Slo-mo video capture has become a staple feature on high-end smartphones in the past few years. But even though 120fps slo-mo is a good start, all the current image sensors can only capture footage at 720p, which isn’t really good enough for the modern HD world.
Luckily, new sensors starting to enter production are going to change all that. Omnivision has a new 12 megapixel sensor that promises better slo-mo and superior low-light photos.
The standout feature on Omnivision’s new OV12890 is HD slo-mo. It will capture 240fps video at full 1080p HD. For comparison, the iPhone 6s will only shoot 120fps at 1080p, and to get to 240fps, the quality has to drop to 720p.
If you want better quality and slightly fewer frames, there’s also other combinations available. The OV12890 will shoot with its full 12 megapixel resolution at 45fps, or 4K video at buttery-smooth 60fps.
Other standout features include extra-large 155um pixels, which should provide better low-light photos. The bigger the pixel, the more light it can absorb, so the better it will work in low light. There’s also phase detection auto-focus and support for HDR images.
It’s difficult to get excited about a list of specs for a 6mm high piece of silicon. But this sensor promises some real improvements in picture and video quality, provided that someone put it into an equally capable smartphone. Capturing high framerate video with good quality requires more than just a good sensor — it also takes a quality processor and sufficient memory bandwidth to process and store all the data. But assuming the likes of Apple and Samsung can handle that, 2017’s smartphones could have some seriously kick-ass cameras.