Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Beginner’s guide to shooting mind-boggling 960 fps videos

first_imgSony’s new Xperia XZ Premium phone can theoretically shoot slow-motion videos at a mind-boggling 960-frames-per-second. The technology, or rather the sensor that it employs to enable such a feature has been borrowed from Sony’s in-house RX100 IV point and shoot camera. Only miniaturised to fit the phone form factor. But while digital cameras can afford the luxury of protruding lenses, for a phone, to accommodate a similar sensor inside is no walk in the park.Why 960 fps videos are such a big deal?For your reference, the slowest slow-motion video captures available in a commercially available phone right now can’t exceed 240 fps. Sony’s new phone can record videos 4X times slower than the slowest in the trade.What’s the tech behind the Xperia XZ Premium’s 960 fps videos?Sony uses a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor — as opposed to using a conventional two-layer sensor – inside the Xperia XZ Premium that allows the system to accommodate a 128MB DRAM layer of memory in between the pixel section and the circuitry. It’s actually the DRAM layer that does all the heavy-duty stuff storing all the visual information the sensor takes in until it’s ready to be used by the rest of the phone, primarily the image processor. Since the system has been designed for speed Sony calls it Motion Eye.How do you record 960 fps videos using the Xperia XZ Premium?The 960 fps slow-motion mode is activated via a dedicated toggle inside the camera app. But if you thought freezing a live-action moment was as simple as pushing a toggle, well, it’s not that simple. Rather, it’s quite complex. For one, it’s going to take some time getting used to, and even when you do get used to it, recording a 960 fps slow-mo the way you imagined would be a hit or miss really. Timing and proper lighting are crucial.advertisementThere are two ways in which you can record a super slow-mo with the Xperia XZs. You can either record a regular video interrupted by short spats of slow-mos or a full-scale slow-mo depending on the situation at hand. Since, 9 out of 10 times, your subject would be in some sort of motion (because, that’s the whole point of recording a slow-mo) you’ll have to be quick to make that decision. While the latter is quite straight-forward, the former would be a little more adventurous.You begin by pushing the super slow-mo toggle that sits next to the standard video recording toggle. Once enabled, the process begins with a standard recording. You then wait for that perfect moment you want to freeze in time and push the same toggle again. The sensor would then capture a super slow-motion 960 fps video for a period of 0.182 seconds (only because that’s all the time it takes to fill up the 128MB DRAM layer of memory) before going standard again. Pushing the toggle once again would capture one more freeze-frame. So on and so forth. The recording — when played — would then play as standard video interrupted by 6 seconds of dramatic slow-mo depending on how many you recorded.But, is it perfect?The technology that Sony has employed inside the Xperia XZ Premium is fantastic, but, it has its shortcomings. To begin with, you can record super slow-mos at mere 720p — even as the main camera can record 4K — and because it’s all a game of speed and accuracy, more often than not, focus would be an issue especially when shooting close ups. The farther the subject, the better the focus you would be getting in your videos. As for the video quality, well, a lot of it would depend on the available light. Since the sensor operates at a much higher ISO in super slow-mo, the quality of videos shot goes for a spin. Even more so in tricky and low light.Shooting 960 fps videos isn’t the only USP of the Xperia XZ PremiumThe Xperia XZ Premium sports a 19-megapixel camera on the rear — f/2.0 aperture — assisted with predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, but no Optical Image Stabilisation. There is EIS for videos though. But, more importantly, for the first time in a long time, Sony has favoured larger individual pixels that should technically increase light sensitivity resulting in better low-light photos.The Xperia XZ Premium’s rear camera — Motion Eye – also apparently has a knack for moving objects. As soon as you fire up the camera app and should there be some sort of motion in view the phone’s sensor is able to predict the same. The sensor then (predictively) captures three random shots of the object in motion before you actually press the shutter key. The focus is on getting the best possible — blur-free — result out of the given scenario. Once you’ve taken the picture, the camera app would show you four different cases of the same photo — three taken automatically by the sensor and one taken by you — and you can then chose to keep either all of them or select the best possible outcome.advertisementJust so you know, predictive capture works by default in the Xperia XZ Premium, which means that it is active all the time. The mode, however, springs into action only when it detects motion.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium quick review: A return to formlast_img

first_imgSony’s new Xperia XZ Premium phone can theoretically shoot slow-motion videos at a mind-boggling 960-frames-per-second. The technology, or rather the sensor that it employs to enable such a feature has been borrowed from Sony’s in-house RX100 IV point and shoot camera. Only miniaturised to fit the phone form factor. But while digital cameras can afford the luxury of protruding lenses, for a phone, to accommodate a similar sensor inside is no walk in the park.Why 960 fps videos are such a big deal?For your reference, the slowest slow-motion video captures available in a commercially available phone right now can’t exceed 240 fps. Sony’s new phone can record videos 4X times slower than the slowest in the trade.What’s the tech behind the Xperia XZ Premium’s 960 fps videos?Sony uses a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor — as opposed to using a conventional two-layer sensor – inside the Xperia XZ Premium that allows the system to accommodate a 128MB DRAM layer of memory in between the pixel section and the circuitry. It’s actually the DRAM layer that does all the heavy-duty stuff storing all the visual information the sensor takes in until it’s ready to be used by the rest of the phone, primarily the image processor. Since the system has been designed for speed Sony calls it Motion Eye.How do you record 960 fps videos using the Xperia XZ Premium?The 960 fps slow-motion mode is activated via a dedicated toggle inside the camera app. But if you thought freezing a live-action moment was as simple as pushing a toggle, well, it’s not that simple. Rather, it’s quite complex. For one, it’s going to take some time getting used to, and even when you do get used to it, recording a 960 fps slow-mo the way you imagined would be a hit or miss really. Timing and proper lighting are crucial.advertisementThere are two ways in which you can record a super slow-mo with the Xperia XZs. You can either record a regular video interrupted by short spats of slow-mos or a full-scale slow-mo depending on the situation at hand. Since, 9 out of 10 times, your subject would be in some sort of motion (because, that’s the whole point of recording a slow-mo) you’ll have to be quick to make that decision. While the latter is quite straight-forward, the former would be a little more adventurous.You begin by pushing the super slow-mo toggle that sits next to the standard video recording toggle. Once enabled, the process begins with a standard recording. You then wait for that perfect moment you want to freeze in time and push the same toggle again. The sensor would then capture a super slow-motion 960 fps video for a period of 0.182 seconds (only because that’s all the time it takes to fill up the 128MB DRAM layer of memory) before going standard again. Pushing the toggle once again would capture one more freeze-frame. So on and so forth. The recording — when played — would then play as standard video interrupted by 6 seconds of dramatic slow-mo depending on how many you recorded.But, is it perfect?The technology that Sony has employed inside the Xperia XZ Premium is fantastic, but, it has its shortcomings. To begin with, you can record super slow-mos at mere 720p — even as the main camera can record 4K — and because it’s all a game of speed and accuracy, more often than not, focus would be an issue especially when shooting close ups. The farther the subject, the better the focus you would be getting in your videos. As for the video quality, well, a lot of it would depend on the available light. Since the sensor operates at a much higher ISO in super slow-mo, the quality of videos shot goes for a spin. Even more so in tricky and low light.Shooting 960 fps videos isn’t the only USP of the Xperia XZ PremiumThe Xperia XZ Premium sports a 19-megapixel camera on the rear — f/2.0 aperture — assisted with predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, but no Optical Image Stabilisation. There is EIS for videos though. But, more importantly, for the first time in a long time, Sony has favoured larger individual pixels that should technically increase light sensitivity resulting in better low-light photos.The Xperia XZ Premium’s rear camera — Motion Eye – also apparently has a knack for moving objects. As soon as you fire up the camera app and should there be some sort of motion in view the phone’s sensor is able to predict the same. The sensor then (predictively) captures three random shots of the object in motion before you actually press the shutter key. The focus is on getting the best possible — blur-free — result out of the given scenario. Once you’ve taken the picture, the camera app would show you four different cases of the same photo — three taken automatically by the sensor and one taken by you — and you can then chose to keep either all of them or select the best possible outcome.advertisementJust so you know, predictive capture works by default in the Xperia XZ Premium, which means that it is active all the time. The mode, however, springs into action only when it detects motion.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium quick review: A return to formlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *