While Sony briefly captured our attention with its Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, the Japanese household name also had a new prototype dual camera module to show off on the MWC 2018 showfloor.
The new camera module and image signal processor are on display at Sony’s booth right after the keynote ended. According to the Sony reps at the area, the camera sensor and ISP are nowhere near ready to be included in the next Sony flagship. Instead, it serves as a proof of concept of what it can achieve: stills at up to ISO 51200 and video recording at ISO 12800.
As a baseline comparison, most camera modules on the majority of flagship smartphones only have a maximum ISO level of 3200, with the rare exceptions having double that number.
The new low-light capabilities lies in Sony’s new Image Signal Processor (ISP), known simply as the Sony Fusion ISP. According to the technical details, the Sony Fusion ISP simultaneously fires off two cameras, maximising light intake and thus processing the signal into a single bright, clear image.
Sadly, there were no additional details about the new camera module or even when it would be deployed. The device used in the comparisons at the booth was an unnamed smartphone with a large display, and a Sony Xperia XZ. The rep we spoke to also mentioned that Sony isn’t demonstrating its camera capabilities, suggesting that the sensor is still far from ready. But, ISO 12800 recording really does look impressive. There is plenty of noise, definitely, but it manages to capture motion and quite a bit of detail in an otherwise very, very dimly lit room.