Sony made a smartphone camera sensor that shoots video at 1,000fps

Capturing super-slow-mo on the go

Sony has developed an image sensor for smartphones that's capable of shooting video at an astounding 1,000 frames per second (fps).

The sensor takes the conventional two-layered image sensor concept and stacks a third layer of dynamic random access memory, giving the sensor faster readout speeds that can prevent distortion during high-speed photography and record videos at a significantly higher frame rate.

According to Sony, the sensor can read a single image of 19.3 million pixels in just 1/120 of a second – a figure the electronics giant claims is four times faster than the IMX318 sensor it announced almost exactly a year ago.

This not only means less blurring and stretching when photographing moving objects, but also comes in handy when recording 1080p video at up to 1,000fps.

Image Credit: Sony
(Image: © Sony)

By contrast, Apple's smartphones have had similar capabilities used for slow-motion video since the iPhone 5S, though they could only crank it up to 120fps. The iPhone 6 family doubled that rate to 240fps, but at the cost of a lower resolution of 720p.

Unfortunately, Sony didn't offer any details on whether the high-speed sensor is heading to any future phones in its flagship Xperia line, although our fingers are crossed that we'll hear more about what the company has in store during Mobile World Congress 2017, which kicks off in just under three weeks.

Sony showed off its three-layer image sensor in a demo reel which you can watch below, in which video shot at 960fps is played back at 15fps – filling a lot of slo-mo in a relatively small window of time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about how great Persona 4 is.