Today during a press event in Shenzhen China, Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek announced how their new Octa-core processors will be the first to output genuine slow motion video with the option to create 480fps 1080p video with playback of 1/16 speed. Super-Slow Motion will be available on both the MediaTek MT6595 and MT6795 processors announced earlier today.
Nicole Scott was on-hand in Shenzhen China, were she caught up with a live demo of the new Super-Slow Motion technology from MediaTek. Check the video below:
Before we jump into the deep details about today’s launch and the new Super-Slow Motion video technology on offer from MediaTek, let’s quickly take a look at the current state of slow motion on today’s crop of high-end smartphones.
Not All Slow Motion is Equal
When it comes to high-end smartphones, in the last 6 months or so we have seen plenty of really strong camera offerings from Sony, Samsung and HTC, each with their unique designs and feature sets, but one feature that consistently appears on these flagship devices is ‘slow motion’ video. A few months ago we took a fairly detailed look at the slow motion video features of four high-end phones, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One M8 and the LG G Pro 2.
You can watch our ultimate slow motion video below, which also features Nicole Scott setting her hands on fire!
What we found when we compared the slow motion features of all three devices was that they each took a slightly different approach, with each approach yielding varying results. The LG G Pro 2 offered 720p video recording at 120fps which was then simply slowed down to a 60fps, i.e. half speed. There was no option to export the video in slow motion which was only available for playback on the device itself.
The Sony Xperia Z2 had a much more evolved interface which allows you to decide at what point in the video you could slow down the playback, with real-time editing. Sony also let you re-render the video as a new file, so it can then be exported to your PC, the cloud or Youtube etc.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 employs a much more rudimentary approach with its 720p slow motion reduced from 30fps to a mere 15fps after applying slow motion. The end results are far from perfect, with the devices’ awesome sensor impaired by the choppy, low frame rate footage produced. The HTC One M8 will also offer 720p slow motion recording in a simple way that is similar to the S5, but with a much higher frame rate of 30fps at output.
MediaTek Take Aim with Best ‘Super-Slow Motion’
So how does the new Super-Slow Motion fit in to the current crop outlined above? The announcement today describes a slow motion feature that will work with 1080p video, that’s a big step up from 720p in terms of pixels and the processing power needed to manipulate them. It also adds some credence to MediaTek’s claims that they are adding quality features that will allow the company to compete in the high-end device space. The press announcement today talks about the company offering premium technology – the details we see here certainly seem to back that up.
Recording at 480fps at 1080p, the MT6595 and MT6795 will be capable of slowing down the video by as much as 1/16 speed. This should translate into 30fps of 1080p video at even the slowest speeds, meaning the MediaTek solution is very well placed to compete with current generation smartphones. In the demo shown today MediaTek used a Sony IMX220, 20.7MP sensor similar to what we have seen on the Sony Xperia Z2. So far we are not sure which other sensors will support Super-Slow Motion.
Users will also have the opportunity to re-render the video footage with what seems to be a similar concept to what we saw on the Xperia Z2; you can decide which parts of the video will be slowed down and by how much using a video timeline. The end result can also be saved and output as a new file.
Competing in the High-End Space
Certainly on paper, the MT6595 and MT6795 are equipped with the goods to deliver a genuine high-end smartphone experience. Added to the slow motion features, we also have 150Mbps/50Mbps LTE support, native 2K display display support, hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD video record and playback, as well as multi-mode wireless charging. MediaTek currently support for 20MP camera with dual ISP and high-end audio with a DAC supporting 110db SNR.
There is also support for local tone mapping in HDR mode, plus multi-frame noise reduction, 6-axis video stabilization and advanced face beautification in video. All in all, these new octa-core processors seem very well equipped to deal with the demands of high-end smartphone integration.
MediaTek has typically targeted entry-level to mid-level device designs in the past, so it will be very interesting to see the company now target device design wins further up the technology food chain. Time will tell if they are able to compete with Qualcomm and Intel in this space. Expect devices featuring the MedaiTek MT6595 and MT6795 to arrive at the end of this year.