Tag Archives: improved

Oppo Find X3 Pro brings microscopy to phones!

Oppo Find X3 Pro

There is always an outlier when it comes to phone innovation and we have to give it to Oppo in 2021 as it seems to have created a phone that really delivers features that seemed impossible just months ago.  The Oppo Find X3 Pro can deliver the usual 4k 30p and 60p video and up to 720p 480fps slow motion along with the common standard of 240p at 1080p.  Where the phone jumps ahead of the pack is the inclusion of a real microscopy camera module that has a ring light to boot.

The Microscope camera can deliver a mind-altering 60x microscopy range magnification that looks so good that you might think it was taken with a professional clinical microscope.   It will not be enough to show blood cells that usually require over 100x to be appreciated but it delivers detail on small insects, fibers, textures, and electronics that previously required a complicated camera setup attached to a multi-lens instrument. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

thCam Slow Motion Camera Kickstarter Campaign Canceled!

thCam Slow Motion Camera

(Note: As of November 23rd this campaign has been canceled due to lack of funding in time. )There is a new dedicated Slow Motion Camera being built by engineer enthusiasts and a Kickstarter campaign has just launched with the goal of gathering enough funds for production.  The camera is called thCam Slow Motion Camera and is capable of shooting above 3,000fps at reduced resolution with a 1920px horizontal. The 1080p frame rate maxes out at 266fps  and 576fps at 720p.

What is most impressive about this camera is the Machine Vision applications that can run with the platform like being able to train it to recognize QR codes, objects, and possibly even people. It could theoretically be used as a quality control camera that operates at very fast speeds. The other big deal is the price which is about $1,000 USD or €899 Euros which is a first for a camera of this kind.

thCam Slow Motion Camera Specs:

  •  Image sensor: 1920×1200, 10 bit Raw CMOS 2/3″ on 2MP Version
  •  Framerate: 240 fps (@ full resolution: 1920 x 1200), 576 fps (@ 1280 x 720), 1524 fps (@ 640 x 480), 3134 fps (@ 320 x 200)
  •  Pixel pitch: 4.8 µm
  •  Shutter: Global shutter
  •  Lens: included, compatible with every other C- / CS- Mount lens
  •  Image Sensor Size: 2/3” Optical Format
  •  Spectrum: Just visible light, no NIR (but the built-in NIR-cut filter can be removed or exchanged with another filter if you are willing to disassemble the thCam)
  •  Min. Exposure Time: 1 / 25,000 seconds
  •  Screen: multitouch capacitive lcd touchscreen
  •  Memory: 8 GiB (record time 12s)
  •  Battery: replaceable and rechargable li ion battery (continous recording time: > 2 hrs, stand-by mode: > 6 hrs)
  •  USB: USB 3.0 SuperSpeed connectivity
  •  Synchronization: External Monitorsignal and Trigger/Sync Port
  •  Software: Open Source, running on Windows (7 and above) / macOS (10.15 and above) / Linux
  •  Supported File Formats: Image Sequence (Raw, Jpg, Png), Video File (Mp4 / H.264)
  •  API: Open Source, use the camera in your own code (C++, Python, Java)
  •  Case: Aluminium case
  •  Dimensions: W x H x D = 14 cm x 8 cm x 5 cm (estimated values)

As you can see, the camera is no slouch, it can record up to 12 seconds of RAW video and can be used and controlled remotely with programming commands if needed. It uses a C mount much like other cameras in its class and has a 2 hr battery life while recording and up to 6hrs standby.  The batteries are a couple of 18650s which are common and widely available.

There are also options to only get the PCB boards with a sensor instead of a fully built camera at a lower price of €649 for the 2MP sensor version.  Some engineers are more inclined to adapt the PCB to their own pipeline instead of using a self-contained camera unit.

The Kickstarter Campaign:

The campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thdevices/thcam-3000-fps-slowmotion-camera

The creators of the camera a Swiss and German engineer team are asking for a pledge goal of $94,779 USD or about €80k Euros.  For under $1000USD depending on the exchange rate, this is a cheap slow motion camera that has a lot of potential with RAW image quality that seems above good just looking at the provided samples.

Footage is recorded as 10 Bit RAW Image Sequences, full control of white balance, color tone, contrast, and brightness no compression. After editing you may compress your video to standard formats (H.264).

The camera features a Global Shutter so no rolling shutter artifacts to spoil your experiments.

The thCam comes with an equipped 8 GB memory module, enough to record about 12 seconds in full resolution with maximum framerate. Standard SODimm 204 DDR3 Computer memory modules are used, so you are free to upgrade your camera later on.

The camera also comes with a Super Speed USB 3.0 port. This high transfer rate allows you to stream images from the camera in realtime and low latency.

The camera also has an Open Source SDK that allows for programmability and full remote control of the camera via USB 3.

Supported Languages will be Java, Python and C/C++.

thCam Slow Motion Camera Video Samples:

Camera Timeline:

Team

Follow them on:

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/thdevices/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ThDevices-GmbH-101338128342338

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/thdevicesgmbh

(Development-) Blog: https://blog.thdevices.com/

Our Take on the thCAM:

This is a pretty neat little camera with a lot of potential for labs, engineers, education, sports, and imaging enthusiasts/hobbyists.

It has a great interface with easy controls that is working and ready to go. It has extensibility via software and can be controlled remotely by USB 3.0 with instant feedback.

The video samples do show some noise, chromatic aberration, and softness but looking at some of the other demos, it is clear these are mainly due to either low light or a pretty bad quality lens used. If you coupled this image sensor with better high-quality glass like we have seen in other C mount cameras, it is easily going to produce beautiful imagery.

For $1,000 USD for a fully assembled and working camera, we do not believe there is a deal out there that can compare. Sure you only get a maximum of 266fps in 1080p but we do get 576fps at 720p which is better than what many prosumer cameras can shoot at and the fact that we have RAW here makes it that much sweeter.

For production houses and serious videographers, it is clear this camera will not fit the bill as the smallish 2/3rds sensor could pose problems with image quality for broadcast and film unless the conditions were ideal with ample light control. This camera is not intended for that market in our view. This camera is intended for serious scientific experimentation and motion analysis with the possibility to extend its capabilities with software.

As a sports training device, it could be the best-priced camera of it’s kind with enough quality to analyze body motion on the fly and on location with its portability and 2hr recording and 6hr standby battery. We can see golfers and gymnasts gravitating to a solution like this especially with the flexibility and price.

The team of the Ackermanns is entering the space with the thCam but hopefully, we will see a more image quality-oriented camera as a future product with a higher price but not extremely above this first iteration. If they could produce a similar 1080p camera at 1000fps or 2000fps we are sure it would make a gigantic splash.

We wish the team luck on their campaign which looks to be ready for production, hopefully, we will continue to see impressive engineering from this team for years to come. -HSC

Pledge your support and possibly get a camera at The Kickstarter Campaign here:

The campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thdevices/thcam-3000-fps-slowmotion-camera

Wave Camera 4k Slow Motion Released for 10k USD!

The Freefly systems Wave camera has been released and it is certainly a market disruptor. It is not your average high speed camera since it is essentially using an internal SSD M.2 card to continuously record slow motion events it functions more as a live capture device than a shot by shot trigger traditional slow motion camera. This is essentially the idea behind the fps1000 camera line by Graham Rowan which sadly was dissolved last year. A new way of capturing high speed by leveraging the speed of SSD flash storage with ultra-high frame rates.

The Wave is no slouch in specs with a 4k spec of 420fps which is not as good as the Phantom Flex 4k which records 1000fps but costs a whopping 160k USD.  The Wave costs $9,995 and using an E-Mount with no power or AF functions, can be adapted to a variety of lens systems because of the plethora of adapters that can be used due to the short flange distance.  We take a look at the wave specs and why it may be the camera you were waiting for – if you can get one!

Wave Camera 4k Slow Motion Specs:

Continuous Capture Time:

  • 4096 x 2176, 422fps, 1TB 19min
  • 4096 x 2176, 422fps, 2TB 39min
  • 2048 x 1088, 1461fps, 1TB 23min
  • 2048 x 188, 1461fps, 2TB 45min

The camera uses a 4:3 aspect ratio from the sensor which is kind of odd but allows for a variety of frame sizes including anamorphic capture if stretch in post. This seems to be an ideal camera for Anamorphic slow motion.  Of note is that the Krontech Chronos 2.1 HD is also using a 4:3 sensor which in theory can be used with Anamorphic glass. → 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 ←

Sony Xperia 5 II 120fps 4k Slow Motion in Leaked Info!

Sony Xperia 5 II 120fps 4k Slow Motion

Sony has been relatively quiet about phones since the Xperia 1 II roll out. However, rumors have been heating up on the Xperia 5 II, which is a lower-cost alternative to the flagship phone but very nearly as capable without the best screen or construction but not skimming on features. The latest rumor mentions a spec sheet that makes it a 4k 120fps recording phone which may show that handsets still are seen as innovators when it comes to cameras since very few consumer devices in the camera world can record at that frame rate.

We were not very happy that Sony basically killed the super slow motion mode on the Xperia 1 II phone which kind of showed that Sony was putting stills and regular video at the forefront without making compromises in sensors that needed to shoot at higher frame rates. Sony chose to do cleaner regular frame rate video and stills that were better than any Sony phone before at the cost of not having a do it all sensor.  Slow motion from Sony was all but killed but the Xperia 5 II now makes us second guess that fate…

Sony Xperia 5 II leaked spec sheet:

  • 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED display with 21:9 aspect ratio
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • 240 Hz touch sampling rate
  • Snapdragon 865 chips
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128GB of expandable storage.
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • USB-C Port
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack makes a comeback (YES 🙂 )

Rear camera module specs:

  • 12 MP  f/1.7 aperture, 24mm equivalent lens, with 82-degree field of view.
  • Telephoto camera 12 MP, with f/2.4 aperture, and 3x optical zoom.
  • Ultrawide 12 MP with  f/2.2 aperture, and 16 mm equivalent focal length – 124-degree field of view.
  • 120fps video recording in 4K with HDR.

Leaked images by evLeaks!

Rumors also state that the phone might launch with a $999 price tag up from the Xperia 5 of 2019 at $799 now just $599.   The Xperia 1 II as a comparison shipped with a  price tag of  $1,199 which is enormous.

We certainly hope prices start going down soon after as with any phone, expect heavy discounts after the first 4 months of shipping units pass.  We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Xperia 5 II at $699 by the first quarter of 2021.

We really like that the 3.5mm headphone audio jack is making a comeback in this phone. Many many people still use wired headphones for quality and no battery hassle as those conscious of radiation from earbuds or the headaches they can cause many people. We rather see all phones keep this port or at least offer it as an option on a variant.

Sony event on September 17th:

There have been changes in the Facebook and Youtube pages from Sony regarding an Xperia event on September 17th which we believe like many others that will be the launch event for the Xperia 5 II handset.  You can see here the Youtube header changed!

Sony is no stranger to pro video and the latest a7s III camera can shoot 120fps at 4k as well, you can see the footage from it below which plays with the new format very well:

【4K 120FPS】SONY A7S3 by Mediastorm影视飓风:

Now, all we have to do is wait for September 17th to arrive and see what the phone can do, and no… no talk about 240fps or 480fps or 960fps modes has been leaked but we can always hope, right? – HSC

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Sony a7s III Slow Motion is Hiding a Secret!

Sony a7s III Slow Motion

It’s here, yes it is finally here you are not seeing things. In what may be the most anticipated camera release in years, Sony has finally unveiled the a7s III video-centric mirrorless camera.  It has all the new performance benefits of processing and AF seen on other Sony bodies but now applied to a 12 Megapixel back-illuminated full-frame sensor geared to shoot pristine 4k and be able to shoot stills as a secondary function.  The original 5D from Canon shot 12.8 MP in 2005 when it was introduced and it is still being used out there by many professionals as it was and still is a wedding workhorse. However 15 years later which in the camera world seems like a century, we get a brand new Sony camera with 12MP and that is actually a great thing!

The slow motion on this camera has a lot of good but also some hidden secrets that you should know about before plunking your hard-earned cash. We get what may be the best 120fps 4k footage we have seen in any camera under 10k USD at full 4:2:2 10 bit quality which after looking at the samples left us with nothing but praise to see such a well-executed mode with the added benefit of being able to shoot nearly 1hr worth of it before the camera temperature spoils the party. Excellent performance!

Sony a7s III Main Video Specs:

Video Recording Modes H.265/XAVC HS 4:2:2 10-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [50 to 280 Mb/s]
H.265/XAVC HS 4:2:0 10-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [30 to 200 Mb/s]
H.264/XAVC S-I 4:2:2 10-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [240 to 600 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [89 to 222 Mb/s]
H.264/XAVC S 4:2:2 10-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [100 to 280 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [50 Mb/s]
H.264/XAVC S 4:2:0 8-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [60 to 200 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p [16 to 100 Mb/s]

The video specs from the a7s III above don’t tell the whole picture but do paint a very flexible camera with a variety of quality modes so you can choose anywhere from HD at 50Mbps on the low end to 600Mbps at 4k on the highest setting which is pretty ludicrous and will need specific CFexpress Type A cards that can be used alongside two SDXC UHS-II cards for a total of four cards which is pretty remarkable.

But what about full HD slow motion?

There is also a Slow and Quick motion mode which activates frame rate selection in FUll HD modes that can reach 120fps and 240fps in NTSC and 100fps, 200fps in PAL mode…

SLOW & QUICK MOTION (SHOOTING FRAME RATE) :

NTSC mode: 1 fps, 2 fps, 4 fps, 8 fps, 15 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps, 120 fps, 240 fps

PAL mode: 1 fps, 2 fps, 3 fps, 6 fps, 12 fps, 25 fps, 50 fps, 100 fps, 200 fps

However, not all is good in the state of Sony Slow Mo…

The number of effective pixels in S&Q mode: 1408 x 804 at 240 or 200 fps. 240 or 200 fps not available when using [XAVC HS 4K], [XAVC S 4K], or [XAVC S-I 4K] file formats.

Yes, we get a reduced quality 1408 x 804 at 240 or 200 fps readout when you get the highest frame rates along with skipped lines, aliasing, and moire.  After looking at the samples we simply cannot recommend this camera for its Full HD slow motion capabilities. The image is mushy and low detailed in those modes and clearly it seems restricted by hardware limitations on the sensor which do not allow for a 1:1 frame extraction at those speeds. 

Introducing Alpha 7S III | Sony | α:

But the 4k 120 and 100fps Slow Motion is great right?

Yes, this mode is not only great but it is superb in quality with up to 15 stops of dynamic range with S-Log 3, the best high ISO quality in a camera of this price range, 4:2:2 10-bit, full-time Autofocus in 100 and 120fps 4k with full eye and face detection with tracking. The camera is dependable, can record for nearly an hour in 4k 120p without overheating and can start to record again after a few minutes cool down thanks to its very capable internal heatsink which is a cut above what Canon was able to achieve on the R5 and R6 cameras which overheat after less than 30 minutes in pretty much every video mode.

One little nitpick on the 100fps and 120fps 4k mode you need to know:

The only real problem in this mode is a 1.1x crop from full frame when recording 100fps and 120fps 4k video. You get a 10% reduction in the field of view which seems to be tied to grabbing a 4k 1:1 pixel frame without full sensor readout inside the 12MP sensor. 4k needs only 8.3MP which kind of tells us that Sony cropped the sensor windowing mode to just read that portion in order to achieve the higher frame rate. That is not a really bad thing but something you need to know before shooting if you intend to use the same shot setup with different frame rates.  It can mess up your frame composition enough to require you to use markers on set to know which portion of the frame will be cropped and or the possibility to move back a bit to get the same field of view as regular 4k.

That said the 4k 100fps and 120fps mode shoots a beautifully detailed, noise-free, and artifact-free image that is the envy of many other cameras. You can use this mode on production as it shares the same quality as the 24, 30, and 60fps modes in the 4k shooting parameters.  It is that good, see the sample section below.

Sony a7S III Hands-on Review – What a HUGE Surprise This is… by Kai W: → Continue Reading Full Post ←