Tag Archives: stabilization

DJI Ronin 4D Delivers Cinematic Stabilized Slow Motion!

In what could be called a new paradigm or class of camera, DJI the drone maker has launched a couple of cinema full-frame cameras geared to professional productions that merge their Ronin gimbal products with their Drone pro Zenmuse cameras to create a massively appealing system for pros and enthusiasts that want no compromise stabilization with enough image quality to be able to use them in professional productions for TV and film.  The pricing at just over 11.5k for the 8k version and 7.2k for the 6k version is small potatoes for movie and TV studios but might put off some buyers. 

It is of note that a fully working system bundle is assembled at that price which is much better than other options. It includes the Gimbal, camera and body, 1TB SSD M.2 card, battery, touch screen and cabling. In cinema systems like RED and ARRI this is just the brain or camera body with everything else being added on top as ancillary costs. The frame rates on these cameras are limited to 120fps as the highest at 4k and 75fps at 8k.  They might not be huge but the quality and stabilization should make them quite useful.  → 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 ZV-1 Slow Motion is a newer cheaper RX100 alternative!

Sony ZV-1 Slow Motion

Sony has revealed the ZV-1 Vlogging camera which uses the tried and true technology of the RX100 series and simplifies the body controls plus allows the screen to be of the vari-angle kind to work essentially as a do it all solution for web Vlogs. The body is reminiscent of the latest RX100 VII and very close to the previous generations but with the added benefit of a real video-oriented 360-degree screen.

As an RX Camera it features our favorite slow motion mode of the compact camera world, the Motion Eye or HFR Sony mode which offers up to 1000fps on sub HD resolution at capture time and near 1080p at 240fps with excellent quality.  We dive into the camera’s slow motion mode to see if anything has improved from the RX line and if this camera with it’s lower entry price makes more sense to own than the RX100 line.

Sony ZV-1 Main Specs:

  • SENSOR TYPE: 1.0″-type (0.52″ x 0.35″) Exmor RS® CMOS sensor, aspect ratio 3:2  Stacked!
  • NUMBER OF PIXELS (EFFECTIVE)Approx. 20.1 Megapixels
  • OPTICAL ZOOM2.7x
  • F-NUMBER (MAXIMUM APERTURE)F1.8 (W) – 2.8 (T)
  • FOCAL LENGTH (F=)f = 9.4–25.7 mm
  • Eye AF & Object tracking AF
  • 315 points (phase-detection AF), 425 points (contrast-detection AF)
  • Vari angle touch screen
  • Directional three-capsule mic with wind screen
  • Optical SteadyShot

Sony ZV-1 Video Modes:

MOVIE RECORDING MODE (NTSC)

AVCHD: 24 M FX (1,920 x 1,080/60i) / 17 M FH(1,920 x 1,080/60i), XAVC S 4K: 30p 100 M (3,840 x 2,160/30p) / 30p 60 M (3,840 x 2,160/30p) / 24p 100 M (3,840 x 2,160/24p) / 24p 60 M (3,840 x 2,160/24p),

XAV C S HD: 60p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/60p) / 60p 25 M (1,920 x 1,080/60p) / 30p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/30p) / 30p 16 M (1,920 x 1,080/30p) / 24p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/24p) / 120p 100 M (1,920 x 1,080/120p) / 120p 60 M (1,920 x 1,080/120p)

MOVIE RECORDING MODE (PAL)

AVCHD: 24 M FX (1,920 x 1,080/50i) / 17 M FH (1,920 x 1,080/50i), XAVC S 4K: 25p 100 M (3,840 x 2,160/25p) / 25p 60 M (3,840 x 2,160/25p),

XAVC S HD: 50p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/50p) / 50p 25 M (1,920 x 1,080/50p) / 25p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/25p) / 25p 16 M (1,920 x 1,080/25p) / 100p 100 M (1,920 x 1,080/100p) / 100p 60 M (1,920 x 1,080/100p)

Sony ZV-1 Slow Motion HFR Video Modes:

HFRRecording:

[PAL] mode

XAVC S

  • Full HD: 50p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/250fps)
  • 50p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/500fps)
  • 50p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/1,000fps)
  • 25p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/250fps)
  • 25p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/500fps)
  • 25p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/1,000fps)

[NTSC] mode

XAVC S HD:

  • 60p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/240fps)
  • 60p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/480fps)
  • 60p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/960fps)
  • 30p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/240fps)
  • 30p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/480fps)
  • 30p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/960fps)
  • 24p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/240fps)
  • 24p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/480fps)
  • 24p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/960fps)

Sensor Readout Number of effective pixels:

Quality Priority – 2 second rec time: 240fps/250fps (1,824 x 1,026),

Quality Priority – 1 second rec time:480fps/500fps (1,824 x 616) 960fps/1,000fps (1,244 x 420)/

Shoot Time Priority – 3 second rec time: 240fps/250fps (1,824 x 616), 480fps/500fps (1,292 x 436), 960fps/1,000fps (912 x 308)

Has anything changed in HFR?

In a word no when it comes to resolutions, the same HFR that debuted years ago is still here as it is using the same stacked 1″ EXMOR sensor from the RX100 line of cameras and the latest version at that with the new AF module. Other than that it is essentially a cheaper RX series in terms of capture modes without sacrificing video quality.  In fact video wise it does better in auto exposure modes and it is tuned to better preserve highlights while popping up skin tones which may be more pleasant for many.

You can check the official HFR Manual online here for the ZV-1!

However, when it comes to recording time it is a notch below the RX100 and RX10 series with a maximum recording time of 3 seconds on Shoot time priority and a low of 1 second for Quality priority on frame rates above 240fps.  (Thanks to reader Klaus for bringing this to our attention). This is a big deal as previous RX releases allow up to 7 seconds on SHoot time priority and 4 seconds on Quality priority.  So your capture will be severely limited time wise.

All in all an RX series for HFR mode compacted under $800 USD with some features added and some hardware controls removed.  What is not to like when you get essentially the same performance video-wise to a significantly costlier camera except for the recording time in HFR being so limited.

Video sample at 250fps and 500fps below:

Sony ZV-1 slow motion tests by Mark Wilson (Well done Mark!):

What is missing from the RX100 Line?

Thre are a few things that are absent which may or may not bother you.

  1. No multi-function ring on the lens barrel
  2. No EVF, only the Touch LCD Screen
  3. No Manual focus just Touch 2 focus!
  4. Lower recording times in HFR Mode but at same quality.

The lack of the EVF might be the toughest pill to swallow but as a Vlogging camera, it was bound to happen.  The RX line is still relevant with it’s more well-rounded features however software-wise the video Auto modes on this camera are ideal for its intended blogging purpose with excellent auto exposure, amazing built-in microphone, and AF that really captures faces and object demos in real-time with almost no lag.

Is a new RX camera coming in 2020?

The rumor mill had been quiet on this front until the ZV-1 launch was coming which probably tells us that the RX line is either migrating or will get a debut with a whole new platform of sensor and lens design for the future.  With P&S cameras being less and less relevant every day, Sony has been forced to cater to Vloggers and kind of side step camera enthusiasts that want pocketable options. However, the excellent RX100 and RX10 lines are still out there as options until a replacement is announced.

We have not heard any rumors about an RX100 version 8 camera so it is safe to say that we may not see one soon.  If we do, it may be closer to Christmas time in any case.

The ZV-1 is recycling the best of the RX100 line and gearing it to Vloggers in a way that won’t break the bank, and at that, it is a real winner for your money considering how capable it is.

Should I get it?

Yes but…

If you already have an RX100 or RX10 camera we think you should skip this camera unless you want to Vlog and want a vari-angle screen and need higher recording times in slow motion. If you were thinking about getting an RX camera and you do not need an EVF and multifunction ring or the extra rec time then this is the camera to get for a significant price drop without sacrificing image quality.

Pricing and Availability:

The camera will be released on June 11th, 2020 in just a few days and you can pre-order at Amazon below!

$749.99  Standard Kit Pre Order at Amazon!

There is a Vlogger accessory kit bundle for $100 more which has the Wireless Bluetooth Grip which lets you record and zoom from the controller as well as use it as a tripod.   We believe that for $848 it’s very fair value as it also bundles a 64GB SD card.  However, we recommend the RX100 line for slow motion enthusiasts due to the higher recording time as the ZV-1 is quite limited above 240fps.

This ZV-1 Camera may become our favorite Sony HFR camera since it ticks almost all the boxes at an affordable price. If you are getting one, it will help us if you click our Amazon links before ordering to help this site continue.  Thanks for your support! -HSC 

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→ Continue Reading Full Post ←

Fuji X-T4 Slow Motion is the new king of APS-C!

Fuji X-T4 Slow Motion

At the end of February right before the Pandemic really got going worldwide and when the world seemed a lot simpler, Fuji surprised us with the launch of the Fuji X-T4 APS-C 1.5x crop sensor body.  It comes completely unexpected to the community of slow motion enthusiasts as the majority of cameras only support a maximum of 120fps with a few Panasonics doing 180p and only the GH5s doing 240fps 1080p.

What makes this camera different is the quality of the output at 240p which is far and above the king in the APS-C format and destroys the GH5s aliased image with a very good and detailed rendition of the scene with a codec strong enough to allow for enough detail and color to really push the format further than any EVIL mirrorless camera before it.

Fuji X-T4 Slow Motion Video Modes:

Recording MOV/H.264/H.265 10-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [100 to 400 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [100 to 400 Mb/s]
DCI 2K (2048 x 1080) at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [50 to 200 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/240p [50 to 200 Mb/s]
External Recording Modes 10-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160)
Recording Limit Up to 30 Minutes
Video Encoding NTSC/PAL
Audio Recording Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
External Microphone Input (Stereo)
Audio File Format AAC, Linear PCM (Stereo)

Still Imaging Specs:

Lens Mount FUJIFILM X
Camera Format APS-C (1.5x Crop Factor)
Pixels Effective: 26.1 Megapixel
Maximum Resolution 6240 x 4160
Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Image File Format JPEG, Raw, TIFF
Bit Depth 16-Bit
Image Stabilization Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis

So we get the usual 120fps NTSC and 100fps PAL formats you have come to expect on most other cameras and then jumps straight to 240fps at what seems like 200Mbits/sec according to the specs (Further testing needed) listed on the official site.

The camera also has a 6.5 Stop 5-Axis IBIS sensor stabilized system that from what has been tested is right up there with the best Panasonic and Olympus systems.  Fuji has really created the best APS-C camera it has ever made here for the enthusiast and maybe the best in the format ever released for videographers and at 15fps and Phase Detection enabled 425 AF points for photographers; it is no slouch.

Fuji X-T4 240fps Sample videos:

Here are some initial samples that show the 240fps slow motion mode at 1080p.  We believe this will be a camera to consider for high frame rate enthusiasts that want to shoot sports and people/animals in pretty remarkable quality while at the same time having a do it all video and photo camera with the Fuji quality behind it.

240fps & IBIS?! Fuji X-T4 FIRST LOOK! by Matt Day:

Fujifilm XT4 Review // HANDS ON tests of IBIS, Flippy screen, 240fps 1080p, and the “4k vlog test” by Tommy Callaway: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Canon EOS R5 Rumor Hints at 120fps at 4k!

Canon EOS R5 Rumor

Quite a few of our readers have asked for HSC to comment on the rumors of a Canon R5 Mirrorless camera that according to unsubstantiated information claims 120fps at 4k and 8k at 30p.  The R5 may be the modern non-DSLR successor camera to the EOS 5D Mark IV and could become a major release for the company for this decade.  As rumors go we can probably believe some of it but we have to be skeptical on the full specs because Canon has not shown the willingness to push the envelope as far for many years and has calmy let Panasonic and Sony take the firsts spots on video features.

We would love to see Canon go ahead and push the envelope with amazing video features that can revive the platform for serious video production the same way the 5D Mark II did back in 2008 when it took the video world by storm and made it possible to shoot quality video that looked a lot like the 5D still images that have dominated certain segments of still imagery business like weddings.

Canon EOS R5 Rumor Specs by “Canonrumors.com”:
  • 45mp (One source said 40mp)
  • IBIS
    • 5 stops with IBIS alone
    • 7-8 stops of correction when used with in-lens stabilization

    14fps / 20fps (One source said 12fps / 20fps)
    Scroll wheel added to the back
    No touch bar
    Liveview/Movie toggle like previous EOS DSLRs
    Larger capacity battery, but looks like the LP-E6
    8K @ 30fps RAW
    4K @ 120fps
    4K @ 60fps
    The info I was given about a crop was confusing
    Announcement ahead of CP+ next month

    So let’s dissect the above information…

    -45MP FF Sensor seems plausible but we probably will see a 50MP sensor with a 48.x effective pixel count. Big area and hi pixel count sensors are not ideal for high-speed video, so this is another hint at the rumors being a wish-list.

    -The IBIS in-camera system is a little suspect considering the reliance of Canon to tout their lens IS systems which are a major selling point for the platform but they have already showed a patent with IBIS for the EOS M platform which should be introduced soon enough. They cannot keep ignoring other brands having excellent IBIS and dual IS systems like Panasonic Dual OIS which really kills the EOS system on stability performance.

    -Frame Rates:  120fps 4k? color us skeptical but the fact that only the very best and expensive canons do 4k 60p at most will probably mean that as a first iteration of the R5, it will probably only do 60p at 4k.  Canon will probably introduce 4k 120p at some point in the future but not this early in the cycle.  They are known to milk features at a snail’s pace in order to maximize the longevity of camera platforms.

    -8k 30p?  Someone is wishing too much, we possibly can expect if real the 8k to be a supersample mode to the 4k video in order to offer better per-pixel detail the way other camera brands do 4k by using a 6k source.   So we don’t expect 8k as a format to be anywhere in a camera from Canon this year, supersampling yes but full 8k no-go, especially in RAW mode, was it would require staggering data rates.

    If you want to see what 4k 120fps looks like, this RED Gemini 5K S35-shot video will give you a hint:

    Tomas Lemoine – Test Red Gemini 4K 120fps by JC Pieri:

    And if you have not seen 8k 30p video, let us point you to this amazing footage for a Samsung TV demo:

    Samsung QLED 8K 30P SDR HEVC 10bit Demo T5 posted byJmslhkq H:

    So at the end of the day we have imaging technology now that is capable of this and more but having it on a canon R5 camera for little cost compared to cameras that can do this seems for now out of the realm of possibility.

    In any case, we will know soon enough as CP+ will be at the end of the month Feb 27th to March 1st.  If Canon does show a new camera, we would love to be impressed but don’t count on it. -HSC

Insta360 ONE R action cam can do 200fps in 1080p!

Insta360 ONE R 4k

2020 is already becoming a very busy year for camera releases. The CES Show this past week had a bunch of announcements in the professional, amateur and aerial drone markets that shoot high frame rates.  We will try to cover the most useful cameras in the coming weeks.  We want to start with the Insta360 ONE R Modular camera from Chinese company Shenzhen Arashi Vision Co., Ltd. which is a very interesting product that de-couples the sensor module from the body so you can interchange the actual imaging hardware on the fly for specific shots/jobs.

The real gem for slow motion fans is the 4K version instead of the 360 and or the 1″ version which both max out at 120fps 1080p instead of 200p.   Many people will cry foul at the 200fps spec when GoPro and DJI do 240fps as do most slow motion capable smartphones but 200fps, if done well with the 100Mbps codec, could be a real diamond in the rough for your arsenal in action cameras.

Insta360 ONE R 4k Camera main specs:

So we get 200fps & 120fps 1080p, plus 60fps 4k and 2.7k at 100fps which is very close to what other action cameras are doing.

The video above by Insta360 is the only slow motion sample of the One R we could find. It is still not ideal as the compression is not so good for the web.  Still, you can hardly see any jagged edges or moire which means the camera might be doing a great job capturing the full 1080p resolution at 120 and 200fps.

What about the 2 camera TWIN bundle?

So since the camera is modular, you can get the 360-degree camera module combined with the 4k camera for a reduced price…

So if you are getting the 360 One R camera it makes absolute sense to get the Twin bundle since that will only add $20 to your price tag. However, if you only need the 4k camera the Twin bundle adds $180 USD to your purchase which is significant.   You may not be able to go the Twin route if all you need is the action camera without 360-degree capability.

Leica 1″ What?

The 1 Inch edition of the Insta360 R has a Leica lens and a 1″ sensor which shoots at 5.3k at excellent quality.

Frame rates supported:

It can also shoot 60p at 4k and or 120fps at 1080p which is ok considering the quality should be very good.  Wondering if there is a crop for those modes or if it is supersampled.  We probably can expect a sensor crop at 1080p here which means a reduced field of view.

The 1-Inch edition probably delivers the best action camera video quality yet and at $ 549.99 it is not that expensive considering you may be able to use this footage commercially and or on film productions.  We would like to see video samples without compression for the web to see how good it is.

If you need the best video quality on an action camera the bar has been raised by the 1-inch version of the Insta360 R, wonder what DJI, GoPro and maybe Sony are thinking to counter this.

What to do?

These cameras will ship by the end of this month which means you have time to see more samples show up before pulling the trigger.  There is a limitation of 5m underwater for the modular design without a case which is actually very usable, if you need more you will need to get a rugged case.

It is refreshing to see so much innovation on a camera of this size and even when it does not break new ground in high frame rates, it may be doing better in the quality department. We will have to wait and see how good 1080p 200 and 120p look at full resolution.  If the images are clean, it may mean that these will be the recommended action cameras for high frame rates.

****You can get the Insta360 cameras for Pre-Order at Adorama Camera here and help HSC at no extra cost!  ****

The Insta360 One R cameras here can do so much automation like color grading, hyper-lapse, stabilization, shot editing and HDR that feels kind of daunting at first. This is the sign of things to come as the editing bay is only reserved for higher-end productions. Maybe you will be able to ditch that PC or Mac in the near future for a phone and a camera that does it all before you download the clips.  For highlights maybe but for a story, we have our high doubts.

We will try to get slow motion samples other than the one above as soon as possible.  We are working on other camera previews that were announced at CES so stay tuned and have a great 2020 ahead! Rock On -HSC