Apple has released a preview video showing the video capabilities of the iPhone Xs in 4k 30, 4k 60 and slow motion 1080p 240fps. You can see in the liquid and sound part of the demo the quality delivered by the full HD slow motion but it is hard to judge per pixel sharpness and or artifacts from such a short high shutter video. We will need more real-world samples in order to see if there has been an improvement from the iPhone X of 2017.
We have isolated a part of the footage to see the slow-motion compression and we could detect aliasing in the edges, softness and compression artifacts which are typical of mobile phone high frame rates. The iPhone Xs seems to still have them to some degree. Color and motion on the codec seem to be excellent especially in 4k which looks extremely detailed and with more than acceptable dynamic range.
Apple just released 3 new iPhones and a 4th generation watch. These are all about the screen and speed and not really big new capabilities. It is all refinement and flawless execution but video fans will look at these phones as a continuation of last year’s specs with a better codec and possibly better bit rates and image quality but not much else. The iPhone X and 8 still remain relevant which is expected in an “s” upgrade cycle.
Gone are the big leaps of frame rates and Apple is capping at 1080p 240fps while completely ignoring rivals like the Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6 and Sony Xperia XZ series when it comes to super slow motion video. Apple was at the forefront of these technologies with the iPhone 6 but now have really rested on their laurels while the competition leapfrogs in video capabilities when it comes to frame rates. Others will point out that even when the high speed is restricted you will now get better quality footage in all modes which is certainly an upgrade.
The new Fuji X-T100 may be an afterthought for videographers due to its stills focus. It has a 4k UHD mode but only records at 15fps which begs the question why bother including it? It is certainly useless for everything except time-lapse video recording if you think stuttering footage is rubbish. However, the camera does have a 720p 120fps mode that can record for up to 7minutes while conforming into a file at 30fps which equates to a 4x slowdown or if later edited at 24p a 5x slowdown from real time.
Fuji industrial design is just eye-catching and excellent when it comes to looks. The X-T100 does not disappoint with its retro but chiseled look with a flippy screen that screams for a better video mode. We are fans of the Fuji cameras and are glad to see that even in this low-end entry the high frame rate video recording feature is retained. We hope to see them implement 240fps or higher in future models as their recent efforts in the X-H1 show encouraging initial results in 1080p with superb color rendering.
There is no question Canon has had great success with their EOS Cinema line of cameras. They continue to dominate the rental production market and even when they are overpriced compared to competitor’s options it is in a class of its own when it comes to Dual Pixel Continuous AF with Canon EF lenses which are plentiful and part of the stable of most serious camera professionals.
The latest iteration just announced is the Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera which has some serious performance improvements over the current price/performance kind in their camera line. The new camera slots between the lower priced C100 Mark II and the more professional 4k C300 Mark II. However the C200 records in 4k RAW Light format which gives 15 stops of dynamic range with all the benefits of RAW editing with some compression.
GoPro has instituted for a limited time a Trade Up program to get a brand spanking new Hero 5 Black or a Hero 5 Session by turning in your old GoPro Hero camera all the way back to Version #1 to the Hero 4. The program will shave off $100 off a GoPro Hero 5 Black or $50 of a GoPro Hero Session. It can also be traded in if it’s dented, damaged, not working, destroyed or fried. They will pay for shipping both ways.
So does it make sense to do it? Depends on which GoPro you wan’t to exchange in return for a new 5 model. We believe you should look for any GoPro you have around and the older the better as newer models will still be in our view as valuable or more so than the trade in. We analyze if it make sense to do it. The Hero 5 Black is a pretty good slow motion camera on a budget that just works!
DJI’s refresh of the Phantom 4 is a mid-range model that sits between the Standard Phantom 4 & Phantom 4 Pro. It has either a few features left out from the Pro and or some added from the standard model that make it into a category of it’s own. The camera however seems to be identical the the Phantom 4 Pro which supports 4k at 60fps.
The UHD 60fps video spec is finding it’s way into more and more products as it becomes popular on video social media sites like Youtube and Vimeo. Consumers expect the ability to have some slow motion capability on 4k without dropping resolution to 1080p or 720p. However the 120fps spec at 4k might take a few more years to become commonplace due to data rates which will push storage requirements and tax processing capabilities.
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