After receiving quite a few questions on camera gear and rumors we have picked a few that might be of interest to the general readership.
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Q & A
Q)- Should I wait for the Go Pro Hero 4 or just buy a Hero 3+?
A)- The Hero 4 is rumored to have slow motion capabilities of 240fps in 720p and full HD 120p with also 30fps 4k. We expect any new model that comes out to be $400 USD based on past experience.
If you do need an action camera now the Hero 3+ Black with free shipping is the one to get. However if the price starts being reduced it may mean that the v4 model is almost due for announcement. However the rumors state that March 2015 is the date for release, if that proves to be real then it is a long wait. The Hero 3 series was released mid October 2012 and that date could be realistic for a v4 camera. You get to have increased sales for the holiday season and you get to refresh like the 3+ to continue to glide on that buzz with minimal hardware changes. Much like what Apple does with iPhone S series phones.
If you can wait then you should absolutely do to get better slow motion specs.
Q)- What happened to the Panasonic LX8 is it still coming out?
A)-We believe that the LX8 will be released soon, Photokina in Spetember might be the date. The FZ1000 was the announcement rumor sites hinted at. There is conflicting information that the 1 inch sensor for the LX8 is not going to materialize. In that case a 1/1.7 sensor could be in the cards for the line like that of the LX7.
We expect the LX8 to have a 240fps mode and a 120fps Full HD video feature. It might get the same functionality regarding slow motion as the FZ1000 plus a built in ND filter. No more information at this time.
Q)- What camera should I buy for Slow Motion?
A)-See our HSC Camera Guide for our detailed rankings. We believe that you should purchase the best camera you can afford that does what you need. For serious slow motion there is still no better bargain than the edgertronic camera.
Q)- I have a camera that does slow motion and it is not listed, why?
A)-We are only interested in cameras that do slow motion at 720p and up which is the lowest standard for HD video. Any camera that does 720p at 120fps or above is considered for the list. We also take care to place the cameras only after we have seen enough samples to create a realistic assessment on quality. That is why the FZ1000 and Sony a7s are still not on the list as we are analyzing more samples.
Q)- Why don’t you cover Phantom cameras or similar?
A)-The aim of this website is affordable HD slow motion video, any camera that is as expensive as a phantom is not the focus of this website. This includes rentals. We however welcome Vision research, Photron and other hi speed camera manufacturers to create more affordable options for capturing slow motion on a budget. edgertronic is the first serious example of production quality slow motion we have ever encountered above 240fps.
Q)- Will the iPhone 6 have better slow motion?
A)-There is a distinct chance that the replacement for the iPhone 5s will have a better quality video output including 1080p 60 or 120fps or just better 120fps 720p resolution. It will be interesting to see what apple has up its sleeve beyond the rumored larger screens.
Q)- Why do camera manufacturers avoid including better slow motion in their cameras?
A)-Slow motion is harder than it looks. You have to tax the camera to its limits including sensor, hi speed memory and processing. In theory you could have a mode on consumer cameras that records into memory a few seconds of high speed at maximum quality and then takes a few seconds or minutes to process the imagery down to 24p or 30p HD. The main limitation with this is that sensors have heat limitations that the manufacturers have to keep under control plus the type of memory for speedy capture while already available in consumer cameras like the GH4, is scarce and used in ways that don’t conduce to quality output during slow motion.
The GH4 could have captured a few seconds of slow motion and then processed the information after a minute or so to output a higher quality HD resolution slow motion at even higher frame rates. However Panasonic chose to use the real time approach with lower bit rates. The sensor in the GH4 should be capable of capturing some kind of high quality slow motion if set to it.
Q)- Can the GH4 hack improve the slow motion feature in the camera?
A)-While no hack exists at this time for the GH4 or even talk of hackable success, see personal-view.com for any developments, It may be in theory a possibility to at least capture 96fps and dice it at 200Mbps instead of dicing it in chunks at under 22mbit/sec once saved as 1080p. So if it ever gets going we could double the bit rate on the slow-motion side to 44 mbit/sec. It is also a possibility to get full 120fps out of this mode but it seems a harder to achieve hack than just increasing bit rates.
720p mode is even harder to predict in the camera as it is all but forgotten even by Panasonic with very low bit rates. It could in theory be a possibility to capture 240fps at 720p with the GH4 but we’ll leave that in the dream column.
Q)- I want slow motion on my next camera but it probably won’t have it, what can I do?
A)-Contact your camera manufacturer and ask for quality slow motion modes on cameras. The recent GH4, a7s and FZ1000 slow motion modes show that this feature is a huge sales pitch for camera bodies, improving it could be the next race instead of megapixels it will be frame rates.
Q)- If you had a dream Slow Motion HD camera which specs would it have?
- 1000fps at 1080p
- 2000fps 720p
- 5 second capture
- Good low light
- No rolling shutter or very little
- Under 5k USD.
This may change in the future now that 4k is the new paradigm, 4k slow motion could become the new benchmark over the next decade. This however will push 1080p to faster resolutions due to 4k expansion.
We welcome your questions, samples and rumors, we also thank you for your support by using our affiliate links. If you have any slow motion samples please submit the links for including them on this site.