The Z Cam E1 which delivered excellent quality 4k footage from a tiny package and was able to do 720p 240fps frame rates “at less than ideal quality”, however, a new Rumor from 4/3 Rumors here shows a Twitter message that hints at a new Z E2 m4/3 camera that is able to do 120fps at full 4k resolution. If this turns out to be true it could yield further performance improvements in 1080p and 720p along with higher quality that could be usable.
As far as linear specs go a 120p 4k pipeline could in theory yield 480fps 1080p and 960/1000fps 720p without going out of spec. As we have come to know over the years, however, it is usually wrong to extrapolate these specs to the maximum possible metric as the sensor or memory could be bottlenecks that limit the performance. So this rumor could have some legs to it and NAB 2018 could be the show that makes 4k 120p a regular feature for cameras.
Kinefinity the company behind the pretty capable and high-quality Terra cinema camera has announced in preparation for NAB 2018 the new MAVO 6k cinema camera in s35 and Large Format sensor options in the LF version. Along with the new body design and expansion options the camera will include ProRes 422HQ, ProRes 444 & ProRes 444XQ recording.
Kinefinity also has a RAW format “.KRW” and this has been updated to version 2.0 to support the new camera. This is akin to REDCODE RAW as the .KRW format can compress in RAW anywhere from 2:1 best quality lossless to 10:1 with more quality loss while maintaining the benefits of RAW like dynamic range, white balance, and higher bit-depth color. It also offers the possibility to record on cinema-DNG format In-Camera at 3:1, 5:1 and 7:1 compression. The camera has several high frame rate formats depending on crop resolution.
After several camera announcements where slow motion was a main feature instead of an afterthought, things have been calming down until the next wave which will break closer to NAB 2018 from April 7th to 12th in Las Vegas. There will probably be quite a few announcements in the professional space which is mainly where things heat up when it comes to higher quality resolution at higher frame rates.
We expect Sony to steal the show with probably the a7s Mark III which by any measure will probably retain the low light king title for the foreseeable future. If the a7 III released recently is any indication then a lower megapixel sensor anywhere between 12-16MP Full Frame with the same technology in a stacked sensor will give us a camera so capable that room for improvement will be mainly on the ergonomics, interface and higher frame rates going forward.
There is no question the Sony a7 III just announced by Sony is making a splash in the midrange to professional camera markets. We have a $1,998.00 USD Full Frame camera that can shoot 10fps at the full 24MP sensor resolution with probably the best AF tracking system ever shipped on a camera aside from the slightly better Sony a9. The low light performance of the new a7 III is quite frankly impressive with nearly as clean video to the king of low light the a7s II up until ISO 12,800.
It also has the same high-quality 120fps Full HD mode in both full frame downsampling and APS-C crop modes with continuous reliable AF tracking that performs as good as the a9 system because when it comes to spec comparisons they seem identical. You will be better off with this camera if you are looking for 120fps full HD than any we have seen before as quality, low noise, focus tracking and dynamic range all come together to create a superb package.
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