The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be able to capture what Samsung is calling “super slow-mo” videos, and the feature is expected to be awesome enough that it could make up for the lack of a dual camera setup on the regular S9, at least from the leaks and rumors that we’ve seen until this point. The feature was first revealed when an image of the S9’s retail box was leaked, and thanks to our sources, we’ve been able to glean some information on how the super slow-mo feature might work.
Galaxy S9 super slow-mo feature will have different modes
First, the feature will have two methods of capture. There will be the regular method where you tap the shutter button to start recording the moment you want to capture in slow motion. In the other method, the user would be required to tap the record button, but the camera will only record slow-motion video when something moves in the frame. This would be similar to the rear-cam selfie mode that we’ve seen on Samsung’s phones, which automatically captures selfies once the camera detects faces inside an adjustable frame on the viewfinder.
Clearly, the second method would be for moments where you want to be ready to capture a moment well in advance, as opposed to capturing something in slow-mo without prior intimation. To speculate, maybe the camera’s algorithms would allow it to detect various scenarios, such as a skateboarder who’s about to pull off some tricks. You would just keep the camera trained at the skateboarder, and the phone would do the rest. Again, this is just speculation, but certainly an interesting use case.
Samsung’s slow-motion feature will also take inspiration from the Sony Xperia XZ by offering a mode where users can start recording a normal video, then tap on an additional button that shows up to take slow-motion at specific moments. On the Xperia XZ, the camera records regular videos at 30 fps and speeds it up to 960 fps when the user taps the slow-motion button, and Samsung’s implementation seems to be quite similar. There will be support for capturing up to 20 slow-mo moments in this method from what we’ve been told.
What we still don’t know are the resolution and speed at which the S9 and S9+ will capture slow-motion video. The official specs for Samsung’s new ISOCELL camera sensor suggest that the devices could go up to 480 fps at Full HD (1080p), translating to 960 fps at 720p. People have rightly pointed out that 960 fps recording would have to be supported by the image sensors on both the Exynos and Snapdragon chips that Samsung will employ for the S9 and S9+, but that may not be an issue since the Snapdragon 835 was able to do it on the Xperia XZ Premium.
Yes, the XZ Premium does it in short bursts, and maybe that’s where the limit of 20 slow-mo moments would factor in. Again, there’s no telling for now, but given Samsung’s usage of the term “super slow-mo”, the S9 and S9+ will have to create impressive results with slow-motion videos. Well, unless the camera’s variable aperture is the major highlight, which, if we’re honest, might actually be enough to support Samsung’s lofty claim of a “reimagined camera.”