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1080p 240 fps slow motion video capture is coming

OmniVision has just announced a new image sensor for smartphones that is capable of 240 fps video capture at 1080p.

Published onJune 3, 2016

Slow motion video capture is a nifty feature that you’ll find included with many of today’s modern smartphones, but 120 fps (frames per second) and 240 fps options are typically limited to 720p capture or rather poor VGA resolutions. That looks set to change though, as OmniVision has just announced a new image sensor, designed for smartphones, that is capable of 240 fps video capture at a full 1080p resolution.

OmniVision’s new image sensor is known as the OV12890. If you’re interested in the specifications, the OB12890 is a 12 megapixel sensor that boasts relatively large 1.55um sized pixels for superior light capture, combined with a 12-bit ADC, phase detection auto-focus, and HDR support. All of this means that it should be highly competitive with the quality and features already found in today’s high-end smartphones. The sensor can fit into 10 x 10 mm camera modules with a height of just 6 mm.

“As cameras for premium smartphones continue to improve, we see the resolution race slowing down and increasing emphasis placed on pixel performance and image sensor size as key to ever-higher quality mobile images and video,” – James Liu, senior technical marketing manager at OmniVision

As for video capture, the sensor is capable of recording video at its full 12 megapixel resolution at 45 fps, 4K and 2K video at 60 fps, and 1080p video at 240 fps, thanks to the use of high speed D-PHY and C-PHY interfaces. Smartphones will also need a high performance processor and plenty of memory bandwidth to handle all of this extra data, so this sensor is definitely aimed at the very top-tier of the market.

The 240 fps 1080p image sensor is currently available for sampling and is expected to enter mass production by the end of the year. So we could see some of next year’s flagships boasting some improved slow motion video capture capabilities.

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