The Chinese tech company Xiaomi has released it’s latest high-end flagship phone the Mi 8 which has the highest ever specs for a Xiaomi Phone with great benchmark scores to boot. It has up to 8GB of RAM with a Snapdragon 845 chip at 2.8Ghz which should perform admirably. The phone is targeted for under $500 in Asia for the lower version spec and under $700 USD for the highest Explorer version.
The video modes are what you would expect from a competitive flagship with UHD 30p 4k and 1080p up to 60fps standard with the option to go 120fps and 240fps in both full HD and regular 720p HD modes. 240p is becoming a standard for full HD and it is encouraging to see that phones all over the globe are adopting these specs as near standard now at least in the higher end. The 4k 60p spec is missing here so the iPhone and other phones that can do it are still preferable for high-end phone video capture.
One of the few under the radar products that caught our attention is the Removu K1 all in one stabilized three axis gimbal camera system which has an included LCD screen and 4+ hours of battery life. It has advanced features for creating several kinds of moves, time lapse, panning motion and crane-like shots.
It also includes three high frame rate modes to spice up the package. It can shoot 1080p 120fps with GoPro Hero 5-6 like quality and 720p 240fps which we have yet to see due to a lack of samples. However, for a reasonable price of $429 USD this ultra-portable stabilized camera system might be the best option for vloggers on the move. The 4k 30p quality is pretty respectable in itself with similar quality to the Hero 5 Black as they use similar components.
So the rumors proved to be accurate on the GH5s and now we have a low light version of the GH5 that can shoot cleanly up to ISO 12,800 with up to 100k ISO and by then a much noisier picture. It is claimed by Panasonic that there was a 1.5 stop improvement in noise performance. Judging by the initial video samples it is clear that the new 10.28MP sensor along with dual native ISO circuitry for each photosite “one at ISO 400” and “one at ISO 2400” make a huge performance leap if low light is desired in a m43 camera.
All is not rosy in Lumix land however as the camera now lacks IBIS or In Built Image Stabilization on the sensor which was a main selling point of both the GH5 and the G9. Panasonic claims that it was a decision made to cater to filmmakers that need no wobble or vibrations in a shot that can be produced when the stabilizer fails. But why not just add an On-Off switch? 1080p 240fps is also included in the camera but as initial samples show it reduces quality substantially.
The latest info from 43 Rumors stemming from supposed leaks on the GH5s or “Low Light Version of the GH5” suggest a 10.28MP sensor with up to 240fps Full HD recording capability. There seems to be an out of step rush to deliver this camera compared to previous releases by Panasonic which may or may not end with a product on the specified date of Jan 8th, 2018.
There has been a clear progression of frame rates from Lumix GH cameras from 60p to 96p, 120p and most recently 180fps with the GH5 and G9. However, if the GH5s ships with 240fps we can safely assume that the spec will now be the bare minimum frame rate for a flagship camera in full HD instead of the 120fps most can shoot in high-quality mode. The GH5 suffered from quality degradation above 120fps with aliasing and moire taking a toll. If the new camera can deliver 240fps with the same quality as 120fps then it will be a milestone mirrorless camera.
The Company Insta360, maker of the Insta 360 Pro which is a more high end multi camera solution has released a new 360 degree action camera that can be mounted almost anywhere and deliver pretty good quality for VR and 360 degree videos on the fly. The new Insta 360 One is a democratization of 360 degree cameras and probably a direct competitor to the upcoming GoPro 360 degree camera solution.
The camera includes two slow motion modes that allow it to shoot 360 degree video at higher frame rates but with some drawbacks. Resolution takes a big hit compared to the 4k native resolution which is great. However it is still usable enough to produce web results that allow for some degree of flexibility on smaller screens.
There has been a lack of big camera announcements at NAB 2017, with more and more saturation and less camera replacement by TV studios and Filmmakers there is talk of good enough gear already purchased for 4k and 2k/1080p production. The Alexa, RED, Sony F55 and Varicam LT cameras released in the last few years already exceeds most delivery methods in quality and completely obliterates the compressed cable delivery streams for hove TVs.
However manufacturers like Sony & Panasonic have released information about new firmware updates that will improve high frame rate recording on some of their cameras as free updates. This in turn makes for a practical camera line refresh that gives more longevity to the existing hardware while permitting more high speed latitude to current owners.
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