Category Archives: Featured

Phantom TMX 7510 does 76000 fps in HD!

Phantom TMX 7510

The scientists at Vision Research are at it again at their favorite pastime of hyper slow motion gear creation.  The new TMX 7510 Phantom camera is the fastest ever in their arsenal with a mind-bending spec of 75 Gigapixels throughput which is capable of delivering 76,000fps  1 Megapixel resolution or slightly higher than HD at 1280 x 800px.

The camera features the first BSI or Back-side illuminated sensor ever used in a Phantom camera. This allows for much better low-light performance which is crucial for slow motion applications.  The camera tops out at a ridiculous 1.75 million fps frame rate at 1280 x 32px in standard width mode or 640 x 64px in Binned mode.  One second recorded at that speed creates a file that plays back for 972min or just over 16hrs in a 30fps timeline.  Yikes! → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion 240fps disappoints!

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion

The recently released camera called the Fujifilm X-E4 shares many of the traits of their lower brethren but also from the higher-end models in a compact package. It ditches the better viewfinder for a small 2.36 million dot EVF that makes it a bit hard to see your composition but that also allows the camera to be smaller and more stylish than the beefy SLR style Fujis out there.

The Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion feature is the same as found on cameras like the excellent Fujifilm XS-10 which is a 120fps or 240fps full HD component that records in camera. Why are we not excited? well, the quality is lower than expected with some aliasing and moire characteristics that are so last decade. When are manufacturers going to offer the same 1080p quality at all frame rates instead of relegating the 120fps and 240fps modes to the lower bitrate and detail bin?

Fujifilm X-E4 Main Specs:

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor
  • DCI/UHD 4K at 24p, 25p & 30 fps
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.62x OLED EVF
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Compact classic body
  • 3.0″ 1.62m-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • 425-Point Hybrid AF System
  • Film Simulation Modes
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Lens Kit includes: XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR Lens
  • MSRP: 1,049.00 USD Lens Kit or $849.95 Body only!
  • Release date March 11th, 2021

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion Specs:

Full HD (1920 x 1080)

  • 50p/59.94p
  • 100p/119.88p
  • 200p/239.76p
  • [100 to 200 Mb/s]

While we get the same frame rates as the best value/performance on Fuji’s arsenal the XS-10, you get the aliased version of the footage. While the final quality is passable for your Youtube Vlog, it will not be ready for more professional uses, the pixelation and stair-stepping looks like badly captured 720p video in a 1080p wrapper.

The video below by the amusing and great Kai W, has a sample of 200p video on the camera at the 4-minute mark.  You can clearly see the aliasing in the footage when you load it at full resolution.  We expect the 120fps mode to be much better but we already get pretty good 120p footage from most cameras nowadays. The 240fps mode is the standout here and it disappointed us fully.

Fujifilm X-E4 Hands-on Impressions WIN THIS CAMERA! by: Kai W

But what about?

Can you still make a remarkable slow motion shot with this camera?  In a word, Yes take a look at the Fujifilm’s XS-10 240fps mode which is probably the same as the one in the X-E4 as they share a lot in common feature-wise. Look closely at the very well shot video below:

Fujifilm X-S10 – 240fps slow motion test by Coastal Bay 4K: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020

As the end of 2020 nears, it’s time to take a look back through the year’s camera releases amid the COVID 19 chaos, and see which delivered on the price/performance bracket with slow motion frame rates as the primary goal.  Phone slow motion took a back seat this year as the interest of the feature in phones was subdued or even eliminated. Our Best Slow Motion Cameras Of 2020 have been selected and ordered by recommendation!

We saw some surprises including a mostly affordable 4k slow motion solution and the adoption of 4k 120fps on many cameras which makes us think 240fps at UHD should be something to think about in the coming years as a regular option once 8k video is commonplace on consumer recording devices and TVs. The increase in resolution should theoretically allow for a lot of 4k frame rates to be offered as 8k delivers 4x the pixel count of 4k for any given frame rate. Keep on reading for our 2020 picks!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2020:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2020:

Best Slow Motion Phone Category:

3rd Place) Sony Xperia 5 II:

The Sony Xperia 5 II is all about capturing the best video possible on a smartphone and in HDR. The kick here is that the phone is capable of 4k 120fps in full HDR which is pretty much class-leading.

The footage below will give you a taste of what the phone can do. In good light, it will let you capture excellent quality 4k 120p footage with the possibility to grade as it records a gradable flat profile.  In low light, it will be a pretty unremarkable image with grain and artifacts as could be expected from the light requirements when shooting at high speed.

Sony Xperia 5 II: 4K 120fps video footage by CNET Highlights:

Sony Xperia 5 II Slow Motion Specs:

  • 120fps 4k
  • 60fps 1080p

This is one of the first phones to offer 120fps in 4k which will probably become a standard spec in 2021 for flagships. However absent is the slow motion at 1080p which considering the 4k oomph, it should have been capable of 480fps at 1080p or similar. It is a shame that the spec was completely avoided considering HDR in 120fps 4k requires 240fps full pixel readout before merging.  In theory, 240fps non-HDR is possible on this phone but not available for unspecified reasons. Phones are becoming more powerful by the day and this is one that has our attention. The just under $1k price tag is not ideal but some of the best phones are going to cost you.

2nd Place) OnePlus 8T:

One Plus continues to offer compelling slow motion features on their phones with 480fps 1080p and up to 480fps at 720p.  It gives you a quad 48MP camera module which is literally insane considering the phone sells for under $750USD and has 120hz refresh rate. Feature-wise it has probably everything under the sun and then some and will not disappoint in the performance realm.

Fireworks in Slow motion – OnePlus 8T 480fps in dark by sternking: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Panasonic Lumix BGH1 Slow Motion at 240fps is good!

Panasonic Lumix BGH1 Slow Motion

The Panasonic Lumix BGH1 is a strange camera if you are used to DSLR or Mirrorless camera body styles. It is tiny and full of connections with no screen unless you provide one via a computer that is tethered or an HDMI field monitor.  It uses the same dual ISO sensor found on the Panasonic Lumix GH5s which is a very good low light camera in a Micro 4/3ds package.  The BGH1 has a better internal recording set of options than the GH5s but it is more intended as a tethered studio solution with the addition of Genlock synch and SDI out.

The camera also has VFR or a Variable frame rate mode which is identical to the Lumix GH5s as it records from 1fps to 240fps in Full HD 1080p and delivers pretty good performance up to 200fps then lowers the quality along with providing a small added crop to the image at 225fps and 240fps. It is still not as sharp as regular 1080p video and the codec is saved at a lower bit rate but having 240fps as an option is great.

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 Video Specs:

Video Modes: AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG/H.264 Long GOP/H.265/MOV 4:2:2 10-Bit:
4096 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 400 Mb/s)
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 200 Mb/s)
3328 x 2496p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 400 Mb/s)
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 200 Mb/s)
AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG/H.264 Long GOP/H.265/MOV 4:2:0 8-Bit:
4096 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 150 Mb/s)
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 150 Mb/s)
3328 x 2496p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 150 Mb/s)
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 Mb/s)
AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG/H.264 Long GOP/H.265/MP4 4:2:2 10-Bit:
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (72 to 100 Mb/s)
AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG/H.264/H.264 Long GOP/H.265/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit:
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97 fps (100 Mb/s)
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (24 to 28 Mb/s)VFR Mode 1-240fps Full HD 1080p (24 to 28 Mb/s) 

As you can see, the camera is capable of recording up to 60fps in 10 bit 4:2:2 internally which is better than other m4/3 lumix cameras that top out at 4:2:0 color space in this mode.

Of note is that the VFR Panasonic Lumix BGH1 Slow Motion mode is limited in bit rate from 24Mbits/sec to 28Mbits/sec which is passable but hardly ideal since the image is more compressed.  The quality of the VFR should be identical to the GH5s and the sample below by the great youtube reviewer Richard Wong you can see the softness associated with 240p in VFR.  We are told that up to 200fps the image looks a bit better and there is no crop associated with it.

Pretty In-Depth Panasonic Lumix BGH1 by Richard Wong: 

As you can see in the excellent in-depth review above, the camera has Auto Focus that is pretty similar to the other cameras in the Lumix line and suffers from the same pulsating qualities of the DfD Depth from Defocus algorithm used by Panasonic. We are no fans of it for video even when it has improved a lot. For AF to work reliably you need to have dual Pixels in the sensor with Phase and contrast-detection like those on systems from Canon or Sony.

The camera is very small and it is ideal for drones that can carry the 545g of the body plus a lens.  At $1,997.99 at Adorama Camera it is about the same price as a Panasonic S5 which is a full-frame camera that delivers even better performance in low light and has a photo mode and screen.  The S5 in our view is a better overall camera for the majority of people but the BGH1 is geared to a different market altogether.

You could build a studio with them as they have Genlock timecode sync and SDI out which is what you want for tethering many of these cameras together. The uses for a camera like this are plenty considering its great low light performance and beautiful image with 13 stops of Dynamic Range when Shooting V-Log L.

Pricing and availability:

Panasonic LUMIX BGH1 – Review – Unboxing the box camera by extrashot: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

GoPro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail!

Gopro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail

GoPro has released the Hero 9 Black and in many respects, it is the best camera they have ever made. It is a little larger to accommodate a slightly larger battery and screens and it offers a new 5k mode that is very filmic like with pretty good dynamic range.  It has Hypersmooth 3 technology which does away with most gimbal situations and it can serve as a minute and reliable blog camera.

However, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is in some ways the end of an era for GoPro and the action camera market. It now heralds a new subscription model that aims to hook their market with a  lower price for the camera if the subscription to GoPro.com is added at check out.  Gone are the days of class-leading technology and in are the days of survival at all costs. Can we really blame GoPro for trying to make it?

GoPro Hero 9 Black Main Features:

  • 23.6MP Sensor, 5K30 Video & 20MP Photos
  • 240fps 1080p Video* 8x Slo-Mo
  • Live View Front Display/Rear Touchscreen
  • Webcam Mode & 1080p Live Streaming
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 Image Stabilization
  • 33′ Waterproof without External Housing
  • PowerTools & Protune Feature Suites
  • Time-Lapse & Night-Lapse
  • Built-In Flip-Out 2-Prong Mount
  • 30% Longer 1720mAh Capacity Battery

1080p Frame rates:

  • Linear Lens 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Linear + Horizon Leveling 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Narrow Lens 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps

2.7K Frame Rates:

  • Wide Lens 120, 60 fps
  • Linear Lens 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Linear + Horizon Leveling 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Narrow Lens 60, 30, 24 fps

If you decide to get a Hero 9 which in our view is still the best action camera you can buy, you may be inclined to lower your cost by subscribing to GoPro.com and shaving $100USD from the camera price.

HERO9 Black

$349.98 includes

1-year subscription to GoPro1

or
$449.99
without subscription Subscribing to GoPro gets you:

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Up to 50% off at GoPro.com2
  • Total camera replacement3

32GB SD card included

So what is wrong with this camera?

There are few things we don’t like on this camera which is a good thing, it has outstanding 5k 30fps footage, it has larger screens and better Hypersmooth in 4k, it has a larger battery, and it is a very refined product with a  quality build. It is in fact the best GoPro we have ever seen but sadly there are things we need to mention.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail:

The biggest issue we have is the stagnation of 1080p frame rates. 120 and 240fps in full HD remain essentially the same quality as they were in the Hero 6 Black.  Sure you get better Hypersmooth stabilization in 240p but quality-wise, the pixelation, and overall soft look of the slow motion footage is here with no apologies.

There has not been a consolidated effort to offer 480fps or even 320fps footage in 1080p even as the camera has grown to accommodate 4k 60p and 5k 30p recording modes.  In other words, slow motion is mostly frozen in place except for one little glimmer of hope. GoPro needs to become a leader in frame rates again, it was and still is one of the most important considerations for its users.

That hope is in the form of 2.7k at 120fps which is detailed, offers excellent color and dynamic range for such a small camera and sensor. They did a really good job extracting those 120 frames and we feel that this should be your default slow motion option on this camera. 1080p is simply to soft to even consider it for full HD quality, it is still more like a 720p upscaled mess.

5k is essentially the star on this camera and it is probably the main reason to get this camera over the Hero 8 Black.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Video Test 5K by KabyNougat: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Panasonic S5 Slow Motion 180fps is Low Res!

Panasonic S5 Slow Motion

Now that Panasonic has officially announced the Lumix S5 Full frame camera which we saw as a direct replacement for the GH5 line even when now it seems a GH6 may be in the cards for a future release, it is now time to examine the slow motion modes on the camera to see if they stand a chance at becoming a feature which will be a seller for the new device or just one more feature.

When the GH5 was announced about 3 years ago it came with a 180fps 1080p mode that was better than many camera’s 120fps modes and quickly became our favorite Lumix camera for slow motion as we noticed how the quality of the 240fps mode on the GH5s low light geared camera was heavily inferior in resolution. The GH5 really became the best value along with the G9 for 180fps slow-mo modes in Full HD.

Panasonic Lumix S5 Main Features:

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K60 Video,10-Bit Internal Recording
  • 120p, 150p and 180p Full HD Modes*
  • Slow Motion AF Tracking up to 150fps in Full HD!
  • V-Log, HDR, and Dual Native ISO
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.74x-Magnification OLED LVF
  • 3.0″ 1.84m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
  • Contrast-Detect 225-Area DFD AF System
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • ISO 100-51200, Up to 7 fps Shooting
  • 96MP High-Res Mode, Dual SD Card Slots
  • MSRP: $1,997.99  Body Only or $2,297.99 with 20-60mm Kit lens!
  • Pre-order includes a Free Sigma 45mm f2.8 Lens Via Mail-In Rebate

First the Good:

The 24MP sensor is excellent in low light, it will perform extremely well compared to Micro 4/3ds or APS-C cameras but it will not beat the low light king of cameras the Sony a7s Mark II or III.

The camera can shoot 10-bit internal up to 60fps but it will have an S35 crop at the 60fps 4k mode.  The sensor stabilization is not the best out there but it is quite got at up to 6.5 stops with sensor+lens correction.

If you pre-order the camera you get a free Sigma 45mm f2.8 Lens via mail-in rebate which seems either overly generous or somewhat suspect of fear of people jumping ship to other systems.  We feel this is a pretty good deal especially if you also get the kit lens as that one is over $300 USD discounted if you order it with the camera.

From the samples, we have seen the quality in stills and video is as good as the S1 and S1H with very impressive color characteristics that are as close to the Canon color range as we have seen.  Panasonic has done an excellent job with their color science since the GH5 and it shows how good it has become here.

The Bad:

We get the DfD Autofocus system with no Phase detection pixels which in our view are the only way to go for reliable video AF.  In the early tests, it seems to do quite well compared to previous Panasonic Efforts and most of the pulsing is gone in people tracking scenes.  However, the really depressing thing is that the reliability is not a 100% some would call it 80% or even less which means you simply cannot rely on it for mission-critical footage.

If your camera can only have in focus 8 out of 10 shots then you cannot rely on the video tracking AF for paid work.  Most footage is recorded with the expectation that focus can be controlled, if it fails then you lose time in production and worse yet if you find yourself in the edit suite a month later looking at out-of-focus OOF shots on your edit bay, then you have a huge problem on your hands.

Panasonic needs to stop clinging to DfD as their single do-it-all AF solution and change to a hybrid Phase+Contrast AF system like Sony or Canon are using.  This continues to be the Achilles heel of the system and they need to own up to their mistake not double down on it with every camera release.

For many users, the AF on the camera is good enough and many Vloggers will shoot with it just fine but professional videographers will need to go to Canon or Sony for reliable AF as even the flagship Panasonic S1H suffers from even worse DfD AF performance.

What about the Slow Motion?

Now on to our website focus, that of slow motion video. The Panasonic Lumix S5 is capable of 60fps 4k video at 10 bit with an s35 crop in the sensor at that mode and also a cropped 150 and 180fps mode in 1080p Full HD recording.

The good news is that now we have AF tracking up to 150fps in full HD. The bad news is, it is contrast-detect DfD which means the same problems as the regular mode. But in practice, higher frame rates offer better AF performance as the camera samples more times/sec so it can lock into subjects better!

Slow-Mo Modes & Bit Rates:

  • 4k 60fps 10-Bit Internal
  • 1080p 120fps, 150fps slight crop and resolution loss.
  • 1080p 180fps – More severe crop and resolution loss.
  • H.264/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit
    UHD 4K (3840 x 2160): 23.976p/25p/29.97p [100 Mb/s]
    Full HD (1920 x 1080):
  • 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/180p [20 to 28 Mb/s]

So we now have what could be the let down of this camera and that is the low bit rate quality in 1080p slow motion of [20 to 28 Mb/s].  That is the exact same bit-rate as that on the 3-year-old GH5 camera which is not ideal. It is also more of a 720p image up-scaled to 1080p which looks aliased and soft.

We rather have a 100Mbps mode like that possible on regular up to 30p and 60p full HD recording modes.  Slow motion is crippled by using one-third of the bit-rate allocation in what we believe would be related to camera memory due to the faster frame rates. However, the S5 has a massive memory buffer that should easily be capable of recording 100Mbps 1080p at 120, 150 and 180fps options.

The excellent video preview by DPreview below at 11 minutes 7 seconds shows the slow motion mode samples in action with a heavy resolution loss at 1080p 180fps.

Panasonic S5 First Impressions Review by DPReview:

Another sample below shows many more slow motion clips which seem to be at 150fps which offer Continuous AF in Slow Motion up to that point. 180fps will not use AF. Forward to 7Min for the samples.

Panasonic S5 – hands-on review and full autofocus test by extrashot: → Continue Reading Full Post ←