Qualcomm Shows Off First 8K HDR Footage Shot on a Smartphone

Qualcomm has released video captured by the world’s first smartphone capable of shooting 8K HDR footage. The 1.5-minute video above was shot up and down the west coast, on state beaches from California to Washington.

Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor works in tandem with a 33-megapixel Sony IMX586 image sensor that captures 8K HDR video with over a billion shades of color. It looks very impressive considering it’s coming through YouTube compression. In fact, the video defaults to 4K when playing, but YouTube has opened up an 8K resolution option so that viewers can enjoy the video in its full resolution (assuming you have a display that can support it).

Qualcomm shows off the first 8K HDR video featuring the Snapdragon 8 processor.

The First Phone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

The video was shot using the Xiaomi 12 Android smartphone, the first to carry the new processor. As can be seen above, the images are extremely sharp and lifelike, with a tremendous amount of dynamic range and color gamut.

As PetaPixel reported in November 2021, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor is capable of recording through an 18-bit image signal processor (ISP), which the company claims can capture over 4,000 times the camera data than its 14-bit predecessor and a data rate of up to 3.2 gigapixels per second. There’s also a clip below from the deserts of Arizona that are especially detailed, showing off the dynamic range in low light.

The 18-bit ISP is set to be always on by default, making recording simultaneous with no camera or shutter lag in either still or video modes. The company also says improved depth and extreme dynamic range are achieved by harnessing artificial intelligence through Leica’s Leitz Look mode, which adds a touch of Bokeh-like depth of field.

There are some great shots in the video above, that show off that bokeh, not only in the background but also in the foreground. This is due to portrait mode being available for video, as well as stills mode.

Other Features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

In addition to being able to shoot 8K HDR video at 30fps, the camera image sensor and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor can work together to shoot off a 30-frame burst of still images, which can then be merged together to create a single, high-resolution HDR image. Great for low-light environments.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can also support the shooting of all three cameras simultaneously at 36MP at 30fps, up to a 64-megapixel and a 36-megapixel pair at 30 frames per second, and a single 108-megapixel mode at up 30 frames per second.

This latest processor follows the Snapdragon 865 (the first with 8K video), the Snapdragon 845 (the first with 4K HDR), and the Snapdragon 800 (the first with 4K video).

The company has a full breakdown of all the features coming to Snapdragon 8 on its website.