phones that could revolutionise smartphone photography.
It works like sensors in its dedicated cameras, with DRAM built in as a third layer on top of the conventional two-layer stacked image sensor. This allows it to process images at far greater speeds than other smartphone sensors.
As a result, the new Sony sensor can capture stills of fast moving objects with less focal plane distortion. It is also capable of recording super slow motion video at up to a staggering 1,000 frames per second.
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The first feature reduces focal plane distortion because it is able to capture a still image of 19.3-megapixels at 1/120 second - approximately four times faster than other smartphone sensors. This means each pixel line is read more quickly and therefore renders more accurately.
The second feature can record 1080p video at a maximum of 1,000fps, which produces some incredible slow-mo effects.
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.
It can shoot video up to 4K (3840 x 2160) at 60fps.
We expect to see it implemented on a Sony phone sometime this year although this month's Mobile World Congress will likely come too soon. We also believe Sony will sell the sensor to other manufacturers as is the norm.