The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 had a few leaks in the past weeks concerning the slow motion mode and the company even released a water balloon sample. We decided to wait for the real reviews and samples before making an opinion on this phone which is destined for the Chinese market first. The phone is supposed to shoot 960fps in 1080p mode which is exciting as an initial spec matching the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ3 phones in resolution and frame rate but we really have no slow motion duration spec yet.
After looking at the samples we have seen a clear indication of software interpolation to fill in video frames between high frame rate recorded video which looks to be 240p at 1080p and then conformed in software to 960fps on the fly using the phone’s hardware. The results are very good and beat anything we have seen before on phone frame rate interpolation which is a good thing, however, it looks like the phone is faking its way into slow motion 960fps.
NVIDIA has been hard at work on the problem posed by high frame rate interpolation of video data shot on lower fps. We have had this tech since the late 1990s with the advent of Twixtor and refined over the decades in systems like Twixtor Pro and Adobe’s Optical Flow in After Effects. You are still not getting real temporal detail data since the frames are created by extrapolating velocity and direction vectors plus pixel values between frames to get the result.
We explored this technique in our post on interpolation here and why it is no substitute from a real slow motion camera solution. NVIDIA’s new method uses machine learning along with 11,000 videos to arrive at a more convincing result. Considering the relatively small sample size we can imagine a future where hundreds of thousands or millions of footage samples are used to generate near flawless interpolation. This technique takes some serious computation and data sets so as of now it is not really ready for the mass market but that could change with the cloud very soon.
The slow motion phone that was gathering a lot of interest regarding it’s capability was the Lenovo Zuk Z2 Pro with a spec reported to be 960fps. Such a spec would leapfrog the current iPhone 6s and Google’s Nexus 6P 240fps 720p spec. However it seems such bold claims are usually met with a reality that does not match such claims.
The Youtube channel C4ETech “Subscribe Here” has had a go with the Zuk Z2 and found that the spec is pretty much smoke and mirrors. The 960fps spec which was supposed to be HD quality and full frames is nothing more than 120fps 720p interpolated by software up to 960fps. It doesn’t even allow real 240fps like other competitive phone options.
Due to overwhelming user requests Microsoft has finally added with an update to its Windows 10 Camera app the ability to shoot slow-motion video on some Lumia smartphones. The feature is not terribly groundbreaking as it is limited for now to 120 fps at 720p resolution. However this may open the door to higher frame rates like 240p and 480p in future devices as now the feature is not completely ignored. Windows 10 Phone users rejoice, well until the platform fully launches in the near future.
Microsoft: “Slow-motion video has been one of the most frequent requests we hear from people using the Camera app on Windows Phone and Windows 10,” Microsoft says. “So, we’re happy to announce that you can now capture slow-motion video with Camera for Windows 10.”
Out of left field the latest Sharp Aquos Zeta SH-03G, Aquos Xx and Aquos Serie SHV32 – 2015 model smart phones based on Android; claim to deliver up to 2100fps high speed video at 854 x 480 pixels or 1200 fps in full HD 1080p mode. As to those claims as anything that sounds too good to be true it regularly is. These phones are no different to these superlative claims.
The Phones actually do shoot high speed video but not anywhere close to the claimed extremely high frame rates. The most they do is 210fps at 854*480 pixels and at full 1080p a frame rate of 120fps which is quite good for a smartphone.
The newest line of Panasonic camcorders announced at CES are a step forward in the codec department with up to 50mbps at 60p but the feature that caught our attention is that both the HC-W850 and HC-V750 can record 120 frames at 1080p plus interpolate to 240p by using pixel motion algorithms.
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