Sharp has showcased three new Android smartphones with a stunning-sounded ability for slow motion video at 2,100 fps, designed to show a much smoother slow motion effect. We have seen slow motion video from a number of devices but none have approached this number of frame rates. However, the three new devices – the Sharp Aquos Zeta, Aquos Xx and Aquos Serie, use a clever software slow motion technique rather than actually recording frames at 2,100 fps. The software solution that Sharp are using in essence “fills in” the gaps when recording video.
One of the ways that slow motion video is captured is to record at a given framerate and play it back at a slower rate; a device may capture a video at 60 fps or perhaps 120 fps, then plays it back at 24 fps for the slow motion result. Where the technology is able to record at a higher framerate, this means that the resulting video is smooth. Sharp’s trick is to add in extra copied frames into the video being played back plus some reliance on post-processing in order to create both a smoother image and a better quality video. Where Sharp do not go into detail is the nature and type of post processing that the devices undertake between recording the video and playing it back to the customer; the software processing could make or break the process when it comes to quality!
As for the hardware itself, the Zeta, Xx and Serie smartphones use image sensors able to record at 210 fps (for a 480 by 854 pixel image) or 120 fps at 1080p (full HD). Sharp’s technology copies duplicates each frame ten times, so at 1080p the devices can produce 120 fps full HD slow motion video and I’ve included a YouTube video at the bottom of this article. And it’s great to see Sharp coming up with an ultra high frames per second slow motion video technology, although the proof of this particular pudding will be when customers and device reviewers experiment with the technology in their hands. This should not take too long as Sharp have confirmed each of the new Aquos devices are coming to Japan’s three main carriers, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank and KDDI. However, at the moment we have no word if these Android smartphones will appear elsewhere in the world but as soon as we hear anything, we will keep you posted.