It’s been a while since we’ve covered the fps4000 camera mainly due to development time taking longer than initially estimated. However, Graham Rowan the engineer behind the camera has now posted the first 4k 480fps footage shot in RAW on the fps4000 camera which uses a sophisticated memory arrangement on the onboard super-fast flash RAM to be able to record lengths of time unimaginable before on slow motion cameras at high resolution.
This camera is a very different kind of technology from regular high-speed cameras that record to volatile DRAM. The fps series records to flash chips that are soldered to the mainboard and allow a variety of frames rates and resolutions depending on the sensor used but all is saved on the flash memory as a non-volatile stream of data. Modern SSD chips are so good at re-allocating reading and writing bits that the life of the components is now measured in decades of regular use instead of a few years. The fps4000 is using this technology fully to enable memory bandwidth magnitudes greater at a significantly reduced cost.
Linus Tech Tips is probably the most well-known hardware enthusiast show on the net today. You can find all sorts of cool geeky stuff tested, assembled and destroyed in some cases. This time it was the turn for Krontech.ca to get a visit from the Linus team which funnily enough is very close to them geographically in the vicinity of Vancouver BC, Canada.
There is a quick tour around the startup headquarters as well as a nostalgic look back at the prototype cameras that evolved in what we know today as the Chronos 1.4c which is capable of 1,502fps at 720p resolution and recently able to record in RAW 16bit DNG format which makes it professionally usable in any setting given an adequate amount of light.
It seems that the cellphone has once again taken no prisoners when it comes to the portable consumer camera. Casio which was probably the most influential affordable high-speed camera developer 10 year ago with the EX-F1 has now decided to retrench and effectively end their portable consumer camera development due to mounting losses with no clear path to profitability for the division.
The Japanese hi-tech company generated a loss of 500 million Yen (or $4.6 million U$) in the 2017 fiscal year for the division. They will effectively pull out of the market to stop the bleeding. It is quite sad to see a company that created the EX-F1 and the excellent EX-FH20 eliminate their entire consumer camera division. Could things have been different and could they have avoided the phone camera erosion that has obliterated the sales of most manufacturers? Our only thought would be that they did not innovate fast enough to remain competitive for the consumer to be a real alternative.
The Kickstarter project Z E1 has been funded over 4x their initial goal and now proceeds to build the cameras based on a Micro 4/3 sensor and an extremely small GoPro-like camera body that does 4k video and up to 120fps HD video in an upcoming software update; the camera form factor is ideal for drone aerial photo and video. It promises professional video and photo quality with no compromises in an incredibly small body which would be close to what Olympus attempts with the Air A01 or DxO with the One. The camera does have a 2.5″ inch Screen on teh back but also relies on a 200-300ms response time over wifi which is short for little lag. The Interface is iOS and or Android and are already available for download on these platform stores for remote shooting.
ZCAM E1 Spec Sheet:
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